This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Special meth units in prisons make sense

Monday, January 30, 2006

Pantagraph Editorial

A concentrated drug-treatment and job-training program aimed at convicted methamphetamine addicts offers hope for breaking the cycle of drug addiction and crime.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich has the right idea. He wants to turn the Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center into a treatment facility for convicted methamphetamine addicts and add a meth unit at Sheridan Correctional Center.

Early results from Sheridan's 2-year-old Model Drug Prison & Re-entry program look good. Officials say the recidivism rate for inmates leaving Sheridan has been cut in half since the program began.

Focusing on methamphetamine addicts makes sense because that's the fastest growing problem.

Blagojevich noted that 961 meth-manufacturing labs were discovered and dismantled in 2004 compared to only a couple dozen in 1997. About 800 Illinois inmates are serving time for meth-related crimes, compared to a half dozen a decade ago.

Other drugs destroy the lives of their users, too. But meth carries additional dangers from the manufacturing process, which can harm innocent people as a result of chemical contamination, explosions and fires.

Recent changes in state law make it more difficult to obtain ingredients needed to manufacture the drug. Combining those changes with a concentrated effort to treat those in prison could strike a major blow against both supply and demand.

Special drug courts targeting lower-level offenders, such as the one under consideration in McLean County, are another element of this multi-prong attack that deserves support.

The prison program won't be cheap.

Cost estimates for the first year are about $6.68 million, with about 70 percent coming from the federal government. But by the second year, the state's costs would rise to $16.4 million. The ongoing cost to the state after that would be about $18.1 million annually.

But allowing methamphetamine addiction to expand and doing little to break the addiction-crime-prison cycle are costly, too.

If this approach is successful “ and sufficient money is available “ a similar model might be used to attack the high recidivism rates for other drug users and even sex offenders.

But it is best to target resources in one area with the most demand and potential for success. At this point, highly addictive, highly destructive methamphetamines deserve the state's utmost attention.


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