My 58-year-old father is handicapped, mentally and physically. He has never committed a violent crime in his life and he hasn't been in trouble for 21 years. One day he decides to shoplift and he gets caught for petty theft; he goes to jail. The judge and district attorney try to push a 52-year sentence on him; that would be life imprisonment for him.
He is denied all medication by the jail. My father suffers from brain damage, kidney failure and diabetes, among other life-threatening problems. Without his meds he has a hard time understanding the reality around him. He spends 14 months in jail with no medication. He went through 40 hypoglycemic shocks during this time. He has been fighting the sentence and gets it dropped to 7½ years in prison for petty theft. The people of California now have to pay to keep a man in prison for 7½ years for petty theft. Maybe if we were all aware of the costs each year to keep him there, we wouldn't let law enforcement make such critical mistakes.
MIKE L. CONVERSE
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