It is time to restore a reasonable sense of balance in this country. I understand that a lot of individuals are frustrated, many with good reason. But I also know that vengeful actions will offer only momentary satisfaction.

Naci H. Mocan studied the economics of vengeance and he found that our affluence, education, age, gender and culture affect how punitive we are. We are better than three strikes, zero tolerance and “lock ’em up and throw away the key.”

Some so-called fiscal conservatives will bust a budget pandering for votes from an ill-informed electorate. The future is dampened in the name of “law and order,” which in reality is selective punishment and warehousing the addicted and mentally ill.

Prisons do not have the training or manpower to care for the mentally ill, so they sedate them with powerful psychotropics.

Although drug programs exist in many custodial settings, they are erratic and ineffective. They lull us into a sense of security when they actually are harmful: If they didn’t exist as they are, then an effective solution could be implemented. Corrections in South Carolina must redefine itself more in line with its original mission.

John C. Godfrey

Kracke Street