November 3, 2017
Despite Gross Disparities Between Opioid and Crack Treatment, No Funding for Restorative Justice“There’s racial disparities here. When there was a drug issue in the African American community we were prosecuted, we were put in jail, children were put in foster care, families were ripped apart. It was treated like a criminal justice issue. We had Rockefeller drug laws. Our jails were filled with men and women that look just like me and people from the 43rd Assembly District.But now, we have an opiate issue. It is affecting another demographic and now it is a health issue and now we have to put money into diverting individuals from prison into treatment.And so what is missing from this package is a restorative justice package for all those individuals that were jailed, and for all those families that were ripped apart and for the individuals who have criminal records because they had addiction issues just like the people who are now suffering. So with that I vote in the affirmative, but more needs to be done here.”Words of New York State Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson who spoke on the issue in 2016 as New York State was debating legislation to combat the opioid crisis. New York State’s 2017 budget invested nearly $200 million to combat the rising use of heroin and opioids. The plan did not include funding for restorative justice … Review the video of Assemblywoman Richardson’s remarks.