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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Kern County’s ‘lock ’em up’ plan on homelessness is abhorrent

Bakersfield homelessness
Bakersfield police officers interact with a group of homeless people.
(Alex Horvath / Bakersfield Californian)

To the editor: As a former Kern County public defender, I am distressed to read that the current sheriff and district attorney propose addressing homelessness through increased incarceration.

The sheriff calls this a “conservative” approach in the “last large conservative county” in California, and the district attorney pointed to an open Bible on her desk. Conservatism, of course, represents a legitimate political and life philosophy. However, a prosecutor should never point to the Bible (or the Quran or the Torah) for guidance on punishing people.

Certainly, our Constitution is deeply flawed with its acceptance of slavery and lack of women’s equality. Nonetheless, whatever one thinks of the poor and homeless and the risk of addiction in those communities, those attitudes should not determine how we punish or help these people.

Konrad Moore, San Diego

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To the editor: Bakersfield has figured out what progressives, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, ignore for political reasons.

Being homeless has never been a valid defense for people accused of committing a crime, especially for drug offenses, burglary or assault. We are all tired of the lawlessness and giving criminals a pass.

Mark Algorri, Pasadena

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To the editor: The whole idea of helping homeless people is not just to get them off the street, but also seeing that they get treatment and guidance, whether they are mentally, physically or monetarily challenged.

The approach by Kern County may finally help homeless people get back on their feet with some semblance of health and well-being.

Gerald Staack, Santa Clarita


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