Good Samaritan treated poorly

To the editor:

I have come to the conclusion that, in spite of all evidence and laws to the contrary, individuals found to be possessing narcotics or with narcotics in their blood stream of said unfortunates should not be considered criminals, and the youth that are caught up in the trap of this abnormal hunger are not criminals but victims who are in dire need of psychiatric treatment at treatment centers, not jail.

Putting them in jail only hardens their addiction and the extreme need for another fix or in the extreme, an attempt at suicide.

The problem is compounded by the attitude of police and prison guards that these “criminals are the scum of the earth” and do not show any compassion on – on the contrary, this hard life is part of the punishment for these “crimes.”

A case in point, a good Samaritan, if there ever was one, tried befriending one young woman and help her see her folly and turn her life around. Alas, it was too late and after an attempt to commit suicide, she was caught with a residue of narcotic in her bloodstream. She was jailed twice before pursuing treatment.

What was this time in jail supposed to accomplish? The good Samaritan came to visit her on visiting day – only one half hour allowed – she brought the prisoner some writing and drawing materials and a book – some things to take her mind off of her dreadful condition.

The officers of the jail went through the “Magi’s” gifts with a fine tooth comb looking for contraband. Finding none, they sent this good Samaritan away, allowing only the book to remain.

This is justice from the 14th century. The judge and district attorney’s office should be ashamed of themselves. (It was wrong) to treat an upstanding citizen to such a search of her gifts. They knew very well who she was, it is not important to tell it here.

This whole affair smells to high heaven. Surely we can do better.

NORMAN ARKIN

Hancock