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Letters, April 26

Goal of prison is not to punish

As I go about my day, I hear things. No one seems happy about setting aside $60 million for a new jail.

Will it make the public feel better? Will people feel safer? It’s not likely.

What if, instead of putting more energy into corrections, it were put into bringing people off the straight and narrow and back into society in a way that helps them contribute? A brief survey of existing programs in other parts of the country show some very promising options.

Programs exist that inspire inmates and anyone who hears about them. The “prison cowboys,” for example. In Nevada and Colorado, these programs train inmates to gentle wild mustangs. The BLM pays $3 per day, per inmate, for each horse “broken” under their care. Ironically, they learn that breaking a horse is not about breaking their spirit. It’s about making a wild creature amenable to social interaction, reliable and productive. Isn’t this precisely the point of incarceration?

The mistake is to think the goal of prison is to punish. The main goal of prison should not be to punish, it should be to rehabilitate. Otherwise, it’s like spending all your money without saving any.

Gabrielle Pullen

Jacksonville

Listening is key

The Medford School Board position is a tough job.

I spent 12 years on the board. During that time I learned a lot about what makes an effective and/or ineffective School Board member.

When first elected, you may have strong agenda items you want to accomplish, but what you learn quickly, or should learn quickly, is you can’t do anything as a single board member. You may have some good ideas, but unless you’re willing to learn about the complexity of the public school environment, listen to others, be an active participant, and effectively articulate your ideas, you won’t accomplish much.

I support incumbents Lilia Caballero and Karen Starchvick, who have great ideas and consistently demonstrate the above qualities. They will lead the district in a positive direction. I also support new candidate Mindy Folsom who is also a good communicator. She’ll bring a fresh perspective to the board.

Larry Nicholson, past board member

Medford

Retain Horner for position 6

Please vote for Jim Horner, position 6, Medford School Board.

The board’s immediate priorities — selecting the new superintendent and transitioning to the new leader — require maximum continuity so as not to lose momentum. As a current board member and former budget committee member, Jim is best able to fulfill these vital tasks.

In addition to these key “process” issues, Jim’s focus on securing much-needed space for our middle schoolers and setting reasonable and attainable goals (e.g., graduation, third-grade reading) are examples of his commitment to the district’s most urgent substantive needs. His decades in management of large organizations and his expertise in high technology are critical skills to keep on the board.

Because he is retired, he has no personal stake in where the district chooses to spend money (e.g., new buildings, new programs). A vote for Jim is a vote for momentum, stability, and achievable progress.

Priscilla Weaver

Jacksonville

Trump won with help

The Mueller report details the Russian interference. The Mueller report states that the Russians were helping Trump. The Mueller report details that the Trump campaign welcomed assistance from the Russians. Would Trump have won without Russian assistance?

George Fribance

Medford

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