Letter: Some legislators perpetuate cycle of crime

Regarding your recent story, “Strange bedfellows push incarceration limits”:

So state Sen. Bob Kostelka, R-Monroe, is “not concerned by Louisiana’s high incarceration rate.” He remains dead set against House Bill 14, which would reduce sentences for second and third convictions of marijuana possession, which even “hard on crime” Gov. Bobby Jindal supports and would save the state about $4 million a year. He says, “If you do the crime, you do the time,” and “We’re not putting innocent people in jail. We’re not incarcerating people unless they’ve been convicted and are guilty.”

Interestingly, he also states, “Crime comes from poverty and kids without parents” and those problems need to be solved first. So, let me see if I understand this correctly.

If you grow up poor and without (I assume he probably means a male) parent, you are more likely to commit a crime and get put in jail, preventing you from being home to parent your children and giving you a criminal record that makes it harder to get a decent job.

This will make it more likely your children will commit a crime. Seems the senator wants to make sure the people caught in this vicious circle are severely punished for not making the smarter choice to be born to more affluent parents who live together.

I wonder what steps he proposes to prevent kids from growing up poor and without parents at home, since his approach seems to perpetuate the cycle.

The nation, except for hold-outs such as Sen. Kostelka, appears to be finally coming to its senses and realizing that making possession of a small amount of marijuana a major crime is just as stupid as the anti-alcohol laws of the past.

I’ll wager that, had he lived back then, he would have been one of the multitudes of people who, during Prohibition, broke the law and bought, possessed and consumed alcohol. I guess his forefathers did not get caught and thrown in jail back then. Had his family been caught in the vicious circle, he might be in jail today instead of in the Senate.

Rick Wilke

retired consultant