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Friday - July 14, 2017 3:22 am

Retired judge's experience on drugs clashes with La Crosse asst. police chief Featured

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Police just arrested a drug dealer for third time.

More frustration expressed this week by La Crosse police about how lawbreakers are treated in the local courts.

Assistant police chief Rob Abraham tweeted that county judges engage in what he calls "hug a criminal programming."

The tweet was followed by another from Abraham in reference to the arrest of a repeat drug offender in Onalaska. Abraham believes county judges give drug dealers sentences that are too short.

Retired La Crosse County Judge John Perlich told WIZM he once thought jailing dealers would solve the drug problem.

"Cocaine had just come into the community," Perlich said, "and I thought, 'By god, if I lock a few of these people up and throw a few people in prison, the behavior will change.' 

"Well, as soon as you lock one person up for dealing cocaine, there's another person right behind them."

Antjuano Green was arrested this week for selling cocaine - again, for a third time. He was already awaiting trial for a previous drug crime. And had previously been sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2012, but was released after two years because of "time served."

Perlich, who retired in 2008, says justice sanctions programs such as La Crosse County drug court do work to reduce illegal drug use.

"Simply locking people up does not work," Perlich said. "When you have a woman who is selling her daughter into prostitution for drugs, do you think sending her to prison for a year, or two or three or four, is actually going to change that behavior."

Last month, Abraham had taken to Twitter after the arrest of 37-year-old Raymond Lewis, who was sent to prison in 2012, released in March and arrested in June with a gun and drugs.


Last modified on Friday - July 14, 2017 3:47 am
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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