An Enlightented Crime Policy: The Best Jail is an Empty One
With all the fear-mongering that politicians engage in during election years, backed by many in law enforcement, particularly those of the broken windows school who think the key lies in busting and getting petty offenders off the street, it's refreshing to report on a place where a different mindset prevails , resulting in both a low crime rate and a near empty jail.
The place: Aspen, Colorado. The Sheriff: Bob Braudis. Others going along with the program of not making it a policy to lock up low-level offenders: the judges, the prosecutors and the Jail Administrator.
On Thursday there were just three full-time inmates and five people on work release in a facility that can hold as many as 30....Jail administrator Don Bird, however, chalks up the low numbers to what he called an “enlightened system of justice” in the upper valley. From law enforcement on the street, to the district attorney, courts and the jail, there is communication and a common goal of rehabilitation, not just human warehousing and punishment, he said.
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