Letter: Be logical, not vengeful

To the Editor:

The release from prison of a 37-year-old mother of two guilty of DUI homicides of five and injury to others in 2007 in Oswego was recently reported.

Public intoxication is illegal. How many such drunkards, drugged or otherwise incapacitated, are arrested? The result is that some such may decide to drive a car – and to what extent are they aware of the possible consequences? So we tolerate misdemeanors at the cost of drunken driving risks which, if resulting in an accident, require years of incarceration?

The tragic deaths and injuries will be avenged by years of prison for the one responsible? Prison should be to obtain a reformed member of society. Mandatory addiction treatment and monitored work release and required restitution? Instead, 12 years of prison, no restitution and a cost to all of us, including victim families, of maybe $50,000 a year in jail costs. Could these harsh punishments explain so many hit-and-run accidents leaving injured to die?

We in Kendall County need to support budgets for more aggressive policing of public intoxication and stopping cars for random checks. More drugs are available and being legalized. Make mandatory addiction treatment for those found incapacitated. As illustrated by “restraining” Chicago police from arresting march “protesters” refusing to disperse, failure to practice “broken windows” policing causes tragedy.

How many DUI offenders who are reformed citizens are uselessly incarcerated for years depending on the number of dead/injured victims, instead of for recidivism risk? Should the number of dollars embezzled by the Dixon comptroller have relevance if she is reformed? Let’s be logical, not vengeful.

Alphonse I. Johnson