Sustainable resource and human rights advocate
...and I'll add to the likely prayer that a place be reserved in the deepest, darkest pit of hell for the person who did this and didn't stop to immediately assist her.
Creating jobs for cops is good. Re-educating them is even better. But, a more effective, wholesome and inclusive solution would be to create jobs for the targeted youth. To pay for job training like guaranteed seats in the next CNA course at CMMC or St. Marys, the next welding and metal fabricating courses at EMCC, and howsa bout starting up the old PAL (Police Athletic League) we all grew up with, along with scheduled PAL Hops at the old city hall?
That, in my view, could be a real benefit to both the city, the justice system and, ultimately, our people.
...just thoughts from a Lewiston American at-large who has been there.
Question everything...that's what newspapers are supposed to do on our behalf. Right?
Here, and this is for behavior obviously caused by a medical condition (i.e. chronic alcoholism), an 18 year old, now 42, begins his slippery slide as a habitual drunk driver. He spends "years" in jail for it. And, now, we wipe our hands of him for 10 more years.
The prosecutor wanted to impose a longer sentence with no probation. The Judge didn't agree. In fact, the Judge rejected the prosecutor's request for more jail time and, instead, urged Beaulieu to take advantage of programs offered by the Department of Corrections, including some that allow early release into monitored treatment programs. I agree with the Judge here. Although some would say the sentence abit extreme, it seems to be "in the range" based on the apparent facts of this specific case.
Those facts include the part of this story as related by Peter Richard Jr.,, Beaulieu's lawyer, who argued that his client was severely abused as a child, uses alcohol and drugs to “self-medicate,” and needs rehabilitation and treatment.
“When Robby gets out of prison, he is going to be exponentially worse without treatment,” Richard said, arguing for a five-year prison term with court-ordered treatment as part of probation. “He doesn’t take substances and go on joy rides because he enjoys breaking the law. He takes substances to escape his trauma. He’s addicted to getting away from what’s tormenting him every day.”
This is clearly behavior aggravated or caused by a chronic medical problem. And, in this country, we are not supposed to imprison anyone if that is the cause of someone's otherwise illegal behavior. We are supposed to "treat" them. That's the law!
Here, it is also apparent that Mr. Beaulieu was appropriately remorseful, but, even this, was given no apparent weight by the Judge or in the exercise of judgement by the local prosecutor. I have to ask, where did these people get their judicial training?
Beaulieu stated , “I apologize for my actions, to this court and my community. I’m very grateful that nobody was hurt by my actions,” Beaulieu said. “I’ve been in prison four times, and every time I get out, after I run out of my first weeks of medication, I feel like I’ve been dropped in a land that I don’t understand and everything is overwhelming.”
On the other hand, the prosecutor seemed just a little too eager in pressing for a longer jail term, in my view. I can't help but wonder... and I say this in the the context of several recent newspapers reports about the Governor's financiers pushing for privatization and expansion of the Warren State Prison for other medically affected Mainers... is the system being "influenced" or, even, "pressured" to press for jail terms for all medically affected people?
If I am correct, then this is no way to make a profit ... as Americans in other parts of the country have already decided. Out west, they jail their justice officers for this stuff... and rightly so.