PO Box 19924
Baltimore, MD
21211

     

 

ISSUES

   Introduction

   Jobs

   Crime and Safety

   Taxes

   Health Care

   Education

Doug Barry

Historian, Political Philosopher, Veteran


CRIME AND SAFETY

The economic and employment problems in the State have a direct impact on crime. As our economy suffers, more and more of our population is being left behind. As people lose hope that the economic climate will benefit them, they become more dependent on negative pursuits. Theft of cell phones and other electronic devices has skyrocketed. People in neighborhoods in our district that were always regarded as safe, have been robbed at gunpoint in front of their houses.

We need to start by providing alternatives to criminal activity, both by creating more opportunities to advance economically, and by providing our youth with activities to occupy their time. Investments in recreation centers and after-school activities can pay off in lower costs for our legal system.

We need to re-prioritize our legal system, so that violent criminals and repeat offenders stay in prison longer, and nonviolent, first-time offenders pay greater monetary penalties and face stricter community service requirements. To do this, we should not decriminalize activities that we are trying to discourage, but we can create mandatory sentencing guidelines that give probation to these individuals, along with mandatory fines, community service or labor.


PRIORITIES

  • Provide opportunities for people to get ahead without resorting to criminal activity
  • Change law enforcement and judicial priorities to target violent and repeat offenders
  • Shift the financial burden of the legal system further away from taxpayers, and put more of the burden on criminals
  • Transition to more financial punishments for first-time, nonviolent offenders
  • Reform community service to enhance essential government services or generate revenue
  • Reform the prison system to run more efficiently, and to stop training inmates to be better criminals


Our prison system should also undergo major reforms. The climate that caused the Baltimore prison scandal should have never existed. Some of our younger offenders enter prison as criminal novices, and leave as well-trained, hardened criminals. Within budget parameters, our prisons should be gradually redesigned, so that our worse criminals never have physical contact with anyone, from the day they enter, to the day they leave. This would also go a long way to curb prison violence. In cases where prisoners are exerting a negative influence, such as generating more criminal activity inside or outside of prison, they should be isolated to a sufficient degree to prevent such activity. There must also be immediate reforms to ensure prison guards are getting sufficient background checks before they are hired.