Disagrees with recent column on ‘debtors prisons’
I found the February 10 Mississippi Voices by Wyatt Emmerich to be ridiculous. His thesis that our prisons are overcrowded because cities fund their governments with fines from those who are less organized and somewhat low on brain cells and start out committing a misdemeanor which then snowballs to getting thrown in jail is not credible.
I got a chuckle out of Mr. Emmerich’s example, hypothetical of course, for someone to get a parking ticket, “forgetting” to pay it, then can’t come to courthouse to pay when he gets a summons because, get this, “he has no transportation.” Then he gets a speeding ticket a year later and is arrested and slapped with a big fine to the city. How did he get a parking ticket in the first place and then a speeding ticket if he didn’t have a car?
When I look at the arrest photos and descriptions of crimes printed in this newspaper, I see violence, drug dealing and possession, fraud and theft and multiple DUIs. I must be missing something since I don’t see arrests for outstanding parking tickets. The author also wants to free up prison space by decriminalizing drugs. This is like saying you decrease crime by just saying something that is illegal and very serious, drugs, in this case, are now legal so you’ve cut down on crime.
William Ford M.D.