What is the real cost of crime in America?
The departments of the federal government directly and indirectly crossover each other. Problems for the Justice Department often start with the Department of Education’s poor performance. As we know, there isn’t necessarily a government answer to every problem. As hard as it might sound, Americans who are fed-up with violent crime often think that some of the criminals never should have been born in the first place.
Not to start an abortion debate, we should good farther back. How can we address the huge cost of the criminal justice system by encouraging (if not forcing) people to be more deliberate about when and with whom they have kids? Of course, young people later realize that they should have wait to a better position and situation in life before starting a family—the difference between 18 and 26 years old would be wonderful. It hurts to think about young boys who might be heading for the jail because no one properly prepared them for life. We spend more funds keeping guys in the State Pen than keeping them in Penn State; what a waste of human and financial resources.
If you do a crime, you should do the time but most of that drama and the effects on victims could have been avoided. The HBO series Treme hit me hard recently with the violent and senseless attacks on the character bar owner LaDonna and later street music Harley Watt. This young thug shot Harley during a street robbery for calling him “son” and the gang assault on LaDonna was painful to watch. While that is a T.V. show, crime happens every hour of every day and I am pissed.
The U.S. Justice Department, in my opinion, should invest more in reaching those heading down the wrong path. Some presidential candidate or the current president should be tough enough to say that we need to discourage people from having children until they are fully prepared to raise a law-abiding citizen. It cost more to put a thug in prison for a year than many people make in salary in a year. I shouldn’t get started on the young parents who leave the responsibility of parenthood to their parents. The economy is rough and grandparents should be planning for retirement rather than spending on grandkids while the baby-makers slide.
Albany Herald columnist Carlton Fletcher wrote a strong one about this subject this week.