Eyes now open to prison injustices

August 20, 2013 

My husband and I watched the 2012 documentary "The House I Live in." This thoughtful film made me rethink my feelings on the so-called war on drugs and prison sentencing, and specifically the mandatory sentencing law that sends young men to prison for lengthy terms with no rehabilitation offered. These young men are mostly Hispanic and African-American, poorly educated or drop-outs, poor economically and mostly from single-parent homes.

Our state and county prisons are overcrowded to the point where many states use for-profit prisons, whose existence depends on full cells. There is no incentive to release these young men because of the profit factor. And there is no rehabilitation education or counseling offered.

There was a similar program on MSNBC, presenting the same sad truths of our prison system. It is a sad commentary on our country that we can find nothing better to do than warehouse young men who should not be a part of a failed justice system. I plan to contact our elected officials to change the mandatory sentencing law that has created this mess. I encourage you to do the same.

MARILYN ROWLAND

Modesto

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