As a favorite author of mine has written, “a half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth.”
Accordingly, let’s discuss the criminal justice reform movement, which is a euphemism to empty our jails of suspects and convicts — aka decarceration.
As the theory goes, every criminal is a victim of circumstances, including their race and financial status. The primary results are that poor people end up with long jail and prison sentences because they don’t have money to post bail (which is why they want to eliminate bail entirely) and they can’t afford a competent attorney. Whereas there is some truth in these statements, the whole truth is the majority of so-called low-level crimes in our community are never investigated or prosecuted in the first place for a variety of reasons.
This has to do with the fact that the California criminal justice system has been eviscerated by a series of laws that emptied our prisons and forced our jails to severely limit the incarceration of suspects and convicts. The truth? Only felons go to either jail or prison.
What’s worse, a slew of crimes that were formerly considered felonies have been downgraded to misdemeanors, meaning a number of people that would have gone to jail previously, are now released upon booking, or never arrested at all as they are merely handed a citation.
A significant aspect of the reform movement is to refrain from incarcerating suspects who have not yet been convicted. Instead, we seek to serve them by way of “pretrial services.” This, despite the fact that 20% of the accused who were not held in custody while waiting for their day in court failed to appear for their court hearing, while another 10-13% reoffended. And get this: The probation department expected these people to fail via the assessment they use for this program.
What to do? Send these no-shows to jail without passing go? No! Our woke probation department believes custody time is “not appropriate” for these people. Instead, the probation department is instead intent on meeting their “unmet needs” such as counseling, childcare, employment and housing.
Where is the justice in that to the victims of crime? How is that making our community safer? Why not refer them to these services after they have served their time?
This failure to appear is the direct result of another failure to appear — at the polls! If you consider the number of adults who don’t bother to register to vote and combine that with the number of registered voters who fail to vote, that is ample explanation why our criminal justice system is failing, not to mention all the other problems facing society. Elections matter!
In this election cycle, Democrats are staying home in droves. Why? While they can’t yet stomach voting for Republicans, neither can they support their own party, which has crushed our economy (inflation), crashed our public education system (school closures and plummeting test scores), and crippled our criminal justice system (as mentioned herein).
Strike while the iron is hot, folks! Vote! For at the base of our liberty is common sense, aka self-evident truths, and the concept of a government of the people, for the people and by the people — all of which requires the people to exercise their sovereign right to vote.
Our government and our economy are reeling out of control because the critical and crucial, personally liberating and government-constraining concept of “consent of the governed,” is becoming extinct by reason of the failure to appear by the electorate.
Sans the concept of consent, all we have left is a form of maniacal tyranny void of common sense, law and order, and decency.
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.