The Darkness Of Realignment Comes To My Community
I’m frightened by those who don’t see it
Richard Krupp, PhD.
Two years ago I wrote an article regarding the “darkness of realignment” [There’s a darkness upon us 10/28/2011] descending on California communities; thousands of criminals dumped on the communities who should be in prison. This past Friday the darkness visited my community. While eating at a local restaurant I heard someone comment, “I know Sammy. He won’t be taken alive. He will take his family with him.” The comments were made as people watched the massive law enforcement effort going on in Roseville. I could hear the sirens, helicopters, and gun shots.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
Sometime in June, Sammy Nathan Duran was released from the Placer County jail on parole, part of a regular pattern the 32-year-old Roseville native has established over the years. And, as he has at least eight times since 2002, he soon had violated his parole and was being sought by Roseville police.
Two officers were shot during the melee and four others hit by shrapnel from gunfire. All are expected to survive, and only one – a Roseville officer shot in the jaw – remained hospitalized Saturday. He was in serious condition but expected to survive.
Police say Duran opened fire with a handgun, hitting the ICE officer in a leg and sparking an “officer down” call that soon brought more than 100 law enforcement officials from nearly a dozen agencies to the area.
The standoff forced police to evacuate about 15 homes overnight, especially after officers and residents suddenly detected a strong odor of natural gas and feared Duran had turned on the gas inside the house where he was hiding.
Records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation show Duran has convictions dating back to 2002 that include crimes such as possession of a controlled substance, assault with a deadly weapon, corporal injury upon a spouse, attempted carjacking and resisting an officer with the threat of violence
Duran’s family members, some of whom stood at police barricades Friday night watching the events, said they believe police overreacted. “This is out of proportion, he’s a parolee,” said Donna Sandoval, Duran’s aunt. “It didn’t have to happen like this.” His brother, Toño, agreed. “They’re trying to put him up as a straight-up killer, (but) my brother was respected in this neighborhood,” he said.
The Roseville Police Chief had a decidedly different viewpoint. “He’s well known, he’s a validated gang member that our officers have been dealing with for many, many years.”
In the coming days the following will happen:
- Some media outlets will present the softer side of the criminal, Duran.
- Politicians like Darrell Steinberg will point out the need for mental health and drug treatment programs.
- Corrections officials will defend the use of “evidence-based risk assessment” policies.
- Judges will hide.
- Governor Brown will hopefully lose some sleep as he tries to mitigate the damage caused by realignment.
People with common sense will not be fooled by these sellers of snake oil. Here is my take on the six items above:
- Duran is a criminal who tried to murder law enforcement officers and didn’t care if his friends, neighbors, or relatives died in the crossfire. He possesses no redeeming qualities.
- Darrell Steinberg and others have a personality disorder, Misplaced Compassion Disorder (MCD). They are dangerous to themselves and others. The treatment programs they tout do not work.
- Risk assessment instruments are similar to roulette, but in this case you lose more than some money.
- The judges on the US Supreme court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the panel overseeing the realignment scam are ignorant and arrogant. They may also suffer from MCD.
- The Governor recognizes the magnitude of the problem and is just as frightened as I am.
Meanwhile David Bennett Consulting was awarded a $316,000 contract over two years to help guide county leaders in “innovative ways” to handle the impact of realignment. Supporters of realignment like to point out it is cheaper to treat these criminals in the community than it is to house them in a prison. However, I think they forgot to calculate the costs to the community from an incident like the one here in Roseville:
- Two law enforcement officers shot and more hit by shrapnel.
- 100 law enforcement personnel engaged in the melee.
- Trauma to the tranquility of the community
I believe these costs far outweigh any savings in prison housing. A better way to reduce prison costs is to reduce the level of medical care , e.g. we don’t need sleep therapy for death row inmates. Curtail drug treatment programs. They actually INCREASE the recidivism rates.
Again, I encourage Governor Brown to say NO to the courts. Protect the people of California from criminals. That is your job. If you don’t the darkness is going to get worse as thousands more inmates will be released. Governor here are selected lyrics from a song for you, Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise, by the Avett Brothers, followed by the complete song.
There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
And it comes in black and it comes in white
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it
When nothing is owed or deserved or expected
And your life doesn’t change by the man that’s elected
If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected
Decide what to be and go be it
There was a dream and one day I could see it
Like a bird in a cage I broke in and demanded that somebody free it
And there was a kid with a head full of doubt
So I’ll scream til I die and the last of those bad thoughts are finally out
Note: If the embedded video is not visible, you may view it at this url: http://youtu.be/iEr9gMYdkHI.