Laclede County, Missouri deputies arrested a man with a lengthy criminal history for first-degree burglary recently. In fact, the man’s criminal history dates back over thirty years to 1990. The victim, who interrupted the burglary and called 911, was not hurt. But when authorities located him hours later, they saw him with a chainsaw near another house. While no one was hurt during the arrest, authorities remain frustrated at the system for letting people who do not change out on parole.
“[He] has a minimum of 19 felony convictions, dating back to 1990, including several burglaries,” said Sheriff Millsap, the sheriff in charge. “He has been to prison nine times. Why he is out of prison on parole defies logic. The powers to be on the Parole Board can argue all day he is non-violent, but when he was arrested this time, he was in an attached garage to a house, apparently high on drugs, and the people were at home. It doesn’t get more dangerous than that. This is not a guy who screwed up once and did his time and wants to better himself. This is a career criminal.”
Sheriff Milsap continued, “This idea that we’re going to parole people that have made it a habit going to the penitentiary and getting out early and then coming back committing the same crime is just ludicrous.”
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The courts and legislatures around our country need to balance the importance of reintegration after incarceration with the safety of their communities. Like most issues, it is a complex topic, but the stakes are too high not to work together for a better solution.