Appalachia's approach to drugs at odds with AG policy

May 13, 2017 - 2:09 am

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The tough-on-crime policy announced Friday by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions runs counter to the recent emphasis in Appalachian states on treatment and less prison time for low-level drug offenders.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul opposes the directive. He says the drug epidemic should be treated as a health crisis, not a "lock 'em up and throw away the key" problem.

Sessions says a spike in violence in some big cities and the nation's opioid epidemic show the need for a return to tougher tactics.

Former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey, who was top federal prosecutor for the eastern half of Kentucky, says he doesn't foresee a "sea change" in how federal drug cases will be handled. But he is concerned that an approach emphasizing prevention and treatment is being abandoned by the Trump administration's Justice Department.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()