A Drug Court By Any Other Name is a Place Where Love Begins

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Unique probation court in Portland pushes offenders to pull it together via tough love, a harbor of hope

It’s an old saw that is worthless in an informed, compassionate, smart, humanistic, science-backed, social justice, systems thinking sort of world – “People are doing drugs cuz they wake up one morning and say, ‘Man, I want to screw up my life, take years off my physiology, wreck families, put my future in the hands of money changers, and virtually become a shell of myself, a zombie.’”

But that’s the prevailing wind in Trump-Fourth-Reich or Clinton-Three-Strikes-&-You’re-Out Land. For millions of people in some form or shape tied to criminal justice, the courts, treatment, incarceration, and the public in general, people doing crime and doing it to feed an addiction are “less than human, less than citizen, less than honorable” for the good deeds and hurdles they have overcome, even those fought and won through addiction.

This is serious stuff, the continuation of cuts to social services, cuts to education, evisceration of public spaces, the systems of exploitation in the renter-Capitalist class whereby people working two or three jobs at $12 an hour (now that’s up here, in the PNW, but away from Portland or Seattle, say, down Dixie South . . . we are talking $7.75 an hour) end up paying more than 50 percent of their wages for a roof over their heads.

Serious, depressing, mind-blowing, soul-sapping, addiction-causing, relapse-inducing,…

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