(This column, by yours truly, was published in today’s issue of Florida Today.)
Ex-Cons: Florida’s Forgotten Minority
In 1971, I arrested Richard Leichtman, age 31, for committing five rapes at gunpoint, one a week for five weeks, posing as a fund raiser knocking on doors. Three months prior, he was released from serving a prison term for robbery. His criminal record dated back to his juvenile days, spending 80 percent of his adult life behind bars. More later about Leichtman.
The criminal justice system is in need of reform…in a big way. We are dealing with costs over $200 billion tax dollars a year, which does not consider the economic losses that cost victims $14.3 billion in 2015. This omits the staggering costs in mental and physical trauma that victims suffer from 1.2 million violent crimes a year. (FBI) Then there is recidivism. A study by the National Institute of Justice reveals that three-fourths of inmates released from prisons are rearrested within three years. What are we doing wrong?
It is doubtful any such criminal justice reform will be enacted in the near or distant future for three reasons: 1) Public apathy, 2) money and 3) the enormous complexity. In …