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Opinion

Sat., June 28, 2014

Vote for smarter justice

As an old and serious philosopher, I’ve followed and resisted our nation’s tripling of the number of people it imprisons. A third are veterans, substance abusers and/or mentally handicapped. Many are the troubled poor, who lack support and skills for making an honest living. Nonviolent violators can be controlled more humanely for a fraction of their jailing costs, while improving their lives and the happiness of those who care for them.

Spokane County spends 74 percent of its budget on its criminal justice system. A well-coordinated program can reduce this cost while increasing overall effectiveness. One challenge is finding leadership that understands the problem and is well-connected with law enforcement and social agencies that seek better solutions.

For the past decade, I’ve watched Breean Beggs accumulating mastery and momentum while teaching this subject to our community. More recently, Mary Lou Johnson has focused her many talents and energies on Smart Justice programs. Now, both of these wise leaders seek to bring their skills and determination to political offices where they can be most effective.

Beggs is running for Spokane County prosecutor, Johnson for county commissioner. Please consider joining and backing their efforts. For more details see: http://smartjusticewashington.org, http://breeanbeggs.com/ and http://votemaryloujohnson.com/.

Mickey Thompson

Spokane



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