Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Will T. Scott urges drug policy overhaul

We can fix Kentucky's failing approach to drug addiction starting with an innovative state program to guarantee safety of potential employees with past felony drug problems, said Republican gubernatorial candidate Will T. Scott.

"Our prisons are not doing their job, protecting you," Scott said. Without a different approach, a never-ending cycle of theft, robberies and worse make victims of innocent Kentuckians. "Of the people in prison due to addiction-related criminal activity, at least sixty percent will commit new crimes within three years of their release from prison," Scott said.

Scott proposes a Kentucky Certified Worker program funded with fees charged to inmates to insure employers against losses caused by rehabilitated felons. The program will provide an opportunity for rehabilitated Kentuckians to build productive lives as opposed to a life sentence in the shadows or worse.

"That means a decent job and, as Merle Haggard sang, 'having pride in who I am.'"

Part of the solution to Kentucky's worsening drug problems is more comprehensive use of drug courts with an emphasis on rehabilitation outside of prisons and in minimum security facilities for less money than we currently spend.

"This new path will work and it will make our homes, garages, highways and businesses much safer at a much lower cost," Scott said.

Justice Scott also proposes a tougher law enforcement approach against the distribution of heroin.

"Heroin transport, sales and use will be under attack like never before," Scott said, referencing a plan to deter importation of heroin from other states.

Scott refers often to the hope of recovery and a strong desire to help rescue Kentuckians from the ravages of addiction and restoration to full productivity, including expungement of criminal records in some cases, including restoration of all rights of citizenship.

"What I'm really telling you is to the extent we can truly rebuild a justice system that really rehabilitates our addicted prisoners and helps them rebuild their lives, pride and confidence in themselves, then we can and will be safe again in our homes, businesses and garages."