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How will Arkansans pay for all the new prisons and people to run them as we fill them full? 

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In response to last week's cover story, "How to fix the parole system in Arkansas":

How will Arkansans pay for all the new prisons and people to run them as we fill them full? And who do we warehouse in these prisons? Usually the poor, drug addicts and uneducated people. It's often folks not paying fines who are imprisoned in Arkansas. And what about when people get out of prison? Why won't the state invest in training and mentoring programs to help ex-cons? In the long run investing in people might reduce problems and save money. Our legislators are too short sighted.

Mark Hughey Sr.

Great piece of investigative journalism. Kudos to David Koon.

Ms. Anthony hit the nail on the head. It's not just the Department of Community Correction that's broken, but the entire system — the laws, the courts, law enforcement, prison policy, you name it. There needs to be a major overhaul in the attitudes of potential employers towards the hiring of convicts, in the attitudes of local police departments towards convicts genuinely seeking to change their lives and in the priorities of local cops in making arrests. There also needs to be a thorough review of the Arkansas criminal code with regard to who gets sent to prison and who doesn't. Throwing non-violent offenders in jail alongside violent inmates is just plain wrong. Treating drug offenders with the same severity as violent offenders is wrong.

Anthony was also right on the money in stating that "if you are ever in the system, you never really get out." For the rest of your life, the police will always know who you are and where you live. And they'll never let you forget that. An obsession with crime and punishment is one of the hallmark characteristics of a totalitarian regime.

The main factor in preventing recidivism is also the main factor in improving the economy — jobs.

Brad Bailey

Legislative and regulatory decisions to benefit special interest groups over the last 30 years have eliminated thousands of entry-level jobs once held by teenagers in our communities and now we're reaping the result of high youth unemployment numbers.

Without the jobs, are you surprised that gangs and criminal activity is the result?

When was the last time a bright kid pumped your gas or washed your windshield working at his first after-school and weekend job? Handicapped and disabled motorists can't get any service but you can buy beer in every wet county gas station while thousands of our youth go jobless, and the Americans with Disabilities Act requiring products, premises, and services to be accessible to the handicapped is ignored throughout Arkansas.

MysteryShopper

In response to the Arkansas Blog post "U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin not running for re-election":

The Second Congressional District in our fair state has really run the gamut over the years. The past seven office holders include Wilbur Mills, Jim Guy Tucker, Ed Bethune, Tommy Robinson, Ray Thornton, Vic Snyder, and Tim Griffin. A real trip down memory lane for a lot of us. The latter two epitomize the range between the best and worst of the bunch. Although I don't know Pat Hays personally, he was our mayor for a long time and did a great job running North Little Rock. I urge all of you to support him if decides to jump in the race. He no doubt has more integrity in his pinkie finger than Timmy has in his whole worthless body.

Hombre

As many "consultants" and aides find that it is MUCH easier to consult or aid than to do.

The boxing corner coach always knows exactly what the boxer should do, but he isn't being punched on.

I suspect Tim Griffin has found out it ain't as easy as he thought.

I hope he has been embarrassed by his performance. If so there was a benefit to Tim serving.

Citizen1

So he's leaving office to spend more time with his family? Sounds good, but like many of you I am suspicious there's more to it than just bad poll numbers. And there's no doubt that a stooge for corporate interests — Hex on Exxon included — ought to be able to "clean up" a lot more than Mayflower by hanging out a shingle on K Street than remaining a back-bench party stooge in the House.

Goodbye and good riddance, Tim Griffin. I hardly knew ya, and I'm glad you're not gonna be around much longer to change that. Soon, I hope, we'll be able to say with all honesty that we have trouble remembering what he did in his two ignominious terms in office.

GrizLee Blackbear

In response to an Arkansas Blog post on a rally in support of the open carry of firearms in Bryant entitled "Guns: IF you've got 'em, flaunt 'em":

I'm a Second Amendment guy. I get it, but you're talking apples and airplanes. I'm talking about the foolishness of open carry. You walk around Walmart with a Colt in your pants and my next call is to 911 — we need to find out if you're a bad guy or just a dumb ass. That call goes to the boys in blue as a "man with a gun." Let's know that their blood pressure goes up a few points while in route.

You make a wrong move and you're in the morgue. The toe tag reads: "Dumb Ass- Second Amendment Supporter."

Any wonder why the Arkansas Chiefs of Police and others are against this folly?

The_Narrows

I am an old woman, and never dreamed our country would sink to the depths it has. Crime needs to be punished! I don't dream up scary scenarios. ... but I know what is going on in Little Rock, and it is real live scary. I do know that it is no longer safe to take a walk in most neighborhoods, or go to a store after dark. God Bless the naive.

Pat72209

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