Jail grant a step
in right direction
Congratulations to Palm Beach County for having been awarded the $2 million grant to work on finding ways to keep fewer people in jail! Why we prefer to “lock ‘em up” while awaiting trial, rather than allow people to continue to provide and care for their families has always been incomprehensible to me.
Although the deleterious effects of jail time (just like school suspensions) has long been documented, we have preferred to warehouse people — usually the poor and/or mentally ill. This simply ensures that they have more contact time with criminals and come out with graduate degrees in delinquency so that soon they will be back in jail again. This grant will allow the county to take a step in the right direction.
Along with this grant, we need to see more focus on juvenile justice reform, especially the need for dual diagnosis facilities here in the county. Florida is one of the most draconian states in charging juveniles as adults, which only perpetuates the vicious cycle of dysfunctional families spawning delinquents.
PAMELA MALDONADO, WELLINGTON
County was too slow
on needle exchanges
As one who worked in substance abuse as a counselor/administrator for many years in New York, I wonder why has it taken Palm Beach County until 2018 to offer a needle exchange program.
Needle exchange is a humanitarian manner of treating addicts who find it impossible or are struggling to recover. Substance abuse is not a new problem. It has reached epidemic proportions because it now also affects an increasing number of the middle- and upper-class Caucasian population, and is no longer thought to be only an inner-city problem.
Treatment and recovery are always the ultimate goals in dealing with substance abuse, but we cannot deny the need for interim measures.
JOAN PEARLMAN, PALM BEACH GARDENS
Good for Bernard
doing actual work
It was refreshing to read how hard Palm Beach County Commissioner Mack Bernard is working on assuring minority-owned businesses get a fair shake on garbage disposal contract bids.
Better that Bernard concentrate on that than trying to set a record for the highest percentage of voter absentee ballots he and his subordinates are able to pick up when he runs for office.
BUD OSMONDSON, WEST PALM BEACH
Teachers, parents are
partners in child-rearing
In the letter “Raising responsible kids is parents’ job” (Dec. 22), the writer asserts that “teachers are not hired to raise someone else’s child” and blames the parents. This is wrong on so many levels. I spent over 40 years in schools, earning my doctorate in education along the way.
Raising other people’s children is what we do. We control their behavior, set rules and expectations and provide them with the tools for their success. But we are also a partner with the parents and we often share our strategies with the parents to employ in the home.
I have often found that the overwhelmed parents in poor neighborhoods have children who are respectful and eager to learn.
For parents who have no idea how to control their children, I suggest “1-2-3 Magic,” on YouTube, as an example of a proven set of strategies.
VIVIAN KOPPELMAN, DELRAY BEACH