07/17/13 — Second chance: Crime prevention might need a whole new philosophy

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Second chance: Crime prevention might need a whole new philosophy

What do we do about crime -- and the number of young people who seem to be immersed in the culture even before they have finished high school?

And what about those who have already soiled their records -- are they forever lost?

Those are just some of the questions that are being raised as this community and others like it across the country as they try to decide what to do about increasing crime rates and decreasing jail space.

The problem seems to be that while more law enforcement helps, budgets don't allow the number of officers any city would need to make a real dent in the crime statistics.

And even then it is not just about catching the criminals -- it is also about preventing them from getting arrested in the first place, or about rehabilitating them so they do not re-offend.

The city of Goldsboro is trying a new initiative designed to get offenders with records already to turn their lives around -- and the city is partnering with other law enforcement personnel and some local civic groups to make it happen.

Is it the answer? No one really knows for sure yet, but a number of people are taking advantage of the offer to get connected to the services and people they need to make a change.

Whether it will stick is another question.

But there is no question that giving something else a try other than the traditional methods of crime prevention might be in order.

Crime takes a serious financial toll on any community and it is in our best interest to come up with workable solutions.

Perhaps next on the list should be programs that target young people -- scared straight models if you will -- designed to show them the life they have ahead of them if they do not change their ways. There is nothing sadder than a teenager whose life has already been ruined by his or her decision to choose a criminal path.

The jury is still out on the city's plan, but it is certainly worth taking the chance to make a real, and perhaps lasting, change.

Published in Editorials on July 17, 2013 12:42 PM