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I have been incarcerated at the Rappahannock Regional Jail since April 5.
During my stay here, I have seen so many people come and go. At times, it feels like I'm outside 7-Eleven watching a revolving door, seeing the same people get their morning coffee and come back later for their evening drink before heading home.
The majority of these repeat offenders are drug addicts on probation who failed drug tests. Others are first-time offenders who are thrown in jail without the opportunity to be placed on probation.
The jails and prisons are overcrowded. The economy is a bust, and the courts continue to opt for incarceration instead of alternative sentencing.
Taxpayer money pays for incarceration, which is of no help to a drug-addicted person. That same money could be used to place them in a drug program, where they can get the help needed, get a job, be productive members of society, and become taxpayers themselves.
Society speaks of second chances. They say, "Let's give the Middle East a second chance" after terrorism. Let's give the president a second chance after four years of no progress.
Let's even give politicians second chances after they get caught having affairs and even smoking crack.
But society won't give a person who has a disease a second chance.
Where do our priorities lie? When are second chances going to be given to people who matter--our daughters, mothers, sisters, brothers, children, and our very own next-door neighbors?
The writer is incarcerated