The Criminal Justice Challenge
Conservatives believe in limited government, but also in the rule of law. Contrary to some popular caricatures, conservatives recognize spheres in which government is necessary, and chief among them is public safety. Conservatives, however, also recognize that government is uniquely prone to abuse personal liberty and spend resources wastefully. A challenge is therefore presented: how can we ensure public safety while still checking the power of government and keeping costs low?There is no question that there's a delicate balance involved here. Liberals are no more prone to second chances as are conservatives, but there is a difference on how the opportunity and process presents itself.
As a Christian I'm all in for second changes and I'm a total proponent of erroring on the side of Grace (especially for myself). From a political standpoint I lean "tough on crime" in other words there are consequences to actions. The question is what are those consequences.
It seems that the tough on crime concept of locking up all the criminals hasn't reduced the amount on crime. Good ideological idea, bad practical results.
I watched today's Milwaukee Common Council Public Works Committee which is in charge of issuing Taxi Drivers Licenses. Two of those trying to acquire their license made a compelling argument for the state to look into making expungements easier to acquire.
Both men were looking to change their lives and with their backgrounds found it difficult to find jobs and driving taxi was one of their few alternatives. Now, it must be recognized that both paid their debt to society in that they fulfilled their sentences. The problem both faced is that an additional consequence or their action is that the record follows them. One of the men even pleaded with the committee to do what it could to encourage the expungement law.
Ald. Bob Bauman snarkily answered that the chances of this legislature exploring the epungement law are less than zero. I wonder if and how the alderman has reached out to any Republican legislators other than from the his golden perch.
Odds - less than zero.