September 16 2016
The latest Sarasota arrests involved almost exclusively black defendants.
The operation targeted street level drug dealers. Many of the men arrested had prior convictions. The operation targeted street level drug dealers. Many of the men arrested had prior convictions
Many, if not most, of the users are white.
What is desperately needed here in Sarasota is more emphasis on treatment and prevention.
As long as the demand is there, there will be supply. That is basic “Economics 101”. Many of the young men in the black community have little or no education, no opportunity and no way of surviving on less than minimum wage, and turn to drug dealing to survive. For those that come out of prison after a conviction, they have no chance whatsoever. Who will hire a black man with a felony conviction in Sarasota? For that matter, who will hire a white man with a drug conviction? The prison system is a total failure. It focuses on punishment only and does nothing to make people productive when they get out. No training, no jobs, no opportunity, no nothing.
As a taxpayer, I would rather see more emphasis on giving people in prison training. That way they will have some chance of not returning. Prison is a revolving door because nothing is done in prison to help people, only punish them. Why do we have a heroin problem here? Who is using the heroin? Why are they using it? I have been blogging on this for years. When the Statewide prescription database came in, the supply of prescribed Oxycontin and Oxycodone dried up. The white doctors that had been making a fortune in the pill mill business could no longer freely write the scripts. That left thousands of people that were addicted to pills with a habit and no supply. Heroin was the obvious alternative. I would be willing to bet that nine out of ten heroin addicts are previous pill addicts. This was predictable and should have been anticipated.
Drug addiction is a medical problem that causes crime.
If the addicts had a viable alternative with treatment slowly getting them off drugs they would not be in the “hood” buying heroin laced with killer additives. Drug treatment is the answer. Until that happens, this problem will not be solved. As a Sarasota criminal lawyer, and as a former Federal prosecutor, I see both sides of the problem. The police see only one. Drug Court is a fantastic program but we need to reach the addicts before they get arrested. Our chief of police is well intentioned, but the problem is that addiction creates crime. You have to get to the cause. Law enforcement alone will never solve it. Call 941 366 3506 if a loved one is arrested for drugs