Mothers seek treatment options to incarceration for drug offenders
September 20, 2010 (Spring Valley) – “Mothers, family members, healthcare professionals and individuals in recovery will gather to bring focus to our country’s failed drug policies and the havoc they have wreaked on our families,” said Gretechen Bergman, co-founder and executive director of A New PATH. The Spring Valley nonprofit is part of the Moms United to End the War on Drugs campaign. On October 13 at 11 a.m. the group will lead a rally on the west steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento.
The rally is part of a statewide campaign that seeks to "stop violence, mass incarceration and overdose deaths" that participants believe are the result of current “punitive and discriminatory drug policies.” The vigil will acknowledge those who have lost their lives or liberty to the “failed War on Drugs.”
The group calls for the following steps as alternatives to imprisonment of drug users:
* Long-term mandatory rehabilitation in a structured therapeutic recovery environment for non-violent drug offenders
* If the nature of the crime does not allow for this alternative, sentencing should include immediate placement in a rehabilitation and recovery program within the prison system
* Upon release from prison or recovery homes, substance abuse offenders should be mandated to a transitional program in a sober-living environment to prepare them to re-enter society
A New PATH held a rally in San Diego in April and has since held rallies in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.
The Sacramento event is sponsored by A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) in partnership with others including Families ACT!, Broken No More, the Drug Policy Alliance, as well as individuals. The group hopes to persuade lawmakers to change policies of arrest and imprisonment to therapeutic strategies and regulation. Such policies could also save the state money on prisons and cut down on repeat offenses, advocates contend.
Participants are urged to bring signs and photos of loved ones whose lives have been damaged by the war on drugs. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-670-1184, or visit www.anewpathsite.org.