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Mon, Mar

As Donald Trump Says: What Do We Have To Lose?

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SOUTH OF THE 10-Perhaps Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump is more of a viable candidate than I thought. The persistent violence in the city of Chicago has forced this author to take a closer look at the laws that allow repeat offenders to re-enter society – many of whom offend again. 

Angelenos were sympathetic to Democrat pleas that jails are overcrowded and Prop 47 would provide much needed relief. In Chicago, instead of reducing certain crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor, lawmakers implemented an ankle bracelet monitoring system that has been flawed from inception. 

In 2013, nearly 33,000 inmates were released which equates to the total population of Northbrook, IL, according to an NBC-5 report. The station went further to report that a high concentration of released inmates migrate back into the South Side of Chicago. The Westside actually sees the largest number of released inmates in their zipcode. 

In 2014, Illinois State Rep. Lashawn Ford, who represents the Westside, vigorously defended the rights of ex-offenders. He pushed for having state applications remove the box asking if the applicant was convicted of a crime. At the same time, Rep. Ford was facing bank fraud charges. He ultimately had 17 felony counts dismissed and only faced a single misdemeanor count for a tax offense. He is still in office. 

2014 also revealed the flaws in Illinois’ monitoring program. 

Both police and probation departments were against lawmakers awarding a contract to Irvine, Calif. based Sentinel Offender Services, as opposed to having them monitor their own parolees.

The revelation that offenders were not watched on a full-time basis came to light when kidnapping and assault charges were filed against a 17-year-old, who was wearing a home monitoring bracelet at the time he allegedly assaulted a pregnant Chicago State University student. 

Apparently, Sentinel sends an email alerting the non-compliance, and with the two hour time difference, many wonder if Chicago authorities are being alerted in real time. Probation and Police personnel have publicly declared they don’t check their email when they are not on duty. 

Two years later, the problem still persists. 

NBA star Dwayne Wade’s cousin was killed by two men on parole, one of whom was wearing an ankle monitoring device. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on. Chicago lawmakers allow those who wear the bracelets to have “free time” from monitoring. It was during this “free time” that Nykea Aldridge was murdered while pushing her child in a stroller. 

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson expressed his frustration that city regulations allow criminals a certain amount of hours to be free from monitoring. 

“I’m frustrated. You should be frustrated. It’s time we change the way we treat habitual offenders in Chicago,” said Johnson. 

If Democrats are allowing repeat offenders back on the street, under the guise of prison overcrowding, only for them to continue to wreak havoc on innocent citizens, then what do we truly have to lose by voting for Donald Trump

(Melissa Hébert lives in Inglewood, CA, and blogs on community and political issues on 2urbangirls.com.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

 

 

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