In the recent column, Perspectives (featuring editorials from other newspapers) concerning group homes and drug and alcohol clinics, I give the following response:
Every individual is responsible for his/her own actions. If the individuals don't care about themselves as well as the others around them, then why should society have to pay the price of their disrespect? Dumping billions of dollars into failed programs to give these people more chances makes no economic sense at all.
Unless, of course, you have people that view this misfortune of society as a cash crop. They can fill their own pockets with taxpayers' money and share some of it with judges, politicians and media who advocate these failed programs as long as there is something in it for them.
A better approach to this problem would be to take the position "if they don't care, why should we?" We should make these criminals and addicts pay dearly for their bad decisions and the new body of knowledge will be "everybody doesn't do it."
We have already taken this approach with alcohol and tobacco.
Group homes and drug clinics are, in reality, welfare at its worst. They are proven failures and make problems even worse.
The only reason they still exist is that they are cash cows. After 30-plus years of failure of these programs in our communities, the question becomes: "What does the Mirror consider these programs to be?"