[Nameplate] Partly Cloudy ~ 61°F  
High: 63°F ~ Low: 54°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Local-federal collaboration would help habitual criminals away longer

Friday, April 29, 2011

In an era of limited resources at all levels of government, a new federal-local collaboration between law enforcement agencies could help bring habitual violent offenders to justice.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett met with local officials Wednesday to announce a new collaboration that will focus on drug trafficking and on criminals who use firearms in their illegal activities.

"Here in Greencastle, I have asked police and prosecutors to help identify the 'worst of the worst' -- offenders with criminal histories who cycle in and out of local jails -- and decide who among those repeat offenders should be prosecuted under federal law for offenses that make the defendant eligible for stiffer sentences," Hogsett said. "Specifically the federal role, at least in my mind, should be identifying and to some extent prosecuting, those repeat, chronic, violent offenders."

The advantages to the federal justice system are in getting offenders off the street and keeping them away longer. Hogsett explained, those charged with a federal crime are detained until their time of trial and the sentences tend to be longer.

Additionally, federal offenders are turned over to the Bureau of Prisons, where the average offender serves 85 percent of the time to which he or she was sentenced. In the state prison system, most offenders serve 50 percent or less of their time. The offenders are also sent far away from where the crime was committed.

"That individual is taken completely away from whatever network of mischief and mayhem, criminal activity that they've been involved in," Hogsett said. "Often times that is a deterrent. Somebody doesn't want to be sent to Montana to serve out a 10-, 15-, 20-year sentence."

The program is not aimed at one-time offenders, but those who are habitually involved in violent crime. Hogsett said his office, along with other federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enfor-cement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations would work with the Putnam County Prosecutor, Putnam County Sheriff and Greencastle Police Department to determine the "worst of the worst."

"What we're trying to do is work with local prosecutors to determine who we could prosecute federally, and in so doing serve a very important supportive and complimentary role in taking people off the street for maybe longer than they would be once Prosecutor (Tim) Bookwalter successfully prosecutes them under the state criminal justice system," Hogsett said.

He also emphasized local agencies are still charged with the safety of communities, but in the current era, collaboration benefits everyone.

"With the type of limited resources available to law enforcement, this kind of cooperation is no longer just good, it's necessary," Hogsett said. "If we're not information sharing and not resource sharing, then we're not effectively doing our job. The days of everybody staying in their own lane and doing their own thing are over."

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on bannergraphic.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Hmmm, so the county, the fBI and the ATF will join forces with two agencies that were both created by the declaration of wars against non-descript enemies... to strengthen a centralized police force that's forbidden by the U.S. constitution? It's not like the local judges hands are tied by local laws or anything. If you think their sentencing is too lenient, replace them instead of violating any more of our rights.

-- Posted by westforty on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 1:39 AM

Until sentencing is restored to Full Terms Served, at least they are doing something to try to protect the general public from the violent animals who are not conforming to society. Defended by our tax dollars, supported completely while in jail or prison, we should have never let lawyers into the U.S.A. in the first place. Sorry, I meant criminals.

-- Posted by alfr1 on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 10:53 AM

In a perfect world, this kind of law enforcement would be great, like a royal family, or a dictatorship. It would only be used for it's original intentions and never abused to overstep the rights of the citizens.

No matter how ethical, or well intentioned the current people in office proposing these things are, they are eventually going to be replaced and these super duper crime fighting powers could be handed off to someone like this...


The truth is, modern civilization is burning. The economy, jobs and our way of life are being destroyed by this same sort of semi-legal recklessness. Good people will soon be forced to acts of crime to feed their families. Riots will happen, civil unrest, etc., etc., and these new police procedures are one of the tools that will be used to quell the uprising.

I would hate to rot in a privatized prison facility for stealing a loaf of bread while the suits are running free, stealing billions and printing trillions in the meantime.

-- Posted by westforty on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 10:59 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: