Mothers in Prison

NY Times

So if we want to reduce female incarceration, we have a solution here in Tulsa that will also reduce crime and pay for itself.

I know some of you are glaring at this article and thinking: It’s their own fault. If they don’t want to go to prison, they shouldn’t commit crimes!

That scorn derives partly from a misunderstanding of drug abuse, which is a central reason for mass female incarceration in America (and a major reason for mass incarceration of men as well, although to a lesser degree). As Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the surgeon general, noted in releasing a major report this month: “It’s time to change how we view addiction. Not as a moral failing but as a chronic illness.” In short, we should think of drugs not primarily through the criminal justice lens but as a public health crisis.


I have a niece (the daughter of my youngest sister) who also has drug problems – and a variety of other problems. She acquired them from her dysfunctional family – her mother’s first son (her uncle) got his 12-year old girlfriend pregnant and dropped out of high school. She stole her Father’s truck, and he turned her in, and the courts forced her to go through a drug rehab program. Which solved that problem – but she has since moved on to many others.

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