Letters to the Editor

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CRIME: Give credit where it’s due

Letter by Jim Tharpe, Seattle on May 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm with 8 Comments »
May 18, 2012 2:39 pm

Your editorial (TNT, 5-17) regarding the crime reduction in Pierce County missed an important point: Pierce County is no longer a dumping ground for felons.

In 2007, state Sens. Mike Carrell and Debbie Regala chaired a work group on prison reforms. I was part of that group of more than 50 participants from around the state. I worked with these two legislators to craft that legislation, so I know.

Senate Bill 6157 was the result of our work group and became law the next session. Part of that new law deals with the “county of origin” and requires felons released from prison to be sent back to the county where they were convicted of their first felony crime. The net result of this provision is that Pierce County has not been a dumping ground for felons for five years.

Another important result you failed to mention has to do with felons who were dumped into Pierce County in the past. If such a felon is convicted of a new crime and sent to prison, upon release from prison he will be required to go back to his county of origin, not Pierce County.

Give credit where it is due to Carrell and Regala for helping reverse the crime rates in Pierce County. Police will acknowledge that their legislation has been a significant part of the crime reduction in Pierce County.


Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Frankenchrist says:

    Legalize & tax marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and everything else. Pull out the financial rug from under the cartels and watch crime rates drop along with the deficit.

  2. billybushey says:

    Agree with marijuana. Might have to look at heroin and cocaine, but I understand the premise.

  3. If we do legalize non-addictive drugs which I am all for,(I am against legalizing drugs that cause addiction and expensive treatment), then I will change my mind about mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients and participants in other government programs. They should be tested and benefits reduced and then eliminated if they keep testing positive.

    If a person is working, then I will leave it up to the private employer to test. Some will and some won’t, but that is their business. But if society is supporting a person, they should not use tax money to purchase drugs, especially if it is readily available and legal to purchase.

  4. Frankenchrist says:

    Marijuana is practically legal already in some states. Start with pot and gradually decriminalize the rest of the natural plant-based drugs. I don’t include pharmaceuticals in this proposal, however.

    Tuddo, welfare barely exists due to the heroic efforts of Bill Clinton so your attempt to obfuscate the issue failed. If you’re looking for some outrage take a look at the $780 billion annual Pentagon budget or the $3 trillion George W. Bush wasted on his failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those should infuriate a fiscal hawk such as you, right?

  5. Frankenchrist, I am not sure you have read my previious posts about needed government spending and federal programs for the poor. My concerns are not as a “fiscal hawk”, although I do feel government should get 100% of what it pays for.

    At present, drug testing for welfare recipients is not necessary. Illegal drug usage is controlled by the police, and most families on welfare know they could lose their lifeline, medical benefits, etc. if they are caught in an illegal act. If drugs are legal, then that monitoring system is gone.

    Many people on welfare are depressed from being out of work and stressed from making ends meet. Self medication is common.

    Welfare recipients who cannot work generally have medical conditions that are required to be proved by physicians. So, a routine blood test is not much of a big deal for them.

    For those on welfare due to low income only and need to support a family, applying for work is required in order to continue benefits. Part of applying for a job is to be clean and sober. The state is, in fact, the quasi “employer” of the recipient. A lot of money is spent in these programs to teach welfare recipients how to get a job, how to dress, how to interview, organization skills, etc.

    That investment and the chance to get a job goes down the drain when a person is using drugs, legal or not.

  6. rivitman says:

    You dope legalization people kill me.

    Make everything legal and crime will drop to zero. Your value systems are broken and your logic is dedicated to supporting evil.

    You know how to deal with the cartels? You destroy them. Unfortunately Mexico, in spite of billions in assistance, and millions of outsource American jobs is more corrupt, impoverished, and incapable than ever.

    Securing the border would be a good start. Arming law abiding Mexican citizens would be another.

    Unleashing narcotics on American society? What a tragically dumb idea.

  7. ‘dumb idea’ – tell that to Olie North.

  8. Frankenchrist says:

    *Make everything legal and crime will drop to zero.*

    I’ve never heard anyone make that claim.

    *You know how to deal with the cartels? You destroy them.*

    Wow, you’re a regular Eliot Ness + George Patton. Please share with the rest of us your campaign plan to “destroy” international drug cartels.

    *Securing the border would be a good start.*

    Right. Drugs could never get across a secure border.

    *Arming law abiding Mexican citizens would be another.*

    Mexican citizens already keep and bear arms. Maybe you’re suggesting they stockpile recoilless rifles, mortars, and MANPADS.

    *Unleashing narcotics on American society?*

    Sure, because narcotics haven’t already been unleashed. You can only purchase them on every street in America.

    @tuddo: Thanks for the reasonable explanation.

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