Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jail Population Down

Interesting that the discouragement all Americans seem to be suffering has now extended to the criminal element.  In Milwaukee, Wisconsin's largest city, jail population is down by 16%.

Is this a trend away from criminal activity?  Are criminals getting smarter and thereby avoiding arrests?  Are the investigators getting lazy?  Or are the criminals simply finding good jobs and settling down?   Not bloody likely.

Perhaps the most interesting development in this story is Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke's reaction.  Obviously, when jail population decreases, so does his annual budget, so there is much to lose, in Clarke's eye, to this current trend.  He points the fingers at alternative sentencing programs and "soft on crime" judges.  Of course, this has everything to do with the lack of respect the Judiciary has for Sheriff Clarke, and vice versa.

America has the largest prison population in the world.  Incarceration in America practically guarantees a life of crime; there is no rehabilitation in our facilities, only a dehumanizing experience that robs  inmates of any sense of self-worth, and guarantees a future that is almost completely hopeless.  That is not rehabilitation, that is cruel and unusual punishment.  Americans in prison are repeat offenders, by and large.

I believe that some of the programs in place right now, for non-violent offenders at the local level, will keep offenders out of the penal system in the future.  Sheriff Clarke's dismay over these programs makes me question his personal agenda.  He smells an awful lot like Scott Walker, and his ego surely is as large.  Next time you vote in a local election for County Sheriff, please remember that although David A. Clarke runs as a democrat, his actions are generally republican, pedestrian, and punitive to anyone who disagrees with him. 

At any rate, I'm glad to see the current trend, no matter what the cause, and slightly dismayed by Clarke, who obviously wants to keep his budget money at top levels, without regard to favorable crime statistics.  So here's a message for all you felons out there:  you're not doing your part......not according to Sheriff Clarke.  I only hope this isn't the lull before the storm.  America is really ripe for a revolution.  Could this be the start?

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