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Your Views: State should cure drug addicts, not imprison them
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Research is showing drug addiction to be a disease that must be treated through rehabilitation just as any other disease. The disease of drug addiction is a reality that not only affects an individual but families and communities everywhere.

We must become more aware and creative of effective methods of intervention. We currently are using a system that punishes drug addicts by incarcerating them, then presumably think that after any amount of time in incarceration, they will become clean and hope they will no longer use. This has only created a revolving door to a life of jail and drugs.

We are choosing to fight a losing battle, fund more law enforcement, bigger jails and more prisons, leaving our families and communities broken. We are only reacting to the situation and incubating destructive lives rather than being creative with solutions, understanding the disease and dealing directly with the methods of justice and ways to restore our families and communities.

It is time to take a stronger look at alternative forms of sentencing and rid ourselves of the mindset that punitive justice is the best or only form of justice. Punitive justice is for a government that has lost its imagination and has quit caring about restoring our families.

The state of Georgia should lead the nation in court ordered treatment to drug courts and inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation. The state wins justice while the addict is rehabilitated. Not only do we reduce the drug economy and crime in general, but also we restore our families and our communities that once looked down on us.

If we change our lens of punitive justice to restorative justice, we create a double win. It has been said that if you want to gauge the health of society, look at its prisons. So why are we incarcerating drug addicts rather than treating them?

Roley and Heather Faubion

Wisdom of the elders undermined by schools
I was just reading the article about the family who is traveling to the capital for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. I noticed that one of the comments mentioned was that when a mock election was held in Gainesville High School that Obama was far ahead in votes. The young lady was happy that even though Hall County only gave 1 percent of the vote to Obama, the young people of her high school voted a different way from the political leanings of the adults.

I wonder if anyone can see what is wrong with this picture. To all of the conservatives out there, I hope you are listening. If what this young lady says is true, then someone else is teaching your children a liberal value system.

Someone is teaching your children that your years of experience and wisdom passed down to you from your parents is wrong. They are saying to your children that you are dinosaurs in your moral and conservative beliefs. They are teaching your children that wrong is the new right, and hundreds of years of moral values upon which this country were founded upon are incorrect because they have read many books and have many letters in front of their names to prove that they are smarter than you.

These, along with the mass media, are the people who helped to elect the most liberal president our country has ever seen. I would submit that we as conservatives need to really take a long, hard look at who is speaking into our children's lives. We need to communicate to the utmost with our children about what is going on in their lives. It is our job to know what is going on at our schools and who is doing the teaching.

In addition, it is our job to know how much teaching we are allowing the intellectual giants of Hollywood to teach our children through the movie theaters, Internet and television programming. In the next four years, America is going to get a good taste of what a vote for the far left wing can produce.

When we took morality out of school and allowed more sex education and liberal thought into our classrooms, we have seen our children mass murdered by peers, we have the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease ever seen in our public school system, along with the highest rate of teen pregnancy, and more disrespect for the law and authority. And the whole time the liberals told us that this was for the best.

Now they say that they want more change. I think it is easy to see what kind of changes they want. And they will begin with your children.

We, as conservatives, must teach our children well. We must be willing to fight for the minds and hearts of our children. If we do not, someone else will.

Thomas Walker

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