This is the June 22, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You

First, I want to thank Kane County Chief of the Specialty Courts Division, Melynda Benjamin, for coming on and being such a great co-host. She came up with some fascinating questions for our guest.

And that guest, of course, was none other than best-selling author Johann Hari who joined us all the way from London. If his book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs” doesn’t get folks to seriously reconsider that prohibition futility, than nothing will.

Hari2You can find his book right here and if you have an addict in your family, work in law enforcement, are part of the court system, or you simply want to understand why the war on drugs has failed so miserably, then please read it!

MelyndaThe Smiling Conservative will be back on Thursday when we’ll be talking about the Prevailing Wage Law, the fact that conservatives were wrong again – this time it was Illinois business startups, and why Republicans won’t be winning the White House in 2016 – and it has nothing to do with the actual candidates. Until then…

2 thoughts on “This is the June 22, 2015 edition of Left, Right and You

  1. A question for Melynda Benjamin, she states that in order to graduate from their drug court, the individual has to have a job and have paid off all their fines, etc. Do you help them find those jobs? Because in our community, the probation dept. simply says to the ones on probation with huge fines to pay, that it is not their job to help them find a job, they don’t care how they get the money. But many employers will NOT hire anyone on probation, which leaves the few jobs like working in restaurants, for minimum wage, open to these individuals. As a parent, this is such a frustration and catch 22!

  2. This is a great question. I know it can be difficult for someone with a felony conviction to find employment. Probation officers often have large case loads and may not always have the opportunity to directly help with employment. One of the benefits of being in the Kane County Drug Court is that our resources allow probation officers to have a smaller case loads and therefore give more one on one attention to the participants on probation. These officers routinely look for job opportunities and provide leads on places hiring. If a participant seems to be struggling to find a job we direct them to organizations for aid in skill building and resume writing.

    Unemployed individuals who have completed their treatment obligations are required to fill out a job log of 20 employment applications per week. We have found this to be very successful in placing the number of applications necessary to find work in our area. We also use local temporary agencies and have organizations that work with us on a temp to hire basis so employers learn our participants are hard workers and show up when expected.

    Finally, we have worked extensively with employers in the area to help them understand a participant in drug court is being monitored closely and drug tested regularly and therefore they know these individuals are sober and drug free when they report to work and this is a great added benefit for the employer. It may take extra perseverance to find a job when on probation, especially with a felony, but our participants have been very successful when using these resources.

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