Homicide suspect’s arrest resurrects discussion of why some convicts are out of jail
Councilman, legal expert visit the issue of recidivism
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The arrest of a convict in connection with a deadly shooting in Shreveport’s Broadmoor neighborhood has renewed discussion of some criminals’ tendency to commit more crimes.
Councilman John Nickelson recently detailed Marshall Adkins’ criminal history in a social media post and asked why he was not in jail.
“Failure to apprehend and incarcerate both pretrial and post-conviction violent criminals absolutely contributes to the violent crime in our community; and it does in a number of ways,” he later told KSLA News 12′s Tayler Davis.
- U.S. has more people in prison than any other country in the world
- More than 2 million people are behind bars
- Reports say Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country
- Some convicts never leave behind their life of crime
The councilman believes violence plagues the streets of Shreveport because repeat offenders need harsher sentences.
“We should not be in a situation where an individual who is a felon and commits a felony while (out) on bond for other felony offenses can be released and goes on to commit another serious crime. And the fact that it was possible for it to occur in this case is indicative of a broader systemic problem.”
It’s called recidivism. Reports by the National Institute of Justice say almost 44% of criminals go back to jail before their first year out of prison. (Also click here to review a Bureau of Justice Statistics special report on recidivism of prisoners released in 34 states, including Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma or review the report below ).
Some criminals never go to jail.
When Nickelson took to Facebook to voice disgust with the justice system’s failure, he noted that Adkins had offenses on which he could have been jailed just last year. That’s when he was charged with six crimes, including possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
But Adkins never served time; and a year later, he’s charged with the murder in connection with the death of a Broadmoor man.
“I think part of the problem is that both prosecutors and the defense counsel in the state system are overworked and underpaid. They have a huge number of cases,” the councilman said.
KSLA’s legal expert believes that “if any lawyer says ‘I have too much work,’ then they need to quit and get another job.”
And Florence added: “No one can see in the future, right. ... No one could have predicted that if we release this person on bond at such a bond that he would have committed a murder. "
He and Nickelson both agree that no single agency is to blame. And most experts agree that more resources need to be devoted to mental health.
“We need to have within that justice system some type of mental health advocate or advocates who could assist us,” Florence said.
World Population Review has this to say about Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas:
- An Arkansas Department of Corrections report on findings from 2013 shows the recidivism rate in Arkansas was 58.21% over three years for those released on parole and 24.39% for those who discharged their sentence. Males had a higher recidivism rate of 57.65%, and females had a rate of 48.21%.
- The Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice reported Louisiana’s three-year recidivism rate as 34.1%. And at 683 per 100,000, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country.
- The three-year recidivism rate in Oklahoma is 20.1%, one of the lowest in the country. Even so, Oklahoma’s incarceration rate is second only to Louisiana’s.
- The three-year recidivism rate in Texas is 21.4%.
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