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Opinion >  Letters

Soft on property crime

Dan Spivey is right (“System fails crime victims,” April 7). The Sentencing Reform Act was not about getting tough on crime. The act had two primary goals listed in its introduction: To end the “disparities” of indeterminate sentencing, and reduce the population of state prisons, (saving the state money). Both goals were achieved.

The guidelines leave little leeway to tailor sentences to deal with individuals. They also reduce the number and length of prison sentences. This slowed the growth of prison populations by keeping the majority of career criminals out of prisons and housing them instead in local jails for shorter periods of time before releasing them.

We may have gotten tough on domestic violence, sex crimes, crimes against children, certain violent crimes and, more recently, DUI. We have not been tough on property crimes, which affect the most people and happen every day, hour and minute.

If you look at the guidelines, you will find a criminal needs to have numerous felony property crime convictions before receiving a one-year prison sentence. The guidelines also have a maximum point score that criminals can’t go over, thereby keeping them from receiving the longer sentences they deserve.

We have been soft on crime.

Lt. Chan Bailey

Ret. Spokane County Sheriff’s Dept.


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