The best way to reduce crime is to keep criminals in jail

Published 3:22 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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To the Editor:
I agree with Rafael Mangual, deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute, who said, when it comes to debates about criminal justice policy, crime victims not criminals should come first. Yet Nancy Pelosi wanted criminals to be released early because of the coronavirus. According to Nancy Pelosi twisted Bible scripture and wrongly said the Bible says let prisoners out of prison. The major media is for letting prisoners out early.
Van Jones host for CNN wants a 50 percent reduction of inmates. The mayor of New York City released more than 1,400 city inmates over concerns the coronavirus would ravage prisons and further the spread of the infectious disease. The mayor was shocked to find out over 50 of the released inmates had already reoffended and landed back in jail. California released inmates early over concern about them getting coronavirus and seven released were found to be high-risk sex offenders, the most dangerous kind of criminal. Studies show that 77 percent of all released prisoners are rearrested again within five years. There is no proof locked up prisoners have a higher chance of getting coronavirus and that it increases danger to them. However, there is proof that releasing prisoners increases danger to the public.
Rafael Mangual said many people wrongly believe most people locked up in prison are only there for using drugs. Mangual said half of federal prisoners are incarcerated on drug charges. However federal inmates make up only about 12 percent of the American prison population. Almost 88 percent of inmates are in state facilities and few of them — less than 15 percent are there for drug-related charges. Four times as many are in prison for serious violent crimes: murder 14 percent, rape or sexual assault 13 percent, robbery 13 percent, aggravated or simple assault 11 percent and burglary 9 percent. Drug offenders who do go to prison don’t serve much time — almost half are released within a year. Violent criminals make up the majority (85 percent) of state prison population and shouldn’t be released early.
Because of the coronavirus there have been no jury trials. However most cases don’t go to jury anyway. Most prisoners have committed much more crime than what they go to prison for. Most prosecutions never go to court. Instead a deal is made between the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor to avoid going to trial. These negotiations involve the offender agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence or dropping or downgrading the most serious charges. Because of this a prisoner’s conviction record usually understates the crime that landed him behind bars. For example, an armed burglar who when arrested was also found to be in possession of illegal drugs might go to prison not for his most serious crime — the armed burglary, but for a plea-bargained charge of trespass and drug possession. But the media don’t tell us about this important detail. We only hear about the poor fellow who’s serving time, “for selling a small amount of drugs.”
Mangual said most people are in prison for a good reason and if politicians cut the prison rolls and let them out the cost would be high and would likely be paid by the most vulnerable. Criminals look for the most vulnerable to victimize. It won’t be politicians and media celebrities living in gated rich communities who will pay the price. It will be law-abiding citizens in underserved neighborhoods struggling to get ahead who will pay. Because ignorant politicians like those in New York and California could release prisoners without warning it is in the interest of every family to be armed with a gun. The best thing you can do for prisoners or anyone else is pray for them and introduce them to Jesus. A great prison ministry is Kairos Prison Ministry. See Only Jesus can change them and can give them the freedom they need most by forgiving their sin and releasing them from spiritual and emotional bondage of their pasts!

D.D. Nave

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