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Christine Louise Beems 
Member since Feb 17, 2012

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Re: “Found — $3 million in a state fund

I am one of the constituents served by the tri-county drug task force referenced by Officer Sowell. As a citizen with a mind to practicality and cost-effective community safety, I have serious qualms about what I have witnessed resultant of drug task force intervention in our community over the course of the last five years and Max's article, while striking at the heart of the issue, barely scratches the surface.

My main concern, however, is not what the officers are doing. The obtuse focus on 'drugs'; the (supposed) 'need' for an ongoing escalation of the 'drug warrior' strategy; the legalized 'theft' of private property misnomered as somehow 'serving justice'...

While these things are terribly upsetting to me, I recognize that those who commit such acts are only doing what we, the citizens, have (in so many ways) told them we want them to do. Thus my gravest concern is that we -- the good people of Arkansas -- have so vehemently clammored for tougher and tougher measures to 'combat crime' that we have (albeit with the best of intentions) created a no-win lose/lose/lose situation that is damaging ALL of us.

I also confess that there is, to the best of my knowledge, no easy or quick solutions to this self-destructive behavior so long as we (the public) remain of the mind-set that it is 'okay' to lock people up, take away their belongings and treat them as sub-human just because they do things that we don't like...

That is, we have as a society crossed an invisible line. We used to limit and focus investigation, interdiction and prosecution on those who had done actual harm -- rape, theft, arson, murder -- to another person.

Now we lock people up for peeing off the back of a boat or having possession of the dried leaves of a plant.

Respectfully, no matter how much we do not like such things, they are NOT 'criminal behaviors. At worst they are a civil nusiance -- like spitting in on the sidewalk.

In reality, these are simply the things that human beings do and by virtue of the task our military is foresworn to protect and defend, the doing of such 'stupid' things is each person's imbued birthright... no matter if anybody else likes it, or not.

As to how this relates to the $3million 'reserve' Max mentions... logically speaking if an agency (any agency) is established to eradicate a criminal problem and if after several years (or decades) that agency tells us that the problem is getting worse and they need more (and more) money to combat it, common sense should tell us that said agency needs to be shut down.

Absolute proof of such a finding would, to my sense of logic, be that said agency has austensibly used public funds to create a 'self perpetuation' account, the pupoise of which is to keep that agency in business, doing whatever it has been doing for as long as it wishes which -- as already pointed out -- has not worked.

The Federal Reserve, respective of its role in the management of our economy, might be a good example of this... but I digress.

My point is that overarching issues such as this need to be addressed and redressed by our elected leadership with a clear mind and strong will to respect, rethink and reform the 'standard operating practices' that we (the people) have allowed and insisted be invoked.

This will only happen when we (the people) clammor for it.

Note: Right now our dearly-elected are deliberating the fate of how, where and on what to spend OUR $$$ on.

Consider: Arkansas spend roughly $24,000 per year to keep a person in prison. Of this, less then $600 per year (per person) is spent on job-training education or other practical means of helping 'offenders' (many of whom have NEVER 'hurt' anyone) make a successful transition from confinement to lives as productive and contributing citizens.

Really, does more need to be said about where things have gone wrong or what steps must be taken to fix things...???

Contact your Senator and Representative... Get involved. It is more than your right... it is our collective and collaborative duty. (((hugs))) ~Christine

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Christine Louise Beems on 02/17/2012 at 2:15 PM


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