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longer addicted is only 4 or 5 percent. We
are not providing people enough medical
protection to get them off opiates.
Look, I recently went through cancer.
My doctor said to me, ‘Hey, you need
36 cancer treatments.’ Well, I got every
one. They didn’t say to me, ‘We think
you need 36 but we’re going to give you
15 and hope for the best.’ We know that
these kids need longer treatment.
Your office has several programs that
offer alternatives to incarceration. Tell
me about some of those.
We have the lowest percentage of the
population that is incarcerated of any
jurisdiction in Maryland. We have adult
drug courts. I think we’re in about our
18th year of adult drug courts, where
we divert people who have profound
alcohol or drug problems that are really
the source of why they’re repetitively
involved in crimes. I’m enormously
supportive of it. I think we’ve saved hundreds of people and rebuilt lives for a lot
I brought us the mental health court.
They estimate that about one out of three
people in prisons have mental health
issues. We have not as a nation dealt
with mental health issues very well. As
a result, by default, the criminal justice
system, which is not equipped to deal
with this issue, gets it by default.
We use mediation, too. I think a lot
of the problems, particularly low-level
criminal matters, don’t belong in probation, don’t belong in jail. Fines are
not going to solve the problem. Maybe
mediation can. When I was a kid, I didn’t
go to court if I threw a rock through my
neighbor’s window. I got dragged into the
neighbor’s living room and we settled it
We just celebrated 20 years of teen
court. We have 300 or 400 kids a year
who go through teen court, where
they’re actually judged and sentenced by