Accountability needed in drug and alcohol programs

Editor,

For many years now, I have been an advocate for individuals who have no one to speak for them. During that time I have made acquaintance with a lot of people who have a lot of problems and a lot of needs. I have endeavored to help in any way God would see fit to allow. 

There is ,I feel, a lack of integrity in the court-ordered alternative drug and alcohol program here in town. It would involve proper paper signed documentation of client attended meetings. I personally believe a Client should have in their possession a signed, stamped, or initialed document stating their attendance at each meeting.

I personally believe, on behalf of those who attend, that this is their right.

I have indeed spoken to those in charge, and she states that this is indeed policy. It would appear that an individual may not know until the end of Program whether he or she has really completed it.

Now I have a problem with that, don’t you?

I have sat in the waiting room of the Visalia Courthouse and had occasion to speak with an individual who actually had completed his program, but he was having to pay more fines and attend more classes he had already attended, and had almost lost his job because of a lack of program integrity. And really! If he had received no paperwork at each meeting, then I can see how this could really have happened to him.

Those are the individuals I am writing this in defense of. The individuals having to do this are under enough stress. Do they need more? Do the ones helping them need more? I say, we demand some accountability in these programs, whatever agency they may be!

Elaine Harris

Porterville

 

Sadness, anger over correctional officer’s death

Editor,

Our CDC family has been rocked, once again, by the senseless death of one of our beloved correctional officers. Through all the sadness and anger, we will pull together and do what we do best — honor this fallen officer. 

These inmates were Level I inmates, in a dorm setting. You know, the ones that many say are serving time for “minor” and/or “non-violent” crimes.

The ones that many say should just be let out because they are not a threat to society.

The ones that many say shouldn’t be in prison in the first place.

The ones that you voted on reduced sentencing because their crimes, such as rape and armed robbery, were non-violent.

The ones you fight to keep out of your neighborhood once they parole.

The ones that you think deserve far better healthcare than the average citizen. 

The ones that you think need a free college education while serving their time. 

The ones that you think need to have access to endless programs while in prison, with no regard to staff safety. 

The ones that you think need to be rehabilitated without additional staffing. 

The ones you think deserve overnight (conjugal) visits. 

Yes, these are the inmates that murdered a correctional officer. 

This is the correctional officer that you refer to as an “overpaid babysitter,” and a “knuckle dragging guard.” Yet, you won’t sign up for the job. 

This is the correctional officer that you complain doesn’t deserve the wages, retirement or benefits that he was paid. Yet, you won’t sign up for the job. 

This is the correctional officer that went to work that day and did his job. 

This is the correctional officer that was met with resistance during the course of his duties. 

This is the correctional officer that was assaulted for enforcing the rules of prison. 

This is the correctional officer that sacrificed everything to protect you and your family. 

This is the correctional officer that will no longer return home to his family. 

Correctional officer A. Gallegos will never be forgotten by his fellow correctional officers.

Jamie Goodrick-Allen

Visalia

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