Seth Williams, Philadelphia District attorney, made an appearance at the Northwood Civic Association meeting Thursday night to explain the changes he is making in the operations of the District Attorney’s office. Our friend, Chris Wink posted this report on NEastPhilly.com and it covers the talk much better than I would, so please read it there.
That frees me up to toss out an opinion. Seth Williams is talking about crime in the context of real life. There was no get tough on crime BS. We’ve heard that all before. Looking at the incarceration rates, all it did was fill the prisons.
We have a 50% of students who start high school in Philadelphia dropping out before they graduate. If you think that does not have a significant effect on crime, think about it again. What are those kids going to be and where are they going to go. It’s not a pretty picture.
I know some people will blame the parents and others will blame the schools. That’s fine, blame anyone you want but it still does not solve that problem. We are creating a vast potential criminal resource pool by letting this continue.
Williams notes the low rate of conviction for crimes and the slow rate at which justice moves in this city. As he said “Its not the severity of the punishment but the certainty of the punishment” that will make a difference in the choices people make. Seems to ring true. Read more about his program here at his web site.
It’s time somebody stopped doing all the things that got us into this mess and gets busy solving these problems. This may be the guy.