Sound Off Delaware: Criminal justice reform

Readers reacted to a commentary by Rep. Sean Lynn headlined “New year, new session, new vision for reform.”

• Hold the government accountable for all violations of law, including mishandling of evidence and especially misconduct of the police and prosecution. Open them up civilly. They work for ALL PEOPLE, now that an ERA is to be truly imposed. — Rick Grimes

• Not sure the author has a real handle on the issues. For example, expungement only applies to a person who has been arrested, and never convicted. An arrest record can be expunged if an arrest does not result in a conviction, and the defendant has no prior conviction of any type whatsoever. It is a simple process, that does not require an attorney, but merely being fingerprinted at SBI and requesting the expungement. I have no idea what the author means by making the expungement process easier. Once a person is convicted, the process requires obtaining a Governor’s pardon. As to bail, the fact is that in order to have secured bail ordered, a person either has a history of failure to appear in court, a long record, or is determined to be a risk to the community if free pending trial. The idea that there are poor people being held in prison in lieu of bail for minor charges is simply a myth. Finally, it is easy to state that there are criminals in prison who are no longer a danger to society and should be released. In reality, the overwhelming majority of criminals in prison are there for extremely serious felonies, or a history of multiple convictions and failure to obey the rules of probation. Good luck accurately identifying someone in prison who would be a safe bet to release on the streets. Very disappointing that the author obviously has no real grasp of the issues addressed in this op-ed. — Chuck Connors

• Delaware’s rate of incarceration is double that of much larger New Jersey, the politicians passed laws that packed the prisons and cost us a ton of money. Common sense reform is badly needed. — Rob Roth

Increased mental health supports in schools, prisons and outpatient communities. — Jody Steele Williams

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