Steinberg takes right approach for prison reform

Published: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Re "Sentence-reform panel faces long odds" (Page A1, Dec. 23): Kudos to Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for his wise efforts to work for solutions to chronic prison overcrowding. If we want to get tough on crime, what about getting tough on solutions and rehabilitation? Rehabilitation teaches accountability and is productive. I work as a mentor at a Wellness and Recovery Center, and I am also a California State University, Sacramento, graduate student in social work. Through my work, I experience people's lives being turned around. Evidence-based programming, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy, gives people who would otherwise be institutionalized the tools for a productive life. Current punitive practices are largely based on vengeance, and they help no one, nor do they keep us safer. There are many models in this country and elsewhere that are cost-effective and yet also involve restorative justice.

-- Gail Erlandson, Sacramento

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