Bail, Not Jail –
Jan. 27, 2010 – So while it’s easy and comforting to think that these laws are holding accountable drug kingpins for bringing poison into our communities, the truth of the matter is much different. More often, these laws are brought to bear on people who have drugs and needles because they are personally addicted. If they are caught multiple times with drugs, it’s often because they can’t get by without them.
Placing the weight of a felony conviction on them will not get them any closer to recovery. For a few, that threat may be the wake-up call they need. But for most, the conviction becomes a barrier to getting well, making it more difficult for them to find the stable employment and housing they need.
Harsh laws like these destabilize whole families, too, and add to the growing burden on the child welfare system.