To the Editor:

Carbon County has been slammed by the drug problem, and it's only getting worse.

The two most alarming problems are heroin and illegal traffic of prescription drugs. The fallout from this problem affects all of us: some of our neighbors, co-workers, school friends, and family members have been caught up in drug use and addiction.

This is not a problem that affects "them" - it affects all of us. Some families are ripped apart, neighborhoods endangered, crime rates rise, and the whole community suffers. In addition to this, it hurts us in our pocketbooks: more and more of our tax dollars are being spent on sending more and more people to our county jail – more than likely over and over again – which does not solve the problem.

At this point the county jail and the community have too little to offer in the way of programs and services that may help people combat their addiction and stop the cycle.

We, all of us, can help change this. Come to the Jim Thorpe National Night Out at Memorial Park in Jim Thorpe on Tuesday, August 6 from 6 to 10 p.m. (rain date August 7th).

Many groups like ours, legislators, neighborhood groups, and advocates will be there with information about how the high rearrest rate at our county jail hurts us and what alternative programs might be more effective in addressing this problem.

Check out what has been used in other counties – more successfully and at a lower cost – including, and especially, drug courts where non-violent offenders are kept under close supervision by the court while they complete treatment programs and are held accountable for their obligations to jobs, families, and their community.

We can make a difference. Get informed and get involved. It helps all of us.

Janet Hermann

Carbon CountyCorrectional Facility Research Committee

Jim Thorpe