Chicago: no jail space for gun criminals, but we need more gun laws
"Last December, minutes after he allegedly shot at a neighbor, Julian Gayles was caught by Chicago police. Gayles, 22, already had a record of gun crimes and parole violations, but had spent little time behind bars. Since 2009, he has been sentenced to seven years in jail, but has served just two.
Gayles was on parole when CBS News witnessed his arrest by police commander Leo Schmitz and is now in custody again, awaiting trial.
. . . . . .
But Cook Country Sheriff Tom Dart says he doesn't have the cells to hold more inmates.
"I mean, we are at capacity right now," Dart said. "The state prison system is beyond capacity. You talk to them right now, they haven't had a population like this in decades. And there's no place to put 'em.""
We see this sort of thing around Boston all the time, well, at least whenever they actually arrest somebody for one of the inner-city killings. It seems that the shooter is in his early 20's with at least a couple dozen arrests and a half dozen convictions including two or three felonies. Not only is he walking the streets, but he's often out on bail (including a couple I've seen who were released after having been arrested for failure to appear). Of course the problem is always attributed to New Hampshire's "lax" gun laws, never the catch and release system here.
Posted by: Ken M at February 15, 2013 10:39 PM
Back in the days before prisons existed, nearly everything was punishable by the death penalty. Actually, back before the supreme court reinterpreted the 8th amendment in the 1960s, that was still the case.
With prisons beyond capacity and no money to build and staff additional facilities... the two choices are to start letting criminals go (which will have a wonderful effect on crime stats once criminals catch on) or we will have to get around the 1960s death penalty decisions and start executing the worst criminals to make room in the prisons.
Posted by: Jim W at February 16, 2013 12:24 AM
There is at least one other option - many state prison systems are closing facilities due to lack of population. Historically at times like that they look to rent space to over-populated systems. Move the long-term prison inmates to free up room to take "short-timers" from the jails to free up space to lock up the newly arrested/convicted.
All this moaning and hand-wringing just tells me The Powers That Be don't want to do anything about the situatuion, and that tells me there is political capital to be made.
Posted by: skidmark at February 16, 2013 04:33 AM
Skidmark: I am will to bet that they count on them being released and then voting for them.
Posted by: Rich at February 16, 2013 06:01 AM
The logic of this issue is beyond the pale. If and when these gun control as crime control arguments are ever subjected to a modicum of scrutiny, they surely would not stand. That "low information" and "misinformation" thinking is driving the remewed calls for gun control is abundantly clear! What we need is widespread education.
Posted by: Carl from Chicago at February 16, 2013 07:55 AM