Susan Vellore Pelican Bay, Heroin, West Virginia discussed on The Axe Files with David Axelrod
It was never something that was kind of kept secret I knew it was so hard to not only see your brother who you look up to and still to this day. I love him so much. And you know. I'm so thankful that we had you know the relationship that we had and that we still have But going through that as as such a young kid and senior parents upset and then seeing him in and out of prison and going through all the sort of high school years of being angry with him and pissed at him. Why can't you just you know? Stop or you're hurting us. And then you know understanding more about addiction and you know particularly you know opioid addiction and heroin addiction. How difficult that is and You know how the disease just grabs you and then later in life understanding more so the criminal justice system and now it's like a treatment. Do you have the opportunity for treatment? I mean there was. There was bouts of treatment. Yeah in different in different areas or different stints that he had but it was more so on the context of you know do this and then you won't go to prison but as you know. That's that's not really You know the most effective way to keep people from using drugs is threatening them to go to prison or to send them to prison for long periods of time which I feel like you know. Once he was imprisoned he got caught up in in a lot of other things that that really shaped the rest of his life and a lot of ways. Yeah you've been outspoken. Lately this is obviously this debate has come to the fore we also have this tragedy right. Now of people who earn prisoner don't necessarily have to be imprisoned who are now more exposed to the covert nineteen virus. But you've been outspoken on this prison. Reform issue obviously informed by his experience. Had he been diverted to therapy and treatment rather than prison his life might have taken a different path. I believe it would have. Yeah I really do. I mean someone who's fifteen sixteen years old You know even into his his early twenties To to have his route instead of go through intense. You know therapy. And maybe that means a trade school but therapy along the way and counseling and help To be thrown into a federal prison system to be you know in Susan Vellore Pelican Bay or whatever it may be For really the problem at the root of it is drugs. It just makes no sense to me first of all. We're filling first of all you know. Our our streets are being filled to the Max with pills. I mean we were all. We're seeing it all now. Obviously with the opiate companies The prescription drugs and just how devastating that was and how much knowledge these drug companies had. That was addictive and be exactly what they were doing. They were pumping you know the the famous town and You Know West Virginia that had you know Thirty thousand pills per person or whatever so Thursday at all happening at the same time. And then you know you're putting someone into the federal prison system at such such a young age and when they get out. What kind of job are they supposed to get? You can't get a job if you have a felony. No one wants to hire you. You're you know sort of now. The gap between the life skills is increasing for you. And so now you know it's it's really difficult to easiest thing is to you know Go back into prison. And then that's the people that you know. You're you're really just kind of in this loop. That is really difficult to get out of prison. Packed full of people who really just have have drug have drug issues. They're they're not violent criminals and It's just yeah the I mean it's it's obviously a very complicated issue. We'd go on for hours about it but It's just so sad to see how many people have been caught up in it and I think a lot of people's perception of that you know drug addicts or bad people. You.