WWL>Topics>>3/24 12pm Don Dubuc: reducing prison expenses.

3/24 12pm Don Dubuc: reducing prison expenses.

Mar 24, 2017|

If Louisiana needs to reduce prison expense, the state should: reduce the prison population by relaxing release policies or cut costs for prisoner benefits? We take a look at crime, the criminal justice system and victims' rights. Don's recent experience with the criminal justice system (his god son's murder), left him feeling, “disgusted & insulted." Don was joined by Irv Magri, President of Crime Fighters, Rev. Trey Roberts of White Dove Fellowship and Bonnie, a retired Probation and parole agent.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Good afternoon and thank you and welcome back into the final hour of the think tank. What a joy just to bring up to date if you just tuning in many you know the story. Tragic murder of my 28 year old nephew my god Chao about occurred in January right shortly after Christmas. The the individual has been charged in and is going to be facing trial and claiming innocence and I'm gonna be tracking this situation from it's inception I went on the Arum on the day before he was buried. If you wanna hear the recap of the whole story in that show it's available on our website at WW dot com as will be this show and all subsequent shields dealing with this. Would trying to make some sense of it and not the 'cause it's it's a Dubuque family issue which it is. But there are other people often that I Neville one have to get that telephone call and I got. In and go through watching it the rest of our family. All of these young friends in two years at a very sad funeral and then to look at that the individual who has been charged with this his record in and just questioned why how. Do these things happen. And we're gonna examine that down for president of crime fighters earned my Greece spent almost a fifty year over fifty years of fighting crime in this area he's weather is so white dove Christian fellowship church reverend Trey Roberts. And Bonnie who is a retired a probation and parole agent and Bonnie almost all of you because I've been wanting to get your perspective on this week look at a case like this. And this is not only one there are thousands of people like this stuff out there among this it would actually be scary if we knew. The records of these people that we pass it on a daily basis. One is the problem from your perspective as a former probation and parole officer obviously this individual. Was under probation. And people. Given the responsibility of keeping tabs on him how at the time at the time of the time. Do you feel like it was reported an additional action because you didn't have any authority to take action. Well the action that we take is if someone violates their parole. Or probation we go back to the judge and X most of the time under a lot of circumstances and judge just continues their probation. And I do wanna say I am not a spokesperson for the probation prone apartment that's that's one thing I need to make that clear. I'm a former agent probation parole agent. When a person is put on parole or released on put on probation or released on parole to have basic conditions I have to file. One album is not commit crimes again. And if they do and they violate their conditions are probation we take them back to the court back to the judge. And it's if the decision is up to the judge will we let will usually happen is they'll be hearing. And we will informed the judge as to what violations they commit it. The prosecutor asks us questions the defense attorney asks us questions. Then the offender hands. Is asked questions and answer for his side of the story. If the judge determines. That. She will go ahead and terminate their probation and put them back in Jay about it too. Complete their term. It's it's up to the judge it's not up to us. We have a caseload most agents in the Jefferson and Orleans area have caseloads of a 175. To 200. Case on their caseload. These are not nice people you deal everybody that we deal with are convicted felons. So your role from what can tell me is you give testimony much like a witness you are not allowed to be subjective and make recommendations. On what you think this is and it should happen on a canyon. We can make recommendations. If it's somebody that he is. Basically been doing what they're supposed to do and just kind ahead hiccup may be. Head some marijuana use marijuana. Something like that move to our you know it was a minor infraction. Then we can say. One judge you know this is what happened. I think he deserves to get another chance let's see what would goes on. The judge who take our recommendation in that case. Do Pryor's coming to play tennis and you bring that up when you look at these long strings and a seventeen year history out. Not prior can not prior convictions to release. Two to stipulate art to violate their probation. We don't look at that and all the only when we go back to does that make sense enough to look at that. Well it. Not not concerning the probation. When they go to court far far the original crime. I personally I think they shared look at that. But once or put on probation when we go back to the court all week and I'll week can tell the court all weekend bring up is. What they did to violate their probation. And yeah and if they did it wants. If they if something happened in and they violated their probation. On a particular. Element on a particular conviction. And we deal with it in court then. If they violate their probation a second time on that same. Item. We can't go back and say well this is this what we can tell the judge yes this is the second time he's done that but that really isn't that isn't. Take it in dollars in her forbid we use common sense in making decisions tonight judicial system earth earth may agree did you catch the workload Bonnie I hit a zone on 115 to 25 cases you can spend a whole lot of time getting an island and you and I want the people here in long list in