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Not our problem? Drug crime is a county concern


From what we have read thus far, the special drug courts initiated in Nashua and elsewhere in New Hampshire have seen some success in redirecting low-level drug-related criminals into a program that is better for them and less of a drain on taxpayer resources in the regular criminal justice system.

So it is a bit of a mystery that the Hillsborough County delegation's executive committee would deny Mayor Ted Gatsas' request for first-year funding for such a court in Manchester - a mystery, that is, in saying that this is a city problem, not a county problem. We beg to differ.

Drug addicts commit petty crimes in Manchester because, to paraphrase Willie Sutton, that's where the goods are. But drug addicts don't stop their crimes at the city line. Nor do they necessarily reside within the city limits.

Nashua's drug court was initially funded with federal grant money.

Others have been founded by counties. Where and how the program will continue to be funded is a good question and we can see why Hillsborough area representatives wouldn't want to be the sole source of funding a Manchester drug court.

But to turn it down flat, and based on the "it's not our problem," mantra, would be a shame as well as being penny wise and pound foolish. The delegation should take a second look at this. If it doesn't work as promised, then end it. But is is worth a chance.


Eric Church
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