Sat04192014

Opinion

Education and crime prevention – the new Dist. Atty. Gen. weighs in

We have countless opportunities in the criminal justice system for offenders to avoid imprisonment and we use them daily.
Amy Weirich

As District Attorney, I recognize the importance of education in crime prevention and quality of life. I also know that an integral part of any educational process is that actions have consequences. We are committed to several initiatives in our office and the community that reflect that.

One is our truancy mentoring program. Instead of just prosecuting truants, we give them the option of working with a mentor. This does two things hopefully: keeps the student in school and gives the student an adult role model who is committed to spending time with the student.

We have countless opportunities in the criminal justice system for offenders to avoid imprisonment and we use them daily. In fact, the law encourages the courts to craft sentences that avoid imprisonment.

But when an offender commits a serious violent offense, or continues to victimize members of our community, we, as prosecutors, have a higher duty to ensure public safety by imprisonment.

(Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich made these comments in response to the NAACP’s recent report, “Misplaced Priorities: Over Incarcerate, Under Educate”.)

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