My DA’s office covers a territory in western Massachusetts that includes a large public university, four private colleges, and a well-regarded community college. That’s a lot of college students, with a select number entering the criminal justice system for the first time. That is why I am a big fan of prevention and early intervention. While conventional wisdom has it that the college years are the best of a person’s life, we all know it’s way more complicated than that. For many people, college years are filled with confusion, experimentation, and sometimes, bad decisions – even a series of them – that are fueled by substance misuse. As long as no harm comes to other people in the course of those poor decisions, many of them can and should be learning experiences – not life-altering catastrophes wherein ramifications follow someone for decades. When you get down to brass tacks, it’s easier to prevent a crime than to prosecute one.