galgani22, 8/ 3/2013 - 5:07pm "Oklahoma is one of the poorest states in the US but charges expensive fines and doles out more severe punishments than other states for the most common of crimes, drugs. Rather than provide treatment, they punish even first time offenders to a degree comparable to violent crimes. This legal machine makes a ton of money for the state off tickets, fines, and legal cases. I would be interested to know how much Oklahoma financially benefits from punishing crime, especially drug offenses, compared to other states. Also, how does Oklahoma compare to other states in court-ordered treatment (free or low-cost) for first offenses compared to the threats of serious prison time. Prison time for first offenders is a serious threat but turns into a "suspended sentence", which does nothing to help the person stop using drugs. Instead, the person is charged thousands of dollars in fines plus the court gets an additional payment of $50 a month for 2-3 years to "monitor" for the next time the person gets caught. This system sets up people to fail with no offer of help until a person has already ruined their future with multiple felonies! The war on drugs is a huge failure for everyone except the enormous legal system that financially benefits from it! The people who need help are victimized by a legal system designed to encourage failure."
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