Speak Out: Criminal justice reform

Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said Monday she has outlined reforms aimed at providing a more “fair and equal” criminal justice system for the state.

• This is part of Delaware’s ongoing effort to decriminalize criminal behavior, endanger our communities and empty the institutions. Nowhere in here will you see any reference to criminals being punished for criminal behavior because the criminals are now officially viewed as victims of society and not the other way around. I’m all for a renovation of the criminal justice system, but this isn’t it. This goes overboard and endangers the very communities these politicians are sworn to protect. But keep voting ultra-liberals into office-the life you endanger may well be your own. — B.K. Smith

• Here are some of these new common sense policies for Delaware:

Not to seek prison time or the revocation of driving privileges for those who don’t have enough money to pay civil fines. And will work against the issuance of arrest warrants or revocation of a person’s drivers license when they are without means and fail to pay a fine.

Low quantity marijuana charges are to be only issued civil fines for mere possession, and seeks to lower barriers for criminals with drug problems and mental illnesses to get meaningful rehabilitation. It instructs prosecutors to divert “low-level” offenders in these categories away from probation and jail and toward treatment programs.

Request those charged with misdemeanors be released without having to pay bail unless they are charged with crimes involving violence.

To allow some who were doing life sentences for drug crimes a 2nd chance.

Probation recommendations should also be limited to one year, unless the crime involved is a violent felony and prosecutors are to avoid prison sentences for technical parole violations like a missed curfew. As well, prosecutors are not to recommend zero-tolerance probation conditions for drug and alcohol addiction. — Jim Kelley

•How much more lenient can we be on criminals? When you have dope dealers hitting the streets again the same day they’re arrested and people who have four, five and six DUIs, I think our focus needs to shift to actually punishing people for their behavior instead of catch and release. What’s the point of police arresting people for breaking laws if our DOJ makes it so easy for them to get out and repeatedly offend?— Jackie Veal Cates

•Well you’re viewing two different sides of a three-sided coin actually. Not all people get a fair sentencing. Not all DUI charges are actually brought lawfully. And when somebody is incarcerated in a lot of situations they’re being treated unfairly. That doesn’t mean that all of the incarcerated people have good character or well-intentioned. It also needs to be mentioned that we can’t forget about the institutionalization of incarcerated people. Without rehabilitation there’s a high chance that they’re going to be convicted again. — Tyler Mock

• Show me where the criminal justice reform touched you and the stopping of marijuana prosecution has gone too far. Nowhere in the article did it say rapists, murderers and robbers were going to avoid jail, you know, crimes that have real victims and not just imaginary ones. — Justin Neal Capps

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