Response to recent conservation

Atlanta Forward readers responded to last week’s columns about alleged sexual abuse in Georgia’s juvenile detention system. Here are some select comments from readers on our Atlanta Forward blog at www.ajc.com.

Sawb: As much as we hate to admit it, there are some very bad "kids" in our juvenile justice system. However, there are also many young people who simply made an error in judgment and have the potential to live productive, crime-free lives upon release. The problem is when we blend these groups together, the bad guys victimize and unduly influence the other kids. There are obviously no simply answers, but we must accept the inevitable truth that some kids cannot be rehabilitated. There should be separate facilities for first-time offenders and kids who show a willingness to improve. Regrettably, there also need to be facilities for people who show no potential for rehabilitation and are simply being "housed."

Straker: Daytime TV is filled with one law firm commercial after another. Why aren't all these lawyers suing suing the state of Georgia on behalf of all these rape victims?

MrLiberty: End the failed war on drugs. We have no business putting children in jail for what they do with their bodies. Either they own their bodies, or the government does. When the government does — when they are in prison — the government clearly doesn't protect them. Drugs are a real problem, but solutions lie with the medical community and the home environment, not a prison cell.

Deal with crime in a fashion that focuses on restitution rather than retribution. Victims of real crimes — as opposed to lawmaker-created crimes like drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc. — deserve to be paid back and made whole. The purpose of our current system is to make the state happy by punishing lawbreakers with little or no concern for the victim. Far too many people profit from our current system, from the police to private prisons, thus incentivizing the persecution/prosecution of citizens. Hundreds of books have been written on this subject and a serious transformation that could occur.

Eliminate the government monopoly on law enforcement. From the police to the courts to the prisons to the jury to the DA to the defense attorneys (public defenders), the state holds the monopoly. With every monopoly comes inherent failure, as is evident across the “justice” system. Private courts are also detailed in hundreds of books that focus on free-market alternatives to the police state we have allowed to grow up around us.