Minot has closed it eyes on drug problem

Patti Eisenzimmer

Minot

I thought it was time to address some of the concerns I have with our justice system. I have been reading the articles in the newspaper and on Facebook regarding the sentencing that is being handed out by our States Attorney’s office and the Judges.

I have been trying to make sense of the sentence a friend’s son or daughter received, and the other young adults and older adults that made some bad choices while under the influence of the drugs that are so accessible in our city.

Is it right to give some people a harsher sentence, when you see someone else that has committed the same crime or has committed a worse crime, receive a lesser sentence because they could afford to hire a lawyer instead of requesting a public defender, or they were willing to make a deal to receive that lesser sentence.

I am thankful that my daughter has been removed off the streets and away from the lifestyle that she chose. Right now my daughter is alive and working through the struggles she is facing, just like friends and family members of other citizens of Minot, who have been put in jail or prison, because of the drugs they have become addicted to.

I strongly feel that when you have all these people of different ages, who have become addicted to opiates, heroin, meth, cocaine, do we feel that the best thing is to sentence them to jail or prison or should we all come together as a society and help those that have made some bad choices because of their addictions. To help them get back on their feet financially or get the treatment that they need so they can get a job, go back to college to further their education.

How is someone supposed to get on their feet financially when they have all these court fees, and the cost for meeting with their probation or parole officer for another 2-5 years?

What about other programs the person has to complete before they get out from under our justice system. Let’s be honest, where is the money coming from? How is someone suppose to get ahead when these costs will be hanging over their heads and those who have been incarcerated are struggling to find a job because of the type of sentence they have received and the type of felonies or misdemeanor’s that appear on that person’s criminal record.

It seems the people of Minot have closed their eyes or are just trying to avoid the truth. We have a huge problem in our city and the surrounding towns. To be honest the whole state is facing the same problem. We are losing our citizens of all ages to overdoses and to being locked behind bars, whether it is sitting in jail or locked away in prison for 2-10 years of their lives because they became addicted to drugs and made some bad choices.

As a society we need to open our eyes and realize that we all need to come together to help our own citizens, whether it is through getting treatment in a more controlled setting than what our state has to offer at this time or like some of the employers in other cities in North Dakota who are willing to give those who have made a mistake or made a bad decision while under the influence of the drugs a second change. Do you honestly think everyone who is an addict or was an addict woke up one morning and said I want to commit a felony today or I want to make a bad decision today so I am looked down on for the rest of my life and I have to struggle to become a better person and prove to our society that I have changed and have gotten better and no longer am under the influence of drugs.

I am sure at some time in our lives we all have made some bad choices. Whether these were our younger years or our adult years, there was that one time when someone took a chance and gave us an opportunity to better ourselves. Maybe even gave a chance to those who feel that they have nothing to come back to after being locked up for months or years. There are people in Minot and other cities and towns in North Dakota that are willing to help them out to become that better person.

I would love to hear reponses back; our town has always hid the truth from its citizens and tried to prove to others that we are safe from the problems that bigger cities are facing this is the perfect place to raise a family. Let’s be honest, Minot is no safer than the other cities and towns in North Dakota or in other states. We are all facing the same problems with drugs and crimes. The only difference is the other states and cities are willing to make changes to help those that want to live in their cities or states. Minot is always one step behind helping their citizens. Until people start speaking up and help making changes, nothing will be done for our friends or family members. One person cannot do this. We all need to join together and help our family and friends. We can begin by contacting those who can make a difference.

Our Govenor, Senators, Congressmen, Representatives of the House and Senate, the Parole and Probation Board, North Dakota Supreme Court, keep making those phone calls and e-mailing their offices – someone will start paying attention and realize our city and state need help.

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