this. We got a call from pat O'Brien's. A very nice black boards and that was doing a wonderful job at that he was very popular with the customers and a hard worker. He's driving home at. All 3 AM approximately 240 about that three via. And he reaches on develop as a believer out of jail and off theme but it could have been well okay I think it was out of field and off the he stopped his vehicle he's by himself going home. Gentlemen is obliged him. Six. Black thugs just call like Canadians started beating on his car which was a new call witchy. He prize. So they got out the cards that you all crazy beating mark caller. They shot and killed. Now we had to go down doctor glory would no wind down three times to pat O'Brien's. To give them grief counseling. Three of the six subjects involved in that head bracelets on their ankles. Element repeat that. The front page newspaper. Three of the six hit ankle bracelets. Can ask you what's the disposition on their cases now what happened since they played. 21 of the game played. Q what mono play at his second degree in one place of the demand and their sentences. You know you know I don't know I don't normally get in the played you can pretty well count the sentences probably will lenient reduced from what. The law wolf yes this was a hard working black gentleman. Who at six black thugs. Now some people say open prices on the would you have a good monitoring system they want to monitor it. What about this oil nursed at the years of age in Gert town. Two and a half to two years in two months ago. Up and she gets out there helping the people Jesus or Angie that the years of age. They kidnap or put in the back of man and we'll subject rape repeatedly for fourteen dollars. About the killing student knocked off the bicycle graduate student in the 12100 block of I'm Terry blog twelfth street. What these perpetrators rescind this. They had wreckage right they were released bust somebody for some reason the boy in the rape of Dugard now owners. Their records. And listen. I could use as chairman of the board and before that. Aboard on Parole Board. We talk about people in 20/20. 53030. Nervous Clinton as a problem a serious problem what we doing so far has failed its failed aside justice system or. Giving you copies of the overview of this task force and just to kind of bring it up to speed the folks. Of the justice reinvestment task force was created. And supported by governor Ed woods in some legislative leaders to come up with a comprehensive plan for safely reducing. Our State's highest in the nation imprisonment rate. Based on yearlong examination of sentencing in correction trends in research. This bipartisan task force came up to a consensus on strategic reforms that will get more public safety for each tax Payer dollars spent. If it's adopted in the law the root recommendations will reduce our State's prison population. By 13%. Over the next decade. Reduce the number of people supervised in the community by 16%. And save taxpayers 305 million dollars now with the exception of that savings of 305 million dollars. The other stuff is pretty scared me. Put 13% of our prisoners back on the street with the thousands and already there. And then reduced the number that we supervised which we just heard the workload of erotic art by another 16% that we we don't even keep tabs on the 29%. I'm gonna hit some of the highlights of this but you know it's that. What victims' rights groups. Crock pot as the largest state we invited to. I don't see anybody on this list and I can read them off in fact we gonna put him up on the web site the members of the task force and I don't know if you would call this a broad cross section but there's a lot of elected officials on here. Of this and a judicial district court member on here. The foundation for Louisiana's represented the Louisiana family forum is represented the Louisiana sentencing commission. Public defenders board. A couple of sheriffs and the secretary of the Louisiana department of public safety and corrections. All of there. But there of of one you know they came up with him and made public by way of the State's website and by concede at that one's 21 of twenty ansari. Think it was 21 of 26. Recommendations that they made why they left the other fox have off I don't know but the ones that I've been able to see. Not one of them shows any benefits for any victims but all of them shall some type of a benefit. For the criminals and I'm hit some of the ones I've highlighted here. Simplify the criminal code to create transparency. For prosecutors. Defense counsel judges. And the victims. That's supposedly for the victims that's up for debate. They also want to improve the victim registration and notification process a link that might be worthy of doing. To let victims Knoll keep them in touch and up to speed on what's go on with the queues. But they also wanna expand alternative twos to incarceration mature with that. Revised to drug penalties solely target the higher level drug offense we kind of touched on that. Although Owens improve the process for responding to violations of parole and probation and parole conditions with swift certain and proportional sanctions that would. Strengthen community supervision. But did they want but you're reducing the number of trying to provide a rule people I mean. This is counterproductive. Here's some things that would clear away barriers to successful. Re entry into the population. Eliminate certain collateral consequences. Of felony convictions that create Barry's through reentry and the words. Put some type of laws on policies that I would you would actually. Reduce the cult you know that's who was hired to let you tell me what it says. Okay they want okay they want to. Eliminate you having to put down. If you've been convicted felon. On his application for employment. Okay they don't want to do beast he shouldn't have to say that you can worry panel let's say deeply convicted of cal molestation. Or rape. All all