Opinion: Stopping Crime – Buz Williams

Crime is running rampant in our city streets. Murder, carjacking, robbery, gang smash and grabs, rapes, and random acts of violence are at the highest levels in decades. Even before the leftists allowed the Antifa/BLM riots in Democrat run cities in 2020, crime was on the rise. No bail required bail reform and non-prosecuting prosecutors are partly to blame. The reasons are many, but one of the main causes was the bipartisan acceptance of the woke theory that our criminal justice system was racist.

The so-called logic for this hypothesis was as imbecilic as it gets. The wokesters pointed to the fact that minorities were imprisoned at a much higher rate than their percentage of the population as a whole. This “inequity” proved to them, against all logic, that our criminal justice system is systemically racist. Forget the facts that minorities commit more crimes and that the victims of these crimes are almost always minorities themselves. Never mind that children, especially boys, who grow up without fathers are much more likely to become criminals, drug addicts and convicts, (another problem created by Democrats when Lyndon Johnson effectively took fathers out of poor homes by making welfare more profitable than a father’s income.)

This isn’t the first time crime has been a major problem for this country. When lenient criminal and appellate courts started reversing criminal convictions on specious Constitutional and procedural grounds, crime rose dramatically in the sixties, seventies and eighties. It continued to rise with the help of soft on crime judges and laws. Americans are a tolerant people. It takes time and continued abuse to get them riled, but once that occurs, they act decisively.

Then, as now, it became more and more difficult to recruit and retain good law enforcement officers. To rectify this shortage, some sagacious statesmen passed bills that encouraged students to seek careers in the criminal justice system. One such program was the Law Enforcement Educational Program, (LEEP). Students who signed up for this program had their books, fees and tuition paid for at college as a loan. This loan was forgiven at 25% a year. In other words, after graduation, if the graduate worked in law enforcement for 4 years, the loan was completely forgiven. The LEEP program and others like it effectively got rid of the cop shortage and enhanced recruitment.

The next problem we faced in ’70s and ’80s was putting and keeping criminals in jails and prisons. Many courts ruled that it was “cruel and unusual” punishment to keep prisoners in “overcrowded” facilities. The end result was that many prisoners and convicts were released early, and most of them went on to commit more crime. The public responded with bond issues, laws and initiatives to build more jails and prisons. There was no problem filling those criminal correction buildings.

Where applicable, soft on crime judges were impeached or voted out of office, as occurred in California when three liberal state Supreme Court Judges were voted out.

The Rand Corporation did a study back then that showed that something like over 70% of convicts were rearrested on felonies within four years of their release from prison. Recidivism was a major problem. One of the most effective tools to dampen recidivist crime were the “three strikes and your out” laws that were passed in many states. Most of those laws required a mandatory sentence of 25 to life imprisonment for conviction of a third felony, at least one of which was a violent crime.

The combined effect of the above responses to crime succeeded. Crime had taken an amazing dive until the crocodile tears of the woke people and their media co-conspirators convinced cowardly politicians to bend to the loud but small “social justice” crowd. Now the vast majority of Americans are seeing the high crime results of these asinine policies.

History has given us a template on how to stop this crime wave. Vote out or impeach weak, woke politicians, prosecutors who won’t prosecute, and where possible, soft on crime judges. Demand that our elected officials build more and bigger jails and prisons. Crooks in prison can’t rob, rape, steal or murder on the street. Require the government to keep violent recidivist thugs behind bars and away from the public they victimize. Encourage programs that will help recruit and retain qualified officers. That will probably require higher pay and better benefits after the last few years of anti-police media coverage, the defund the police movement and attacks, ambushes and killing of law enforcement officers, but it is worth the price.    

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7 thoughts on “Opinion: Stopping Crime – Buz Williams”

  1. Buz, if I were “in charge”, I would unwind our welfare system from housing and caring for teen girls who become pregnant and just run to the welfare office. My welfare office would listen and council the girl to invite her boyfriend and his parents to a conference to discuss options. Marriage would be recommended with small incentives but refusal would put the burden on the girls family alone. Once this circulated in the community; much precaution would be taken in the future and more men would be accepting their responsibility.

    1. I agree Tom, but I would add another dimension to your welfare office: no welfare recipient would receive and money at all. No EBT or debit cards, no phones. They could go to the welfare office once a week and pick up a box of food for the week. Clothing could be distributed periodically on an as needed basis.

  2. George Hotchkiss

    Mr. Williams, You wrote, “The Rand Corporation did a study back then that showed that something like over 70% of convicts were rearrested on felonies within four years of their release from prison”, my radar went off when you mentioned a study but did not specify which study, I searched the web and found three articles detailing Rand corporation studies re: recidivism and all three said the recidivism rate was 40% after four years. That is a huge difference, 43% different. If you are going to write a serious column at least provide serious data. Now, if you can source a different study that supports your facts, and provide the location, then you will have something better on which to base your article.

    1. I don’t remember the exact Rand study, but I was a booking sergeant at the Long Beach Police Department in 1985 and noticed that many of the arrestees being booked were on either probation or parole. Those suspects could be held without bail until they went to court. I wrote an article at the time and I obtained that information from a Rand Corp study. I will try and find it, to set your mind at ease, but I believe if you ask anyone in the criminal justice system that the recidivism rate is much higher than 40%. The studies you refer to probably refer to convicts who are convicted of new crimes, not rearrested.

    2. Mr. Hotchkiss, I did find a US Justice Department study in 1985, that was comparing imprisonment versus probation in California and I quote, “In the 2-year followup period, 72 percent of the prisoners were rearrested, as compared with 63 percent of the probationers.” Please notice that this was in just a 2 year follow up period. This took me about 5 minutes to find. Also note that the Corporate Author is listed as the Rand Corporation. I hope this will restore my credibility with you.
      Grant Number(s)
      83-IJ-CX-0002
      Sponsoring Agency
      National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Address810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States
      US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub Address810 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531, United States
      Corporate Author
      Rand Corporation Address1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138, United States

  3. George Hotchkiss

    Thank you for following up, it is incredibly important that the information we all use to look at our society is accurate and whenever possible, attributed to a source. Otherwise we have no chance of coming to reasonable conclusions. Have a great day!

    1. Mr. Hotchkiss, you are correct in asking for verification of information in any column and I thank you for pointing out that I neglected to do so. My only excuse is that sometimes in writing a weekly column, I rely on my memory rather than taking the time to verify if I remember things correctly.

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