Gary Horton | Crime and homelessness require bold change

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Two weeks ago, I promised to direct my column to the five or six most pressing issues of our time across California and the United States.

Crime on COVID-19 and after COVID has increased dramatically. Murders – gang murders, random drug murders, passion murders – are all on the rise everywhere. Property crime is exploding. Violent crimes such as carjacking and theft are also on the rise.

What exactly is going on?

There are really three straightforward answers:

A widespread disregard for the rule of law and even an understanding of what it means to be a citizen / resident of the United States.

All forms of income inequality and deepening post-COVID poverty further fuel homelessness, hopelessness and drugs.

A tragically unjustified legal system that responds to different relative penalties for different incomes and colors and promotes rather than corrects poverty.

These three points can and should fill the book. Instead, let’s fix the world in a few paragraphs and see how crazy the Progressive Social Democratic Party can be.

California has one of the largest immigrant populations in the United States in terms of population. From H-1 visas to legal immigrants to Latin Americans who enter and work illegally in our state. Either way, there are millions of residents who haven’t learned US citizenship and standards of conduct. Add to that the current generation of spoiled and privileged residents who have lacked both a solid civic education and public services at school. In any case, these people have not learned the “rules of the game” and have few “skins of the game”.

They are not invested in the conceptual “public good”.

Look at the garbage on our highway. Graffiti of the whole public structure. Lacks of citizenship are often encountered. Management and management of public goods. And crime. More and more crimes encountered by slapping the wrist.

Basic solution: Immigration and education policies need to be changed and amended. Then there are those who need it here, those who are stuck here, or the young people who are growing up here now. , Everyone is trained in citizenship and the rule of law.

We need a viable, documentable and traceable route for all migrants who are already here. And some of them must include compulsory civic education. And, as part of the price paid to live here, the period of compulsory public service for services that are very necessary. From caring for the elderly to maintaining parks, picking up litter on the highways, helping teachers… California has a lot to do. Many immigrant applicants are willing to trade the security of their homes here.

Same as above for our current children. Everyone in the game needs civilian training and a skin. This is how we train for citizenship and good behavior. The immigration problem cannot be stopped. And we can’t expect a junior to be a model citizen unless we make a mold and teach him how to do it. And who knows, maybe we will teach the trade and skills in the process …

it’s quite radical

Our “Injustice Legal System”: You speed up to 126. You are shot by doing 80. The fine is $ 550. It hurts, but I don’t have time to go to my career or family transportation school, so I chew and pay. Let’s say you’re stupid and put in jail and need $ 10,000 bail. I can’t believe you did this, but you find a way, pay $ 10,000 bail and you (almost) get back to your normal life. And with the right (expensive) legal representative, you can get it without too much damage.

You and I can buy a way out of small and medium legal and criminal hits. But taking these two simple examples and using payday loans, they cover 40% of the poor, whose names are under $ 500 and often for nothing. They don’t have a $ 550 fine. They are corrupt and await a hearing or resolution because they cannot be released on bail. In this case, the current weight of punishment seems much greater for the poor than for the middle classes and the rich. Relatively, these small fines are huge for them. And dealing with them can cost you work, lose your apartment or house, and even cause homelessness.

A simple solution to a traffic violation is to pay all penalties for everyone during public service hours. There is no fine. In the event of traffic violations, you can also clean the highways and streets on weekends. Maybe clean up the graffiti from the highway wall. The important thing is that time is important for all of us. And for all of us, a day is a day and the pain is the same. Do you want to see people slow down? Paying for traffic violations during all hours of service and at night will slow down and obey the law.

The same goes for crime and bail. The rich buy while the poor are stuck. Eliminate all sureties and let a qualified judge decide who is the real crime or the risk of robbing the public. The risk of crime and the risk of absconding remain. The other non-threatening defendants will be released until the end of the trial. See how well everyone behaves in the face of the real risk of sitting in a jail for weeks on end, given the same rules that determine how long everyone waits for a trial.

Do justice equally, and even to everyone – and take the money from crime and punishment.

Shout at the words of a madman?

California must find its guts and unite this work in regards to the deterioration of the lives of all concerned, the homeless and those who negatively impact them. You have to force sidewalks for walking, streets for driving, parks for recreation and the homeless not to be “public camps”. We must not tolerate the homeless. It’s bad for everyone. Homeless people themselves create crimes that increase over generations. How can I tolerate it?

On the contrary, we must humanely and quickly build facilities that all homeless people can accept. This is not a tent city, it is not a hut. A residential living structure complete with advice, medical care, vocational training, etc. Quick support for people in need and long-term support for others. For people with addiction and mental illness, hospitals, treatment centers and, if necessary, permanent shelters must be built. And it doesn’t matter if these facilities are far from the old tent city. A lot of it was temporary anyway.

Change the law and get the backbone. Allowing the homeless to suffer exacerbates all of our problems for everyone. And I hear we have the money – California is inundated with a $ 100 billion surplus. No committee or “blue ribbon” is required. We need a leader who can lead and act in this direction. We know what we have to do.

These are big issues to tackle and I suggest big actions. You may or may not agree, but that’s one of the things we’re likely to totally agree with. Our times are a time of bold action on the part of politicians who have courage, determination and affection for nations, nations and the rule of law.

“Full speed to the port! By Gary Houghton Has been featured on The Signal since 2006. The views expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the views of The Signal or its editorial board.

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