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This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Teeny Story But a Big Problem

A few weeks back I gave a ride to someone who is currently in jail but is permitted to leave during the day on work release.  He had caught the Transit Bus to Ridge Market and was walking down the road to his place of work.

As we drove along, he told me how he was serving a one year sentence for having gotten his 4th DWI.  "Slow learner" he joked.

I dropped him off at his work place and told him I would swing by later to give him a ride back up to the bus stop for his return to jail.  On my way to Buzzy's Country Store I thought about how many folks there are in jail for crap like that.  When I should have been doing a beer order at the Store, I spent some time reading prison-related stories and found that approximately half of all the many people we have in jail are in for drug-related offenses:

ACLU.com
Sentencingproject.com

Back to my work-release friend, it makes me ask "Just what purpose is being served by having thrown him in jail for a year?"  I know, drunk drivers kill tens of thousands of people a year etc. and he's got to learn.  However as he himself said, this boy is a slow learner.  He is also a good example of how what we have been doing very obviously is not working.  (OBTW the technology to eliminate drunks from driving is already around.  It just needs to be mandated on every vehicle (click here.) 

As an aside here and related to the just-passed 9/11 remembrances, think what the result would have been had we expended as much time, effort and money on eliminating drunk driving deaths, estimated to be 10,000 in the US each year, as we spent trying to vindicate the deaths of 3,000 9/11 victims by invading the Mid-East and stirring up that hornets nest.  Apples-oranges comparison you may say, but my point is - drunk drivers are still killing people and how we are trying to combat it is just not working.  

Later in the afternoon I picked my friend up and drove him back to the bus stop.  It was one of those 90+ hot days and he noted how he dreaded going back to the County jail with no A/C.   "Another reason to stay out of there," I suggested.  "You got that right," he agreed. 

Maybe he has learned his lesson; but I doubt it. 

Every prisoners' lament:

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