Criminal Justice

  • Prosecution of gangs costly to all — An interesting story on the cost of prosecuting gangsters. The best part are these quotes from Bob Ravitz, Oklahoma County Public Defender:
      “People just don’t comprehend the cost — and not just in lives — of gangs,” said Bob Ravitz, Oklahoma County public defender. “If you could keep just two people out of gangs, you’d have enough money to fund a night basketball program for a whole year.” . . .

      Frustrating, too, is the knowledge recidivism is the norm.

      “You plead someone to probation,” Ravitz said, “and you know they’re going to hang out with the same people and maybe do something even worse.”

      So the problem goes full circle — from jail to court to the streets and back again.

      “If we had programs in place to help these kids from the time they’re young, we wouldn’t be seeing so many problems,” Ravitz said. “There’s probably a core of 100 to 200 members out of the 5,000 in Oklahoma City that you could give them programs, you could give them night basketball 24/7, you could even give them $20,000 a year and they’d still be bad kids.

      “The rest of them would be all right.”