These articles about robberies lately got me thinking. I know this because my ears were getting warm. How many times are these robbers put on "suspended sentences?" I just read about this latest gem. He was convicted of robbery, and was put on a suspended sentence. He then robs again. Say it ain't so. I thought a suspended sentence would help this gentleman turn his life around.
In a nutshell, a "suspended sentence" means that a convicted criminal gets "sentenced" to X amount of time. The "suspended" part means that he is "serving" this time at home, at the mall, on a street corner at 3 a.m., or with a gun in the face of a gas station clerk. Probably playing Xbox on his stolen TV, giggling with his friends about how they plan to rob the local dollar store the next day. To me, this does not seem like "serving" a "sentence."
So it got me thinking (ears still getting warmer). Lets take these convicted criminals, and use them. If a guy gets "sentenced" to two years suspended, shouldnt the people have this guys butt in a sling for two years? Can he weld? Send him to the city garage. Does he have any landscaping experience? Have him pick weeds at the Eastdale Rec Center. Is he without skill? Give him a spatula so he can scrape the gum off the sidewalks downtown. If he doesnt like it, his other option is jail. Why don't we put him to work?
We have plenty of work that needs to be done around here. Much of it does not require a tremendous amount of skill. I don't know many people that can't plant trees and sweep a sidewalk. Not only will this instill at least an iota of dignity (a days work, what? I'm so confused) but may even give him some actual "work" experience. He's actually being somewhat productive, imagine that. Plus, it gives him less time to plan his next heist.
Ah yes, but this will cost money to put into play. It'll also cost money to manage and oversee. It's not perfect, and I'm just spitballing here. I do feel however, that the money expended will be made up, with interest. We have such an enormous resource of "convicted manpower" in this city...why don't we use it. It might even free up some other people for bigger and better projects.
My ears are getting too red now. Lets start spitballing ideas here. We should at least start talking about possibilities other than these all too common suspended sentences.
Lastly, I would like to encourage all law abiding folks to exercise their 2nd amendment rights. We have a right to protect ourselves. How many folks would think twice about jacking someones wallet when that wallet turns out to be a snub nose .38. Stay safe Chattanooga.