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PORTSIDE  April 2011, Week 1

PORTSIDE April 2011, Week 1

Subject:

Very Tough Love

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 4 Apr 2011 00:25:19 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (77 lines)

Very Tough Love
Ira Glass 
This American Life - NPR
Originally aired 03.25.2011
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/430/very-tough-love

[moderator: use the link above to hear the entire
program as originally aired.]

This week: A drug court program that we believe is run
differently from every other drug court in the country,
doing some things that are contrary to the very
philosophy of drug court. The result? People with
offenses that would get minimal or no sentences
elsewhere sometimes end up in the system five to ten
years. (Transcript.)
[moderator: the transcript is here if you prefer to
read it--
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/sites/default/files/transcript_430.pdf]

Part One.

Ira reports from Glynn County Georgia on Superior Court
Judge Amanda Williams and how she runs the drug courts
in Glynn, Camden and Wayne counties. We hear the story
of Lindsey Dills, who forges two checks on her parents'
checking account when she's 17, one for $40 and one for
$60, and ends up in drug court for five and a half
years, including 14 months behind bars, and then she
serves another five years after that-six months of it in
Arrendale State Prison, the other four and a half on
probation. The average drug court program in the U.S.
lasts 15 months. But one main way that Judge Williams'
drug court is different from most is how punitive it is.
Such long jail sentences are contrary to the philosophy
of drug court, as well as the guidelines of the National
Association of Drug Court Professionals. For violating
drug court rules, Lindsey not only does jail terms of 51
days, 90 days and 104 days, Judge Williams sends her on
what she calls an "indefinite sentence," where she did
not specify when Lindsey would get out. (30 minutes)

Part Two.

We hear about how Brandi Byrd and many other offenders
end up in Judge Williams' drug court. One reason drug
courts were created was to save money by incarcerating
fewer people. But in Judge Williams' program, people
like Brandi end up in drug court-at a cost of $350 per
month-who would've simply gotten probation in most other
Georgia counties. When offenders like Brandi are kicked
out of the program-and half of participants in Judge
Williams' drug court program don't successfully complete
it-they go into detention, at a cost of $17,000 per
year. Brandi did two years.

We also hear how one model drug court participant,
Charlie McCullough, was treated by Judge Williams. (25
minutes)

___________________________________________

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