Saturday, October 20, 2007

It's Time to Re-visit the Top 10 List

Before getting to the top 10, I'm going to talk about the top 15,000....

In order to "stop the madness", people are going to have to get mad. I have proposed that we pass a law that deals with the repeat offenders in such a way that they cease and desist their activities, or move to another state. I think if a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor 10 times, the next time they are arrested on any charge, their case should be escalated to a class E felony. You see, the problem is that we have over 15,000 people in Shelby County who have been arrested 10 times or more. Dealing with this group first, then looking at those who are continually moving through the "criminal justice system" (talk about a misnomer) has to be the strategy.

I heard a prosecutor explaining the other day that the law doesn't make allowances for how many times a person commits a crime. That's just insane.

If you are interested in doing something about all this mess, here is what it will take:

1. Contact your legislators. Mainly, contact the Shelby Delegation.
2. Contact the Governor's office.
3. Get citizens groups to start an email campaign to the above.
4. Attend the hearings if you can.
5. Support law enforcement.
6. Signup for CyberWatch so you can stay informed.
7. Bookmark this blog!

FYI Top (or bottom)
THE ARREST TOTALS ARE CUMULATIVE - COUNTING ALL ARRESTS THE PERSON HAS EVER HAD AS AN ADULT IN SHELBY COUNTY
Ten list:

8 comments:

Wintermute said...

If in TN, that prosecutor is mostly right about misdemeanors but wrong about felonies, although a criminal ought to go to Range II after a single prior felony.

John Harvey said...

The more I think about this, the more I think we need a punishment matrix. This way, the criminals can see what the cost of their continued criminal endeavor will be.

Another thought is to give the criminals the option (on certain offenses to leave the state and never return). I think we could pretty much cure our prostitution problem if, after the 3rd conviction, the prostitute is allowed to leave the state and never return. If they return, they could do (n) years for it. Another conviction in TN could result in another (n) year penalty. I like it. This should only be applicable to misdemeanors and maybe a few of the minor felonies though.

Maybe some of our lawyer friends could come up with a boiler plate for the punishment matrix?

Zippy the giver said...

Diversion is a complete joke to thugs.
We definitely need to treat "gang members" like domestic terrorists, even the wannabe's soon to be's.

John Harvey said...

Wouldn't you know it. Ben Cunningham (Nashville Blogger) posted a link to this blog regarding the crime plan and a state representative from middle Tennessee said it sounds promising. I've got to talk to them tonight about it.

Hopefully, some of the Shelby delegation will get on board and take the ball and run.

John Harvey said...

Wouldn't you know it. Ben Cunningham (Nashville Blogger) posted a link to this blog regarding the crime plan and a state representative from middle Tennessee said it sounds promising. I've got to talk to them tonight about it.

Hopefully, some of the Shelby delegation will get on board and take the ball and run.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. 6 of the top 10 appear to be women. I would have to assume, based on the number of times they have been arrested, these people are not being sentenced to much jail time, or they would not have time to get out and commit that many crimes in a year.

My question is this: What are the crimes for which these people are being arrested? Are they theft charges, where people are stealing food from grocery stores to eat? Are they driving charges, for people who are driving on a suspended or revoked license?

Maybe we should pay attention to the types of crimes these serial offenders seem to be committing and figure out a way to help them. When it costs, for example, $7000.00 for a person to pay fines/costs/reinstatement fees to get their drivers license back, and they have to have a job to live and eat, and memphis has horrible public transportation, it is reasonable to expect people will drive with no license.

Maybe we should have a blanket law that Driving on a Suspended License can be charged on a $50 fine/$50 court cost and $50 reinstatement fee and if someone does not then get their license and insurance within 30 days of the first court date, they go to jail for 10 days.

I can't stand a thief but I have more sympathy for a person stealing spam from kroger than one robbing a gas station at gun point, for example.

Society could help itself and these people by determining why people are getting arrested SO MUCH and finding a solution to these problems.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not "soft on crime," but there are some crimes for which the solution is to be found within the legislature and/or judicial system or the community.

John Harvey said...

Thank you for your comments. You said, "My question is this: What are the crimes for which these people are being arrested? Are they theft charges, where people are stealing food from grocery stores to eat? Are they driving charges, for people who are driving on a suspended or revoked license?"

There is no reason to steal, not even for food, given the charitable resources that exist today. The "homeless" downtown know where the Salvation Army and Union Mission are located. They use them. They also know where the many churches are located that give assistance, beyond just food. My church, Bellevue Baptist, gives over 1 million dollars a year to inner city ministries and part of that includes feeding the homeless.

So, my point is that a person steals because they are a thief, they aren't a thief because they steal. The notion to commit the crime precedes the act.

But you also said, "Maybe we should have a blanket law that Driving on a Suspended License can be charged on a $50 fine/$50 court cost and $50 reinstatement fee and if someone does not then get their license and insurance within 30 days of the first court date, they go to jail for 10 days." Now, we're getting somewhere. You are thinking about modifying the criminal's behavior. But, the difference in your proposal and mine is that I'm talking about a sliding scale of punishment. You are talking about the punishment for one crime. I'm talking about assigning a value or a point designation to the punishment, that accrues. This would have a psychological effect on people who are arrested and ultimately convicted.

We simply have to stop doing the same old thing, because that is what has taken us to this point. It's not about being punitive, it's about getting people to stop committing crimes in our community. If criminals see the cost is too high here in Shelby county, they will go elsewhere or change their behavior.

The details of this plan need to be worked out, but we have at least started a dialogue. You might say, "the future lies ahead!"

Anonymous said...

I have a question more than a comment, I have been searching the internet for a way to find my mugshot from my arrest a couple years ago; i figured i went to jail and spent time in there i should be able to have access to it; so I guess my question is how do i find it? If you could help me find it i would appreciate it.

Thank you