The greatest public threat

Bear, Bobby

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The Greatest Public Threat! Prisons are built for a reason; not only to punish individuals for their crime(s), but to isolate them from the public so they can do no more harm. Most states have Parole Boards which are supposed to determine which offenders pose the "least" risk of reoffending and/or creating more victims of crime. In Missouri the Parole Board (MO Boards of Probation & Parole) has quite effectively reversed that very objective and as a result has certainly endangered the public-which has a right to know. After over a decade of first hand interviews and inspecting cooperating inmate's paperwork, I can accurately tell inmates exactly what kind of answer they can expect after a parole hearing. I first became suspicious during my second year of incarceration when I saw a meth addict/cook get an immediate out date after serving only 18 months on a 10 year sentence. The real shocker is that this was his 4th time down! The typical rule at the time was that you serve at least 40% your first time down, 50% on your 2nd, 75% on your 3rd time down, and 85% on your 4th. But Missouri's Parole Board makes their own rules and refuses to open their files to any outside inquiries. We'll call this meth cook Dan; his 1st conviction was for possession and he served 2 years on a 5. His 2nd conviction was for possession and sales, he served 3 years on a 10 year sentence. His 3rd was for distribution and violation of parole. He still got out within 5 years! The 4th conviction was for possession, distribution, and production of meth and he got just 10 years for it. Why did they kick him out after only 18 months? Because they knew he would be back! Let's look at another case. We'll call this guy Mike. Mike committed murder during an armed robbery and was sentenced to 40 years in 1967. He was paroled after serving 17 years, and in the next 3 years (1984-1987) he was busy doing the only thing he had ever done. He committed 37 burglaries and over 50 armed robberies. During the last robbery he and his partner got in a shootout with 2 employees. Hi partner and the 2 employees did not survive. Mike was convicted on multiple counts of burglary and robbery, plus 2 counts of murder. He was sentenced to 2 life sentences plus 240 years!!! It's pretty clear the judge's intent was that he never got out-right? The Missouri Parole Board saw things differently though and paroled Mike in 2012 after serving 25 years. How many victims do you believe Mike created in just the 3 years he was out on parole in the 80's? How many more do you think he'll create? Doesn't the Parole Board deserve to take responsibility for creating some of those victims? Let's look at a different case. We'll call him Randy. Randy worked construction, was never in any trouble and had 2 kids of his own. One day on a construction site he stepped out behind the house and took a leak. Little did he know he was seen by 2 kids and their grandma! Of course it was grandma that was the most offended. Long story short; Randy was sentenced to 5 years for Sexual Misconduct Involving a Child by Indecent Exposure! Only in America folks! Randy was required to take the sex offender treatment program and will have to register as a sex offender when he gets out. Randy went up for parole after serving 4 years of his 5 year sentence. Why did they deny Randy parole? Because they knew he wouldn't be back! Randy was a first time offender that should have never been in prison and the board knew that. So instead of the board protecting the public by carefully choosing inmates that pose the least risk of creating more victims Missouri Board of Probation & Parole does the exact opposite-they only parole repeat offenders, those that are most likely to reoffend and create more victims! After living in prison for more than a decade now I can tell you that you get to know the guys in here very well, often times better than you'd like to. You see them every day, you know what foods they like or don't, their walk (even though you never learned their name), and whether their 'word' is good or not. We know who actually belongs in here and are a threat to the public, and we also know who doesn't deserve to be in here and should be the ones chosen for parole. But we also know how the board works; they only parole the bad guys! I'm talking about guys that commit what I'll refer to as "lifestyle" crimes. By that I mean criminal activities that have become as common as breathing for these thugs, it's all they've ever done for money, the only thing they really know how to do, and all they aspire to for their future. Examples for these types of crimes would be the following: robbery, burglary, drug dealing and/or manufacturing. This type of criminal will always resort to doing what they've always done and will do fabulously in front of the board. So next time your house gets robbed or your business, hopefully they guys will get busted. And odds are that they should have still been in prison, and you can thank the parole board for creating another victim. Why do you think the Missouri Board of Probation & Parole endangers the public like this? The answer is actually pretty complex because their decisions affect a lot of paychecks! High recidivism rates support the argument that all offenders are incorrigible and that we need more prisons. It also provides job security for themselves and their parole officers. And finally, repeat offenders help keep the prisons full, keeping the corrections industry booming along with all the supportive vendors. It all boils down to cash. There are other states that have done away with parole boards. They follow a strict percentage related to type of crime and how many times the offender has been to prison. Citizens of Missouri need to rein in the parole board, or better yet dissolve it and get rid of their greatest threat.

Author: Bear, Bobby

Author Location: Missouri

Date: February 7, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 4 pages

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