In today’s Blade there was an article about the press conference held yesterday by Mayoral candidate Jim Moody, where he made several suggestions, including the title of this post in Neighborhood’s help key to battle against crime, mayor hopeful says.
I agree that neighborhoods are key, especially when it comes to neighbors being more aware of what is happening in their own areas and taking steps where possible to reduce the possibility of crime. Simple steps such as lighting, especially when it comes to street lighting and creating or participating in your local block watch (if you can find out if you have one) do help. From the article it states:
•Calling upon judges to impose sentences on nonviolent criminals that require community service, in uniform, in the neighborhoods where they live or where they committed the crime.
•Having criminals in those work-release programs wear pink jumpsuits “as a scarlet letter.”
•Begin putting on patrol duty police officers “from behind desks, from the tow lot businesses, from construction project oversight, from nonemergency traffic incidents, from juvenile monitoring.”
•Arrange for Toledo police to give neighborhood residents access to the department’s Web site so they could record any suspected crime on a cell phone and upload it to the police Web site.
•Call upon the media, city government, and neighbors to use neighborhood names “in referencing both positive and negative incidents, names like Old Orchard, Hampton Park, the Birmingham District.”
There are a variety of sentences that reference the term “Community Control”:
Community Control Sanctions
While often called “probation,” community control sanctions cover a wide variety of residential, non-residential, and financial options that judges use in criminal sentencing, including traditional probation supervision and numerous other restrictions administered by the local court. Community control is used for felons when a prison term is not imposed. It is imposed on misdemeanants when a jail term is not warranted. Residential community control sanctions include community-based correctional facilities, halfway houses, and others. Non-residential options include community supervision, drug and alcohol treatment, house arrest, electronic monitoring, community service, and the like.
What’s not clear is who would oversee this program of pink jumpsuit offenders, currently the probation department has a list where they make assignments for those required to perform community service. This can range from working at a local food bank to a variety of other non-profit organizations who have programs where these hours can be served. Something would have to be created that would organize these assignments in the neighborhoods where the crimes were committed, as well as determine what tasks were required as well as issue the uniforms since most of those who are required to do community service are typically not in a residential program. Funding would have to be obtained for staff to run this program and it would have to be created before Judges could even consider it.
The idea of using the color pink to try to humiliate people is not a new one, from the Arizona Sheriff who makes inmates wear pink underwear to a South Carolina prison that punishes inmates caught having sex while in prison to wear pink jumpsuits for several months. Considering women are also offenders, it would appear that the humiliation factor is only being aimed at men, or women who hate pink.
I’m curious though as to why the Blade reporter didn’t ask any of the other Mayoral candidates for their response to these ideas, typically that’s what is done or as we’ve seen here, a flurry of releases from the others in response. It appears the only person quoted was Jon Stainbrook, and a no comment from Chief Navarre and no releases yet from any of the other candidates…
Having people have to perform community service in the neighborhoods where they committed a crime is not a bad idea, but it’s going to take more than just calling upon judges to sentence people and buying some pink jumpsuits, I’d be interested in the actual cost estimates as well as how this was going to be funded and ran…Public humiliation has it’s historical roots embed in our culture and there are those today who still believe it works as well as those who feel it has limited benefit if any at all; the never ending discussion of punishment versus rehabilitation.
I don’t think Toledo Police officers are doing construction project oversight, I don’t think they should stop monitoring juveniles, since curfew violations, gang tagging and a variety of other crimes are committed by juveniles. Many of the problems some neighborhoods face are directly related to problems with juveniles. I also don’t think police are reporting to non-injury traffic accidents on a regular basis. It does not appear there are a large number officers at desk positions, perhaps the tow lot could be a valid issue, but I don’t think there are a large number of officers assigned there.
The idea of uploading cell phone videos might not be helpful, considering the type of quality one typically gets and how close a person would have to be to the actual crime taking place to be able to have the video be useful and I’m not even sure of the legality of video taken by a cell phone being used far as criminal prosecution. It could also easily be done now if someone had a crime video taped on their cell phone it could be shared via email or downloaded to their computer and shared a variety of ways. Realistically this could be done by having the police develop an email or text message system for videos to be sent to as opposed to having to create a specific website for uploading. Though Moody might want to consider suggesting a different technology streaming video cell phone as the University of Maryland is using. That would of course take additional funding, but other candidates have suggested e-surveillance and there are cities that are doing it.