Drugs & Our (In)Justice System

This article is a re-print from Bill Holmes' excellent blog on just about everything.  If you get a chance, check it out at https://billyjim47.blogspot.com/

This article is about a recent interview done on our podcast Two Old Guys Drinking Beer!  The Interview was with Sydney Friedrichs, a Mentoring Coordinator with the Pathfinders organization. Enjoy the read.

I had a very enjoyable, informative, and uplifting afternoon today. Although in some ways it was frustrating because of what I heard. My podcast partner, Dennis Sherrard, and I recorded an episode today with an inspiring young woman. Her name is Sydney Friedrichs and she works for Pathfinders of Tarrant County. One of their programs is pre and post release counseling and assistance to those incarcerated for drug offenses. Sydney works with the female offenders, she has a co-worker who deals with the male offenders. 

The program is very successful. Compared to recidivism statistics for those not aided by Pathfinders, those in other states, jurisdictions or nationally, these folks rank at or near the top. Unfortunately, they can only reach a small number of those incarcerated primarily for drugs. You can hear more about the specifics of the program in Sydney's own words on the podcast. 

This post is about the stuff you didn't necessarily hear on the podcast. Dennis and I had a chance to talk with Sydney before the recording session and afterward over lunch. She has a diverse background and history, not always ideal. She is smart, articulate and most importantly, dedicated to helping others. 

For an old guy like me, this is very encouraging. We too often have only negative impressions of the younger generations. While I personally don't share those generalized views, it is nice to meet someone from those generations who truly is giving back.

I'm a Baby Boomer, one of the older ones, and overall I'm not happy with what my generation has done. We started out OK in the 1960's. We did change some social structures and norms. Unfortunately, many of us abandoned those ideals for financial security and conformity. But that's the subject for another post. 

Let's face it, drugs are a huge problem for our country. I think it is made much worse by the way we treat those who have addictions, especially how the criminal (in)justice system treats them. But again I stray from my main point.

As an old fart, I was truly inspired today. I know Sydney and her cohorts are making a valiant effort in spite of the overwhelming odds against them. We need more of these efforts which of course means more funding and acceptance by the penal and judicial systems. And of course by the public and our politicians.

Most of the young people I come in contact with are just fine. Sydney happens to be one of the outstanding ones. Give them a chance, they can't do much worse than the Boomers did.

Please, listen to the podcast. You will hear firsthand from someone on the front lines. As a society, we must do better. Please also check out the Pathfinders website to donate or help in other ways.

As always, the Two Old Guys Drinking Beer podcast is on iTunes and Google Play as well as our podcast archive website. This episode's direct link is http://2ogdb.libsyn.com/episode-13-the-interview-sydney-friedrichs?tdest_id=515247