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Friday - March 23, 2018 5:59 am

Don't reduce parole restrictions to keep lawbreakers from more trouble

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Things have been busy lately in La Crosse County courts. In fact, we set a record last year for the most felony cases ever heard in the county court system. But it turns out the biggest chunk of those cases are against those who violated the terms of their probation. People who were arrested, released on bond, but then re-arrested after violating the terms of their bond. Or people who were found guilty of a crime, but sentenced to probation, with rules dictating their behavior. A full 20 percent of the felony cases in La Crosse County last year were to deal with those who violated the terms of their bond or probation. That is putting quite a strain on the courts. A judicial council is examining what to do with those people. One idea being considered is to place fewer restrictions on those released on probation, such as not being able to consume drugs or alcohol. That is one of the most common behaviors that lands these people behind bars again. But does that make sense? We make it easier for them to avoid further trouble by placing fewer restrictions on their behavior? We don't deal with those who break the speed limit by reducing the limit so they don't get in so much trouble further down the road. Why would we do it with those facing felony charges? Limiting the rules to keep them from breaking them may reduce congestion in the courts, but it doesn't lead to them behaving more responsibly. And isn't that the goal?

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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