This morning, I got onto Facebook to see someone praising a new law that charges women with assault if there are drugs in their baby’s system when it is born. The article shared described a young woman in Marion County (Tennessee) who was recently arrested on this charge and had “a history of meth-related arrests.” Arrests that lead to jail time, instead of medical attention. Arrests that ruin chances of future employment. Arrests that do nothing to solve the root cause of the problem. I’m not saying that what happened with this woman isn’t a problem, but laws like this tend to ignore the situations that lead to drug use and other crimes.
Maybe if we had programs in place for first time offenders to go into rehab programs, and to get help with job skills, we could empower young people to escape the situations that led to the drug use in the first place. If there were better resources available when the issue is first discovered, the problem that the article described could have been prevented before it was too late. Issues like this are what drew me to the Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY). MCCOY focuses on early intervention and preventative measures. With early intervention, we could put programs in place that could tackle the problem before it got out of hand, and make laws like this unnecessary. It would not only save money by keeping individuals out of the rotating door of the prison system, it would save lives.
The article mentioned: http://www.wate.com/story/25979914/monroe-county-arrests-mother-of-drug-positive-infant-under-new-law
Learn more about MCCOY’s Early Intervention & Prevention Initiative here: http://mccoyouth.org/early-intervention-a-prevention-initiative.html
Resources for drug addiction in Indianapolis: http://www.fairbankscd.org http://www.eskenazihealth.edu/our-services/midtown-community-mental-health