I guess we now know why some people advocate so vociferously for abolishing incarceration in America.
Alex Friedmann, 50, a longtime advocate of reducing criminal penalties, was arrested on Saturday for attempted burglary of the Nashville Downtown Detention Center. He was also charged with evidence tampering and possessing burglary tools.
Friedmann, the managing editor of the anti-incarceration Prison Legal News, was caught on surveillance camera at the detention center entering while posing as a construction worker and spray-painting around the key control room door, according to the Davidson County sheriff’s office.
Fox17 reports that when sheriff’s deputies apprehended Friedmann, he was holding “an Igloo cooler containing bolt cutters, a key chit, and a DDC schematics document.” He also tried to destroy the document as evidence. According to the sheriff’s office, surveillance camera footage shows that he had entered the facility disguised as a construction worker three other times in the last week of December.
Well, I guess that is one way to pursue criminal justice “reform.”
Friedmann served six years in Tennessee prison for attempted murder, armed robbery, and attempted aggravated robbery. That’s certainly not a lot of time for such serious offenses, but ever since his release, he has been a vocal critic of incarceration. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad, but Friedmann’s recent actions demonstrate the problem with so many violent offenders – that they never rid themselves of the criminal mentality. If anything, Friedmann himself is a living example of the need for longer sentences and stronger deterrent, even as he advocates for jailbreak.
One might think Friedmann is some radical left-wing voice that would only resonate in places like San Francisco and New York, but Governor Bill Lee in Tennessee is drinking out of his watercooler. He is using the same buzzwords as those who pushed the disastrous bill in New York – promoting more parole and “community supervision” for so-called low-level offenders. This is absurd because as it is, even high-level offenders often get off easy in Tennessee. Yet Lee’s “Criminal Justice Reform Task Force” is not designed to focus on the needs of victims but of criminals. Nothing in his plan focuses on ensuring that repeat violent offenders are locked up.