I fully support law enforcement, the thin blue line between us and anarchy, believing it should focus on preventing all criminal behavior in our community. Programs addressing the causes of criminal behavior, if effective, should be coordinated with, rather than made the responsibility of law enforcement. In short,
---Do NOT defund the police or replace them with popular social programs
---Do NOT allow “minor crimes” to go unpunished or undeterred and thus unrestricted
---Do NOT use the law to persecute some disfavored group, nor allow some favored group to break the law without consequence
That doesn’t mean enforcement can’t be done without compassion, especially for those unable to understand their actions (the mentally ill), those victims of adverse circumstances (the homeless), those who can’t break out of a limited mental mindset (the addicted), and those of limited experience who can learn from their mistakes. However, they as well as the rest of us benefit just as much if not more from equal enforcement of the rule of law.
Criminal Justice System Improvement Project (CJSI)
The Benton County Jail has many problems. A primary problem is it is chronically overcrowded and relies too much on the use of “citation and release,” resulting in many “failures to appear” in court. The Benton County CJSI project is meant to correct this and other pressing issues, but at a substantial cost - $152 to $213 million in capital costs and $8 to $11 million annually thereafter, as a bond measure which would have to be approved by voters. Three scenarios are proposed, (1) a “best practices” model, (2) a focus on investing in social services, and (3) a focus on accountability and in-custody treatment. My focus would be on scenario (3), accountability and in-custody treatment. I believe it appropriate to add in some services and following best practices, so long as the long-term goal is minimizing criminal behavior and the cost is reasonable.
My thoughts supporting this summary