Letter to the editor: 1A doesn’t decrease crime

Posted 10/9/19

Proponents of Jefferson County’s Proposition 1A argue a small tax increase will stem the supposed wave of rising crime and maintain public safety. Citing vague statistics along with the “keep …

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Letter to the editor: 1A doesn’t decrease crime

Posted

Proponents of Jefferson County’s Proposition 1A argue a small tax increase will stem the supposed wave of rising crime and maintain public safety. Citing vague statistics along with the “keep Jeffco safe” tagline is carefully crafted political marketing intended to stoke citizens’ fears. Not only is this blatant fear mongering, it doesn’t accurately depict local crime. For example, the local district attorney filed 154% more drug cases since 2012. Nearly three-quarters of these cases are solely for the possession of drugs that don’t implicate public safety.
Proponents are adding savvy marketing strokes to ballot language that fools voters into believing small time criminals are the same as violent offenders. If 1A passes, all offenders will be held in pre-trial detention, which maintains a status quo that Jefferson County residents simply can’t afford. To the tune of approximately $75 per day, the incarceration costs of individuals accused of minor crimes adds up. For example, in the spring of 2019, eight homeless men were arrested for sleeping in an abandoned home during a rainstorm. After 32 days, the district attorney offered a plea to a misdemeanor and time served. Each of the men were released from jail without so much as a pamphlet on housing while taxpayers footed a $2,400 bill. In total, taxpayers spent over $19,000 holding all eight homeless men in pre-trial detention. Was this a misuse of public funds? Absolutely. Should we fund ineffective incarceration without a solution to crime? No way. Vote no on 1A.
Jennifer Kilpatrick,
Lakewood

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