robbery. Rape and murder. They don't want to have to put down that you Horry convicted felon because it's sick what does the individual. So view only a little mom and pop business. Would say ten employees. And you're looking at this guy and you trying to debate whether that Irene. If you see that he's that felony convictions. You might not want to harm or bring him feel good. About this one change parole eligibility laws for life sentences imposed for crimes committed as juveniles. Well she'll. Let me just say OK let me get what drug dealers are doing to a great extent okay let's say that mr. X is a drug deal okay. He says I don't wanna go to prison. So I'm gonna take some juveniles they column due bullies. A media amid did you view files they gonna be not runners. They pace of these kids 500 dollars a day. They run the drugs. Because of their rested as a juvenile. We don't have the it would have any juvenile bids at a vacant right now. We had the youth studies and it was 39 bid that would operational. On beds. I've seen the sixth district and the second district. And the fifth district make 39 juvenile arrest in one day. Here's another one. Consolidate the laws on property crime and raised the value threshold for felony charges in other words things out of felonies now and have been in the past. They won't be anymore if they get this through there is going to be an effort to our relaxed this is what I considerate and relaxation of of of a prison standards not standards but relaxation of them release policies. To prevent more people either from being put in order preventing them from getting out which is basically gonna put more criminals. Back on the street these people are not innocent they were criminals in the the the argument is going to be eight. Should the benefit of saving money by having them back on the street. And using that money for more rehabilitate of manners and methods would that work better than keeping them incarcerated whether capsule away from the public. On that'll be the debate that's coming up and as soon as we get a bill. In it in and some type of a form I'll get the author of that bill come on explain it from their viewpoint. But I'll reverend Trey Roberts has been with a little white dove Christian fellowship church in intra human Canada and discount them by your time but I do wanna hear what you have to say as far as what you think about some of these. Recommendations are gonna come out from the task force and some method you think may be working. More effect we have a program it quite a fellowship. Called civic outreach center and we get a lot of guys who're. In in the process of vote in the judicial system. And a lot of times will go down a quart their family reach out to us at the toll free program. That we offer at our church quite a fellowship on the West Bank. And and a reach out to us and say listen the judges said that if we can get it into your program. Then you know we can keep him out of quote unquote criminal justice system. And our program we're in the business of the church where in the business of redemption so clearly. We've got to believe that a person if date. You know if they make a decision. With their life given the opportunity to change in the egg that change is gonna be long term. It's going to be part me it's gonna be generational gonna affect their children. It's gonna affect their families it's gonna gonna have a long term effect more so the jets. Did just the individual. That's not Pollyanna we we that we have to personally as the church we have to give that opportunity. To every one and obviously hope for the best and every one on the task force itself we had a friend of ours who's really close. To our ministry. In the Louisiana family forum teen males. And die every shot him know we're gonna come on here today and I said you know chief giving some back behind the scenes what was going on I read the report. You know clearly these all a lot of things that would scene in stark contrast to what the least get them reform stands and basically. He said that on the issues for nonviolent and non dangerous offenders and that's how we can maybe plague he could do a whole show just on the some measure those two terms. But this 75% the task force findings. Would be it in approval according to Gmail style he was a lone dissenting voice. Four other sorts of recommendations pointing to programs. That are in place. And focusing on lucky you said that when we walked in. Criminals are being arrested we are incarcerating. A lot of people. So to some degree there is a success there OK so if that success is there and people are going to jail where incarcerating. In what are we doing investment wise why are we focusing. 700 million dollars. On everything except. What could possibly bring them out and give them a chance at cutting that number recidivism. In half we're talking about the rehabilitation stuff. We could use things like re entry court. We can use programs that are like in Angola right now where somebody's life for some of these guys who are not giving out they know that they're gonna. I met a couple of them and I'm a bit around amendments attitude Denon and old and have a gonna get out of there but there's still wanna make a life in there as a way to do nothing wrong with a the last little a lot of these guys. They become partnered with local ministries they become ministers or full blown graduated. Seminary pastors in. Angola and what they do is they try to reach out to these guys who know they know they're not gonna be there for very long. And they try to catch these guys while they're in there they try to rehabilitate them in and speak life into the NCAA. Does that have to be that way for most of us as Christians non. We all come from a horrible story whether it be broken families tragedy. A history of alcohol or drug abuse. But for all of us at some point what the common denominator is is that we all made a decision. For Jesus Christ that we were gonna live that he was the only