When a person is brought to our prison, the process of taking personal responsibility for their actions begins.
First, the accused / convicted offender has to spend time behind bars due to his violation of the law. And while they’re here, they can participate in programming to help them avoid making the same mistakes again in the future. Whether it’s mental health counseling, workforce education and training, or addiction treatment, we provide every inmate with the support they need to reduce recidivism, save money. taxpayer dollars and keeping our communities safe.
While the health and safety of inmates is our primary goal, our dedicated staff recognize their vital role as public servants who can positively impact the future of our community. Fortunately, there are proven programs in Kentucky County jails that can help inmates improve their lives and avoid going back to jail. If our MPs and staff come to work every day ready to prepare our inmates to become productive members of society, then I think we’ve done our job.
Sadly, one of the worst issues we see in our prison – as in society as a whole – is opioid addiction and drug addiction. When people become addicted, they risk losing their jobs, becoming homeless and all too often end up spending time in our prison. And while they have personal responsibility for every decision they make, they did not create this drug epidemic that has destroyed far too many lives in our Commonwealth.
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How did the opioid epidemic start in the first place? Why have so many of our fellow Kentucky people fallen prey to this disease of addiction?
For too long, the business leaders who fueled the spread of opioids in our communities have shied away from personal responsibility for their role. Even as officials began to sound the alarm bells for this crisis, well-paid consultants stepped up their efforts to push the pills and increase profits. A multi-billion dollar consulting firm called McKinsey & Company has even advised companies on how to “turbocharge” opioid sales.
When I hear that about 90% of all opioid pills in this country have been sold by McKinsey customers for almost a decade, I think of the thousands of drug addiction survivors who have passed through our prison. Their lives were forever changed by these distant executives who probably never gave us a moment of consideration in Kentucky.
Fortunately, champions across the country, including Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, have made great strides in making companies like McKinsey pay for what they have done. Now, desperately needed resources are arriving in our state to support prevention and treatment efforts.
This crisis cannot be easily resolved. But that should not prevent us from continuing to fight.
I encourage our elected officials in Washington to build on Cameron’s crucial work and investigate McKinsey’s role in the outbreak. Company executives may not be willing to take personal responsibility, but those in power can continue to hold this callous company and others like this accountable so that they can never cause trouble again. similar harm to families, children and communities in Kentucky.
If we expect personal responsibility from the victims of the opioid epidemic, should we not also expect it from those who have benefited?
Art Maglinger has been a Daviess County Jailer since August 2017. Prior to his appointment as County Corrections Officer, he spent 13 years with the Owensboro Police Department (OPD), including as a Detective in the Police Department. criminal investigations.