Letters to the Editor

State oversight committee fails to confront mental illness

Failure to confront mental illness

Re “Figuring out how to better help mentally ill before they land in jail” (Forum, Dec. 25): Kudos to Victor G. Carrión, chairman of the misnamed Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission, much criticized by the state auditor, Little Hoover Commission and others, for long overdue efforts to help the severely mentally ill.

Too bad the commission has ignored Section7(f) of the Mental Health Services Act, which requires county plans to incorporate a form of assisted outpatient treatment for mentally ill offenders released from local jails. As Carrion acknowledges, the sickest individuals are often jailed, at huge expense, instead of receiving treatment.

It may take legislative initiative to force compliance with Section 7(f). Such legislation would pay off lavishly, and not only in law enforcement savings. The agonies of the severely mentally ill, incarcerated for lengthy periods for minor crimes, have too long been ignored by the commission and others. Their families suffer too. Helping them helps all of us.

Mary Ann Bernard, Sacramento

PC views won’t end homelessness

Re “Another life ends on the streets. Does anyone care?” (Erika D. Smith, Dec. 25): Erika D. Smith gave a name to one of the “unwashed and unstable addicts” in her column, while reiterating politically correct nostrums concerning the intractable problem of homelessness.

You can’t guilt-trip me when the city and county are spending upward of $35 million per year on this issue. The solution certainly isn’t defending the status quo – the entrenched advocacy infrastructure – which is responsible for administering all that funding without producing noticeable results.

An editorial on Dec. 24 told us about Wayne Woods – a Proposition 47 beneficiary – who is living on the streets now that he is out of prison where he had a cot, three squares and structure. There’s the answer: institutionalization. But that’s not cradle-to-grave hand-holding, which is the unspoken idea being promoted when words such as personal responsibility and self-reliance stay off the op-ed pages.

Martin Edward Kaelli, Sacramento

Mass jailing causes many problems

Re “Proposition 47: A failure to learn history’s lesson” (Editorials, Dec. 24): Your editorial about Proposition 47’s failure to fund prison alternatives is correct. But it omits that the U.S. incarcerates more prisoners than almost any other nation. If the U.S. incarceration rates were just average, four out of five of those currently imprisoned would be free.

Democracy’s saboteurs may write initiatives poorly, but incarceration is more expensive than diversion programs. If prisons incarcerate fewer inmates, the money saved could fund many programs.

Mark Dempsey, Orangevale

Support of Trump comes at a cost

Re “Wishing a Merry Christmas to lost friends, real and virtual” (Forum, Dec. 25): Ben Boychuk may want to consider another reason why people no longer want him in their real or virtual lives, other than that Democrats are sore losers or too immature to accept the 2016 presidential election results.

If you support Donald Trump, with all that he’s shown himself to be, and not be, don’t be shocked when people no longer want to spend time reading, listening or debating you and your justifications for him.

If Boychuk counts Trump as a friend, real or virtual, he shouldn’t be surprised by the departure of some people in his life who don’t want him in theirs.

Angela F. Luna, Sacramento

So glad that kale’s time has passed

Re “Drinks cost more – but at least the kale fad is fading” (Forum, Dec. 25): Finally – the truth about kale and those tiny cabbage wannabes, Brussels sprouts. Writer Elaine Corn is witty, knows her food, and is refreshingly truthful.

Melissa Nappan, Sacramento

NFL is not family entertainment

It is odd that the NFL has branded itself as a family product. With the crawl at the bottom of the screen announcing injuries, the league’s initials should stand for “No Footballers Left.” Family sport? Well, the Romans had a great family entertainment thing going, too.

Jerry Tuck, San Andreas

A thank you for a simple kindness

I want to acknowledge an act of kindness shown to me, my brother, cousin and family friend. My cousin lost her husband of 31 years last week. I lost my wife of 42 years three months ago.

We decided to go out for Christmas dinner, at Kobe Steak & Sushi Restaurant in Elk Grove.

A family of six next to us was very nice. After we all had eaten, the other family got up and paid for their meal and for ours. One of the ladies who paid for our meals came over and wished us a merry Christmas, which brought tears to my cousin’s and my eyes. We all thanked them for Christmas dinner. I don’t know their names, but bless them all for making our Christmas joyful this year.

Jimmy F. Maxwell, Lodi


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