solution. To the depravity that we see so we want to affect culturally will we see because I don't think anybody like that that you said it clear this is not a partisan issue. If you'll like what you see in the culture you've got to change the behaviors of the culture the only way you can change the behavior of the culture to change the values. But that starts with individuals. And it's got to be on a wide scale. We can talk any goalie about all the horrible feats of crime that taking place your your nephew be in the you know the most recent. But eventually there comes a point to where we've got to start taking some of the 700 million dollars that taxpayers you and I. And many others are spending and we got to start demanding. A more responsible way of spending the money because clearly it's not being spent. Wisely and now are areas where you can reach an even if we cut that recidivism number in half. We're gonna see a drastic improvement. In the overall. A criminal justice and overall cultural situation that none of us think is a good thing thanks let's get to the phone calls. I want to bring Nolan and on line 11 Nolan you got a question for Bonnie. Hey how you doing there mr. mayor very you know it's funny that she got there's. I don't know which politics. But whatever the whatever's going on this code to prompt. I don't know which liberalism if you Google that was going on this code to which crime. Is absolutely. Make and police make an out judges make anomalies western judges are about the politics. You know it's a great idea they have joy a joy to watch. But that would the reason I'm going to albeit somewhat expire questioned me I'm going to all of this is one of vote. Who judges and they do jesus' Symbian able to be vulnerable to lawsuits. Especially when it comes to rescind its. You know but anyway. This is what I want expired tags and a lot of people want again. Bunny. A one skew what oh of people what percentage which usually releases CA Indian rehabilitated. And all soul uh oh what was the most rented cage in was that person rehabilitated. And then mr. mayor react you think you would know what you do one and ago ideas with and goal in a which. What a complicated subject is this program Google wants awful day based government in capitalism. Thank you Nolan and tonic. My memos well. As far as percentages are I really don't know. I have it and it's hard to tell because I am I do have people coming and and have come in and they. Really want to do well and they they seem to really try and then on the other hand man and people that come in and it's just. On here and I just wanna get by. We touched a minute ago missed an angry touched about the box for a felony on. On applications. I kind of have mixed feelings about that because I think people would do need to know who their hiring. But I also know from probation and Perot stands. That there are people out there that really wanna work are really trying hard. But then when the employer sees. Convicted felon. They don't hire him. You know with this. I don't know how we would you would too fix that. Hard to make that work but I knew that I do know that is. Part of an issue. 85% of those you respondent to up poll think we would cut costs for prisoner benefits first 85% of you. Instead of the alternative of reduced in the prison population by relaxing the release policy that's at 15%. When you talk a lot more about this because there will be some on legislation introduced in the upcoming session to try to reduce the prison population. Let's go to our Emily in home Emily thank you so much for you nations line. Thank you very much I think we ought to mountain cut that epic hypocrite. And it not yet. Their victim in that. He's certainly got a point there from what about this. The argument that by taking the money saved by not housing a prison and we put it into rehabilitate of programs at that will be a bigger benefit that will be less crime. I don't think I like what volleys. Like that date rape in our people. Out. You know that demand learns meg. Suggests setting up tent cities on Angola's 181000 acres that we said it was said no that they that's not that's wrong nation be treated like that. The victim. There anger. And and the main you know being. You know it. Emily in a victimless crime you assembled yeah. I. Wouldn't matter in the you're out. And where. A lot. Couple years ago. Or. Each stand. I'm with you need. Me around. Stay seeing that. And they. Good to you Emily did he use courageous woman. Well I don't know about everybody but certainly people that a lot of aren't capable of being responsible user I agree with him. Fail like age and but department did not a lot com. They're and the chain that it acted in any benefit. So they should put intensity. Out our men in Iraq and give the activities that. Surely the American people can be and it. Come with you Amylin thank you so you call us move on the tracing a line three tracing. Pagan afternoon. And got about a minute for you tell me you story. Well my day father was murdered in the meeting and it in 1975 when ten. By Katie. In our small town and it. The printer way. He's legally. It centers illegally commuted by paying a pretty good vote. But remembering Ian among the pardon board and then from that resulted in legal parole we keep violated. Went back. Yen but in the lead at rest in the end and fortunately. Idiocy. Make on an old parole to kick a law they did you penalize him with a not a 180 days off his big time. And continue to go out and earned good time indicate he was released on September camp. When he hit scene he currently locked in the street in the media and a. What do Shen shameful shameful Tracy thank you for the call herbal fully gulp people interested in getting involved with crime fighters out of they do it yeses herb may agree and I wanna thank you Don. If you wanna join prom putters out completely free crop fighting organization. You may Dallas at 84433400. Once again if you look slow that pencil. 844334084433400.