A new story from Charlie Parker

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Joined by news director Jim foresight to explain to us just exactly what that means Charlie what a difference a couple of decades could make every member back in the nineteen nineties it was zero tolerance there was lot come up and throw away the key Texas could not build enough prisons fast enough to lock up all the people that we wanted to lock up fast forward twenty years and a lot of people are saying that that lock him up and throw away the key our procedure just doesn't work to fight crime in many cases it makes the situation worse county judge Nelson Wolff is moving toward what's called restorative justice getting away from the zero tolerance programs of the nineteen nineties and dealing with the root of the problem as opposed to just a warehousing the individuals in jail well says research has shown that these type of programs don't work to reduce crime they lied to over sentencing there frequently leading to a lot of racial disparities paid placing people in the jails and prisons who don't need to be there and above all it wastes taxpayer money that could be going to smarter law enforcement it's been estimated that that two thirds of the inmates in many urban that county jails and bear county have never been convicted of anything they've not been convicted of any crimes at all they're there because they can't make bail and we're taking a second look at that as well this involves the site in release program though we've talked a lot that has been very very well Herald which gives people a ticket as opposed to locking them up for minor offenses like possession of a joint of marijuana the county is moving away Ford toward arresting and jailing the homeless for example for property crimes there's a lot of moves that are under way and this mental health public defender program is yet another one to try to make sure that people aren't in jail because they have mental illnesses we don't put people in jail if they have physical illnesses we should not put them in jail if they are mental ill we should get them treatment and get them the help they need and this is part of a greater program that we're seeing largely all over the country just yesterday in Oklahoma we had more than five hundred people released from prison in Oklahoma who had been convicted on relatively minor charges some of them a serve twenty twenty five years in prison it was the largest mass release of inmates in U. S. history and the general feeling was these are people who did not need to be in prison it was wasting taxpayer money to put them in prison wasting otherwise perfectly good lives by having these people behind bars and the nineties are over and we're getting away from the zero tolerance program and we're definitely leading that charge in bear county all right Jim thank you very much news.

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