Recently, while posting on Twitter I became aware of an article in “Tulsa World,” written by Randy Krehbiel on April 30, 2018. The main topic deals with legislation before our Oklahoma legislature titled House Bill 3706. Which I understand as summed up in the article that the state will direct the Dept. of Corrections to spend $2,8 million dollars in payments to private prisons. They will be raising the payment per day for a housing a prisoner to $43.30.
Let me do some simple math here. $43.30 X 365 days (one year) = $15,804.50.
This is costing out for medium security prison. I have a famiily member currently getting Social Security Disability for Autism. This person is 21 years old. We use the resources to apply to things that I believe will make help him be independent one day. He is growing up slower and we have a way to go. I will not reveal the amount he is getting but I wil say it is less than the amount in the end equation above we are paying to private prisons under this HB3706 or will.
“The defenition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting differernt results!” This is a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein. If you look up the quote you will find out Mark Twain and Henry Ford have been given credit for this quote also. Some will track it town to a flyer for Narcotics Annyomous. or book “Sudden Death,” by another author.
However, it is a phrase that I am sure you can all imagine or remember your parents yelling or telling you in a monotone lecture the same info with the same jest of advice. I could see Einstein or Ford saying a variation of this quote. It makes sense. That is except to our government and bureaucracy. Like we have to find a way to help people change.
This really doesn’t take a huge brain IQ or lots of thinking time. It does require our government people to listen….and think. How much money do we have to spend? How have been doing it for years? The same equations is costing us too much and mounting more costs. We keep the cycle going. Sending people to prison often teaches them how to become worse people.
I am not so naive to think we can do away with prisons all together We might want to see about those making the deals to keep the same cycle going….or those that do not want us to find a solution and have them spend some time behind the doors they create if we investigate and find out this is the case.
I know there will be specific population, or I think this way, that we are a long way from being able to help yet. However, a year ago I was telling my son with autism, that sometimes he is so pure that I have fears he will still be taken advantage of as an adult, that even though I have faith in God; I almost feel like looking for an out of the way country that is stable to go hide in and waite out the end of the world.
I say that in reference to what was going on in North Korea and Iran. I feel we should pull out of the deal with Iran. We can’t trust Iran. They are now playing with rockets. I am pretty sure they continued to develop weapons grade nuclear weapons. Now with the rockets they are an even bigger problem and we paid them not to do this. My opinion is we gave the money to fiance the rockets and their weapons.
Yet, my son kept saying that things can change. Ever the symbol and instruemt God uses to teach me to have more faith. Look at what is going on now. The United States is conducting peace talks with the North Korean leader. There is talk of reunifying North and South Korea. Yet, how many will not give Trump any credit for this. He carried a hard line with North Korea and it is paying off. Regan did the same with German and the Berlin wall fell down. Maybe North Korea doesn’t have the economy to continue an arms race. But, Iran does becasuse we paid for it.
Back to House Bill 3706! We have to reduce our prison population. We need to decrease the drug addiction population in our state and country. How many families are torn apart because we send people to prison? I have just shown you it cost more money to put people in prison than we spend to help people with a disability live. This is not an SSI, or assistance program. It is under the Social Security benefits program we, specifically in our case for my son , that I paid into for years as a working person.
Liberals will not like this and Republicans will but they will want to use the info from the data gained in a different way. People on Welfare or Medicaid need to be tested for drugs randomly. If they want to continue to be eligible for benefits.
This is a violation of Civil Rights some say. Well if I have a job, I often will have to agree to testing. Government workers often are subject to testing. Our military personnel can be tested randomly at anytime. Now they go to war to defend our freedom and they are subject to drug testing. So what is the issue with testing Medicaid recipients?
Children living where parents are addicted to drugs is a problem. Is there any person out there that is going to tell me that parents that are on Medicaid that are drug addicts with children should not be tested? What is the harm? Should their privacy be protected? You bet!
Now here is where I take the road that both camps don’t think of because most do not go for the solution. Those that say test….A number of times will for strict penalties and putting them in jail. Yet, this usually leads to higher costs and repeat vistis to the prison system. At the same time the tears apart familes and a cycle that ends up with costs spiraling out of control. This says nothing of the human equation and loss. Qualify of life for children and familes is poor.
In turn, states have an economy that will turn negative. Overall, our system will burdened to the extent that the walls of the prisons cannot hold. This state and county is better than that. We have brains if we use them that can solve this ignma.
By testing Medicaid persons, we can put the brakes on the system right then. There are enough resources in place to help people. The problem is they do not know it. Health Departments, federally funded community health centers and non-profits are part of an infrastructure that can treat the addiction problem. Court mandated treatment Meth programs are working. Medicaid mandated treatment programs, I think would have similiar success.
Also, people have to be prepared for failure. Therefore, a second chance has to be built in to the program. It could be we need to have a third chance in the system. I sound too easy but not really. The first two chances would be for kicking the habit for real. The relapse third time being built in is for years way down the line. Sometimes stresssful events happen and people hit a road bump for a short time. No, if they fall back into a long dance with drugs ….Discussions on how to handle this will be addressed. What other crimes did they commit?
But, how about those that are non-violent offenders but have drug addiction charges? Currently, they may be serving time away from their children. How much is the taxpayer paying for jail and their children’s raising? What if we had kept them out of jail but had tested them randomly while on Medicaid?
Could it be possible the family stays together? Addiction issues are taken care of for the person? Is it possible that once off of drugs they obtain better employment? Would the state’s economy be better off? Let me see? Instead of having more people in prision …we could have more taxpayers? Less fractured familes?
Problems arise because a segment of society doesn’t want to viiolate a citizen’s privacy that is on Medicaid. I say think about the children living in a family where their parent(s) are drug addicted. Another section of society says “To jail you go!” Could this be a group that preaches keeping familes together is vital?
“PUT ON YOUR THINKING CAPS!” Remember when your grade school teacher said this or something like it!
******** A Poem that sums up some of my feelings of how I think Oklahoma can change from botom to top if we choose..****
OKLAHOMA: A TALE OF TWO TIMES
Now old n’stranded! Stranded n’branded close to last n’line!
Come eat you’ll get fried taters, chicken adding inches more of fat.
Nature ain’t for us; sloucher’s gotta have a couch.
In the states; near the top n teen pregnancy n’ divorce: 5th and 7th (see footnote, source data).
Agencies n many, mostly a sittin’ n’mettings most days, I see,
Progress n’ stingy increments, Think’in it is fine n dandy.
Money? Spend it they do, without a doubt ain’t talkin’ one another.
Better ideas? Business practices apply? “What they say?”
Oklahoma keeps heading down a drain, like hard penetrating, pounding n’ pouring rain.
Flushing lots them greenbacks without care r’ taxes too flushing um n’ outside John.
No wonder Oklahoma tis stranded n’ branded low n’ standards.
What model r motivation dis a showin’ them still a growin?
Conceptualize, Rogers’ n’ Hammerstein’s collaboration; Oklahoma II 2013 – real reflection review! Know band Oklahoman’s shrinking n’ old stinkin’ prairie quicksand. Must this be r’ outward countenance presentation? I say heck no way. No way, no how, no need ever got this way. Only saying, challenge, explain these things won’t be; Cause them their one’s been directin’ stead hearin’ citizens. Agree’n with me might u be by now, Somehow gots’ to get a leranin’n to inspire aspirations of desire getting’ up top. R’ youngn’s sure could, Have a super dooper future, If’n weez startz a talkin, walkin’ same direction on this path stead of Road of Many Forks!