Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hand in The Cookie Jar. a response to Petty Theft on the Rise.

Street Life is full of complaints of the crime in the city, and their vocal opinion of what Metropol should do about it. Well, I'm here to say that Metropol is listening. It is my hope that addressing these concerns will ease the fears of the City. In article, I'd like to address a touchy point raised in the article "Petty Theft on the Rise." In the article, the author raised the question of tougher sentences for repeat offenders. This is a common for people to criticize Metropol, either being too soft or too hard, and often this criticism steams from little if any actual basis.

To shed some light on the situation, I've decided to interview a unreformed criminal to review the effects of Metropol's out-process procedures, which do allow for increasing severity. While no single interview can represent the entire problem this city faces, I've selected Sprixer Aeon as she lacks any formal gang affiliations and whose arrest record closely matches the scenario described in the "Petty Theft" article.

Pontifex Jenvieve: I'm conducting a review of Metropol corrective policy, application, and results. This interview will be used in part or whole for our internal affairs and possible press releases. Do you understand?
Sprixer Aeon: Yes sir.
PJ: Aww, Sprixer...theres two more cases on this docket. I thought you said you were going to be good?
SA: I did, and I assure you I was better....but things came up I'm sure you understand.
PJ: Sure sure.. So, you've been arrested a sum of eight times in six days for robbing cashiers. This doesn't include the counts of pick pocketing that others have reported. This would certainly meet the definition of habitual offender. Is this correct?
SA: Yes i would say so if i was looking at it from your angle.
PJ: And for the record, would you say how we first met?
SA: We met first when i stuck my hands in your pants for your wallet of course.
PJ: And I promptly arrested you. How would you say I treated you that first incident?
SA: You gave me a warning and a smack on the rear.
PJ: Truthfully please.
SA: It is the truth.

Officer's notes: I do not recall the event occurring exactly the same as Sprixer, but I submit this interview unedited for the sake of transparency.

PJ: How long would it be until I would see you arrested again for a crime?
SA: About 12 hours later...
PJ: And this time who was the arresting officer?"
SA: Mouse.
PJ: Was this the time that I asked for a lawyer for you?
SA: Yes it was.
PJ: Did any other officer attempt to obtain a lawyer for you?
SA Besides you no sir.
PJ: Do you have a lawyer on retainer now?
SA: No.
PJ: Is there any reason why?
SA: I believe they had other plans for me that distracted them from it.
PJ: The lawyers?
SA: No the other officers.
PJ: Is there any reason that you don't have a regular lawyer now to help protect your rights?
SA: I choose not to bother a lawyer with how much i make it down here.
PJ: Do you find that none of the lawyers will work pro-bono?
SA: Never actually looked into it.

Officer's notes: While it is not the job of Metropol to assign a lawyer for those arrested, I personally believe in the value that lawyers bring to the justice system and encourage their inclusion. However, it is the onus of lawyers to seek out clients or to at least advertise their services. I do support an arrangement that allows for lawyers to hand their business cards to Metropol for offenders without representation. I would also suggest to any enterprising lawyer that they indicate on their business card whether they would take on legal cases Pro bono.

PJ: So, back to the incident where I processed you. How would you describe the punishment. Not enough, ineffective, or brutal?
SA: I would say it was enough...
PJ: And your subsequent four more arrests. Did the punishment get stronger?
SA: Yes they did.
PJ: Did they ever reach the point of being brutal?
SA: Depends how do you define brutal.
PJ: Did you feel that any of the punishments reach the point of malciously unnessecary?
SA: No.
PJ: Would you say that the punishment has helped in deterring your criminal behavior?
SA: Nope.
PJ: Do you have any suggestions of what form of correction would help deter crime?
SA: I dunno, I wanna suggest longer detainment but then I'd just screw myself over in the end.
PJ: Well, I think that's all I have. I thank you for your time and honesty. Do you have any questions for me?
SA: I think ive kept the doctor waiting long enough.

Officer's notes: We see here an excellent profile of how Metropol's corrections policy is a measured response to criminal's insistence to commit crime. However no matter how stiff the punishment, it still does not deter criminal behavior in the apprehended. I suspect that a repeat criminal would continue their offenses, even if Metropol resorted to extreme brutality. This reaffirms my belief that corrections is not the simplified matter in which critics believe can be solved with a magic wand. There is no one form of criminal, and punishments are not "one size fits all."

For the habitual offender like the one interviewed, I believe her actions are a result of a disorder. Her need to rob cashiers parallels that of an addict needing to score another hit, it is possible that the thrill of the robbery induces a similar "high." Just as we cannot smack the drug addiction out of a person, it is my personal belief that certain criminals can only be rehabilitated with the help of psychiatry. As such, I support any collaboration between Metropol and Bedlam's doctors.

by Officer Pontifex Jenvieve, Metropol.

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