Both Our Hero (New York Governor Pataki) and Our Hero II (NYC Mayor Guiliani) have reached into their limited political/philosophical grab bag and brought forth a new handful of non-sense in hope of garnering some credit for their creative governmental leadership.
This time they are banging the drum of eliminating parole as a solution to the crime problem. The last program they peddled was the death penalty, now taking credit on the basis of their foresightedness, for the reported reduction in crime. The only problem with their preening is that the crime rate has allegedly been reduced despite the fact that not a single person has been executed in New York under the new policy, the death penalty has no application whatever to 95% of crimes on the books, and the crime rate has fallen in substantial manner across the entire nation, even in precincts lucky enough not to have such publicity mongers at their helm.
Parole, of course, is that portion of a prison sentence that a convict is given freedom from a jail cell on the basis of good behavior or other positive factors. According to the mental gyrations of Our Heros, parole has only acted to provide violent criminals opportunities for further predations on the public. Elimination of parole, which is being hawked in every speech, at every super market opening, will accomplish – exactly what? What is it that Our Heros say will be the ultimate result? Is this a sound policy, which positive results, or is it merely the sound of rhetoric that truly signifies nothing?
First of all, there has been no definitive figures produced by Our Heros that show the percentage of paroled individuals who commit additional crimes upon release. If in fact a small percentage of parolees are repeat offenders, Our Heros, in their lack of capacity to hammer out a real reform, would have additional punishment visited on all parolees in a wild haymaker at accomplishing exactly what besides headlines?
Assuming there is some numerical support for Our Hero’s contention – rather than mere photo opportunities – about the crimes committed by released convicts – what is Our Hero’s contention. What shall be accomplished by this policy? Shall crime be eliminated? Shall the parolees, meanwhile, be given education or lobotomies, that will change them when they are none the less released a little while later than they would have been on parole.
Have you ever heard Our Heros’ full blown prognosis on this subject? Is there One? Is there an end to this non stop publicity without a purpose?
Well, think about it, and you can figure it out for yourself. Elimination of parole does not make the convicts disappear. If a man has a 10 year sentence, for example, rather than being released on parole after three years, or five years, he shall eventually, and inevitably, be released after eight and a half years. The convict shall not be administered to by an Execution Board in place of the Parole Board. The convict shall unquestionably return to society, his return shall only be delayed temporarily.
After the brief respite, during which some convicts may be delayed in their return to society, say it’s five years, for argument sake, the exact same number of convicts shall be returned to the street when their sentences expire.
In other words, the new think of Our Heros accomplishes absolutely nothing, except to stop the present EARLIER release of certain prisoners to a little later release of the same prisoners. Once, however, the time period between early release and mandatory release at the expiration of sentence expires, in other word, once we approach the mandatory release date, the same flow, in the same numbers, shall begin to flow, each year, unabated. The only thing that will be served by such a ‘policy’ that the respite of three or four years give each of Our Heros just the right amount of time to run for another office on the basis of their effete policies of circuitous thinking.
Why don’t Our Heros have their minions devise a solution, rather than press release? Come up with an idea that will rehabilitate, retrain, educate, give work to, help the released, rehabilitated earn a living? Did you know that it costs as much, per annum, to keep a prisoner in a jail cell as it does to send him to Harvard. And by the way, we don’t have to pay to build new class rooms at Harvard. Wouldn’t it be better to devise a program to educate, train, rehabilitate, humans, rather than espouse nonsensical policies on the hope that no one who knows the difference is really listening.
The end of parole is no more a solution to the release of prisoners than the death penalty was a solution to the elimination of rapists, muggers, and house burglars.
All that this new program reveals or solves is an answer top the question, do or do not Our Heros need glasses. Obviously, they can see where their political ambitions run. Can they see where real solutions are? Of course, no one can doubt that Our Heros do have ambition to achieve the greatest good for the great number; but must that number always and only be Number One, themselves. It can’t be that Our Heros are thinking of you when they are beating this drum of elimination of parole. If they say they are, let them tell you what they are thinking in connection with the release of the very same prisoners in four or five years, in exactly the same numbers, with the same flow, as now.
If we wanted band-aids for our problems rather than true and effective rehabilitative surgery, we should have elected one Johnson Governor, and the other Johnson, Mayor of New York City.