If the panacea for the virus is early treatment before it shuts down your lungs, the cure to the crime epidemic is incarcerating the bad guys before they strike again. However, it's hard to tell which policy our government is failing worse on at this point.
Once the pride of America's largest city, New York's subways are now one of the most dangerous places to be on earth. Whereas most violent crime occurs between rival gangs in bad neighborhoods, NYC subways have been the site of a rash of random attacks in recent months. And the attacks are becoming more dangerous.
On Sunday, a 59-year-old deaf woman was punched and shoved onto the tracks in broad daylight at a Manhattan subway. Not surprisingly, when the NYPD caught the suspect a day later, he had a massive rap sheet and spent little time behind bars. The suspect, Vladimir Pierre, is a 41-year-old alleged gang member with 27 prior arrests! Here's the thing: He was arrested just four days earlier for reportedly punching a mother of two in the face, again in broad daylight, while she was waiting for a shuttle at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
How was he free to attack another woman, you might be wondering? Well, thanks to the new "criminal justice reform" signed by the now former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, assault is too low-level a crime to warrant pretrial holding. Pierre walked free without posting any bail, despite the fact that he already had two charges pending in court. One of them stemmed from yet another subway attack, in which he is accused of randomly choking, punching, and biting a woman on a train, according to the New York Post.
Criminals like Pierre used to be behind bars but are now commonplace on New York's subways and pose a particular threat to women. However, nobody is allowed to carry a gun in New York City — unless of course you are a criminal caught in felony possession, in which case you will be set free without bail.
Just two weeks ago, another woman was shoved onto a subway track in Brooklyn by a career criminal. A similar incident occurred in Queens in June when a woman suffered a deep cut on her leg from the fall. Luckily, nobody has been hit by an oncoming train in any of these incidents ... yet.
However, the jailbreak policies are taking a much more tragic toll across New York and the country in other cases. Another career criminal was let out of prison after just one year of time served for an attempted robbery and was arrested earlier this week for raping a 70-year-old Bronx woman at gunpoint in her apartment building.
The point is that nearly every violent crime in this country is committed by a repeat violent offender who has not been properly deterred and punished. Just this week, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) released an updated 10-year report on recidivism in 24 states. The findings are horrific:
Among persons released from state prisons in 2008 across 24 states, 82% were arrested at least once during the 10 years following release. The annual arrest percentage declined over time, with 43% of prisoners arrested at least once in Year 1 of their release, [another] 29% arrested [by] Year 5, and 22% arrested [by] Year 10.
In other words, a little more than four in 10 incarcerated criminals are re-arrested within one year and 66% are re-arrested within three years. The numbers were even higher among criminals under age 24. What's particularly problematic is the fact that criminals are now released earlier than ever before, while an increasing share of them are paroled from day one.
This is especially true for gun and drug charges, which our system views as "low-level." The problem is that all of the violent gang members who are caught for drugs and guns go on to commit other violent crimes. The BJS report found that 75% percent of drug offenders released from prison in 2008 were arrested for a non-drug crime within 10 years. Those released after serving time for weapons charges recidivated at a higher level than any other group.
Cops in Chicago recently stumbled across a case that perfectly exemplifies the culture of leniency propelling this current wave of recidivist crime. CWB Chicago reports that last week Chicago cops stopped a car for a traffic violation and then inspected it after seeing marijuana in the car. They found three loaded guns in the center console, all illegally possessed. Here is the criminal history and this is what happened.
Prosecutors said the men are Marcus Taylor, 30, who was on bail for another pending felony gun case; Jerry Glover, 22, who has two prior felony narcotics convictions; and Isaiah Robinson, 23, who is on parole for a felony gun conviction.That, folks, is the story of Chicago and New York in a nutshell. And that will be the story of the rest of America unless Republicans begin rolling back the "criminal justice reforms" they bought into in recent years.
But prosecutors only charged the men with one count of misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon each. During a misdemeanor bond court hearing, Judge Susana Ortiz asked an assistant state's attorney if more serious charges were being considered. The prosecutor said no.