Despite 'racism,' US remains desirable

This is responding to a recent guest commentary by Melissa Healy. So,opioid addiction is another racist plot against minorities? Katy Perry's shoes. A photo from 35 years ago of someone in blackface has nearly upended the state of Virginia's government (never mind that the Governor has never had any complaints or indications of discriminatory behavior).

Wanting the border more secure is racist. Schools are racist because some kids are failing. Prisons are racist because apparently, one group of citizens is so racist that they make another group do crime with their behavior. Which leads to a prison sentence. Making people pay for their medical care is racist. The media is fanning this to an extreme degree and I wonder, where will it end?

If you look around, you'll see that the U.S. is one of the most desirable countries in the world as far as opportunities for success go for anyone that wants to put out the effort, racism or not. At least nobody here is getting thrown off buildings or beheaded for their sexuality or race.

Boris Roberts

Santa Maria

Homeless cleanup carefully executed

My thanks to Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh and the Lompoc Police Department, the Lompoc Fire Department, the City Council, Pastor Brian Halterman of Micah Mission and every organization and individual who participated in the cleanup of the Santa Ynez Riverbed in Lompoc.

The effort seems to have been well thought out and carefully executed. The homeless folks who were relocated were treated with respect and offered various forms of assistance.

The removal of trash was timely now that the rain has returned and there is water in the river.

Thank you Lompoc leaders.

Enola Curtis


Time to transform California justice system

In reference to the article by Don Thompson that appeared in the Lompoc Record headlined, “Audit: California inmate behavior programs didn't cut crime.”

While we appreciate the State Auditor's efforts to investigate how the CDCR is spending the public's money, we believe that several important points were missed in the report.

First, it's crucial to point out that this study focused on CDCR’s state-run Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) programs, not the many community-based programs and nonprofits that run holistic, transformative, healing work in prisons statewide.

Second, the amount dedicated to rehabilitation amounts to less than 3 percent of the total budget. That's $300 million out of $12 billion dollars.

Third while the CDCR's reliance on CBT programs has not produced intended outcomes, community-based organizations (CBO) are allocated only four one-hundredths of a percent of that $12 billion-dollar pie. Had the auditors looked at the tremendous successes of our programs' participants -- mostly lifers who have a 99 percent success rate -- we are confident the findings would have been quite different.

At the Transformative In-Prison Workgroup, a statewide coalition of 35 community-based organizations that provide in-prison programs, we believe the time is right to work with the CDCR, the legislature and newly-elected Governor Newsom for an effective allocation of resources. It's time to transform California’s justice system and truly support opportunity by providing more successful CBO programming in prisons that benefits the people who live there and supports their transition home.

Kenneth E. Hartman

Transformative In-Prison Workgroup

San Rafael

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