LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A new political approach to prisons, ex-felons


Will Alabama ever learn? We’re still seeing “tough on crime” and “criminals hate me” political ads. We are answering unconstitutional prison systems by building more prisons that will probably be full the day they open and over-full and short-staffed in the first year. No criminal justice reform at all so far. We are happy to keep the revolving doors open with no help for any inmate coming out of prison. 

They are still told to go to the Department of Human Resources and get vouchers for things, but that is not even available anymore. With someone who needs help finding a non-drug-related halfway house, that does not exist at all. What about job skills for someone locked away for five-plus years? 

There’s no help starting a drug-free life away from the playground for some who has quit school and have no real skills. We put them right back out to fail. 

Even with sex offenders who can only live away from every source of work and support and no one really wanting to help, our politicians don’t see the number of challenges to the sex offender laws. 

Our politicians have a love of keeping the state down, challenging federal laws because they believe those need changing but not our laws that do absolutely nothing to help people who need help. 

This state and all its lawmakers want them all to fail so they will always have a monster to sell to worried voters so they don’t appear weak when they are already proving that weakness by keeping people down. 

We could do better, but not with every single politician keeping down everyone with a past. When do you think we as a state will grow and move forward instead of staying in the “punishment is the best policy” and “keep our prisons over capacity” mode. It’s our fault ex-felons can’t stay out; we give them every tool to fail.

Donald Haywood