Best way to reduce crime is keep criminals in prison

Published 2:11 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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To the Editor:
Crime is increasing in America and most of the media isn’t covering it. Murders are up 24 percent and car thefts are up 104 percent. Crime has become so bad in Washington D.C. that the U.S. Congress is distributing tips to avoid being carjacked in our capital.
Rogue gangs of teens brutally beat a gas station clerk in lawless Seattle, Wash. A Chicago area sheriff admits car thefts and violent crime is very high. A California councilman gets robbed while speaking about rising crime. Other countries are warning their citizens not to travel to Washington D.C. and other major U.S. cities because of increasing crime. Americans should also check the crime rate before going to places they have never been.
Nike permanently shut a Portland store because of crime. Walmart closed four stores in Chicago and all stores in Portland, Ore., because of stealing and crime. A lot of places don’t report their high crime because it would cause a loss of visitors and money. Parts of Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Chattanooga, aren’t safe from rape and other crimes. Sean Williams of Johnson City was just arrested for aggravated child rape. In June, nine women, most claiming to be victims of Williams, filed a lawsuit against the city of Johnson City alleging police officers were aware Williams was drugging and raping women and did nothing about it. Some are saying Williams is accused of drugging and rapes of over 50 women in Johnson City. One evil person can do a lot of evil if not locked up!
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, many in the media and politicians want criminals to be released early. Several years ago 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 that the majority of the released inmates were re-arrested. Studies show that 77 percent of all released prisoners are re-arrested again within five years. So the best way to lower crime is keep criminals in prison and not give them early release. 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, 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 populations and shouldn’t be released early.
Most cases don’t go to jury. 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 is 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 or they could escape, it is in the interest of every family to be armed with a gun. Also, because dangerous illegal immigrants could be relocated into your city 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. The Bible says there will be justice. Either you pay for your sins forever in hell or Jesus pays for your sins and you go to heaven. Either way, there will be justice. 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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