Letter to the editor: ‘Stop putting these kids in jail to rot’


YOUR VIEW

To the editor:

This letter is addressed to the prosecutors and judges of Delaware and Franklin counties.

Are your heads in the sand? Do you have blinders on? Do you not notice what is going on around you? Our children — ages 16 to 40 — are sick.

These children that we, as parents, love so much are stuck in an area of the country that the drug cartels have made the hub for the distribution of heroin and cocaine. Due to the high price and the government crackdown on oxycodone and other pills, our children have chosen to use heroin because it is cheaper and plentiful.

Heroin is everywhere in Delaware — easy to get and cheaper than other drugs.

Prosecutors and judges continue to put these children in jail with other addicts, thieves and drug dealers. We do not need incarceration of these children where they sit for 30 days, three months or six months. These children need the tools to stop using these drugs. These children need 60 to 90 days of rehabilitation. Yes, instead of jail, they need rehab.

You say, who is doing to pay for this? Well, the state of Ohio’s medical program under the Affordable Care Act, called Molina, will pay if you can find a facility that takes this very poor medical coverage. I say, who cares who pays for it?

Judges should place these 16- to 40-year-olds — and even 50-year-olds — in any facility that has an opening. These prosecutors and judges need to look at the damage they are doing to these children by incarcerating them.

These children are precious and we love them no matter what they have done. But when they get out of jail, they do not have the tools to cope with the drugs that exist everywhere.

Every judge and prosecutor should have a computer link that tells them the location of the rehab facility and how many openings they have and place them there for the first and maybe the second offense. This is important. The court system and drug rehab centers should be in constant communication.

“60 Minutes” had a (recent) feature on the drugs that have hurt so many children and families in Worthington, Ohio. This is one of our neighboring cities. If “60 Minutes” does a show on the drugs that have affected affluent suburbs like Worthington, not just the poor areas, then this is a real problem.

Judges and prosecutors: Wake up. Now is the time to save my child and all the children stuck in this terrible drug culture. Stop putting these kids in jail to rot; get them help. Find a bed for them in a rehab facility and place them there.

As for the Ohio legislature and John Kasich: Supply the funds to build more rehab facilities before it is too late and we find a needle sticking out of our child’s arm and they are dead of a heroin overdose.

Stephen Stockdale

Delaware

YOUR VIEW