I have in the last three years been part of the various crime prevention conversations at different levels of government.
The one thing that all have had in common is an abundance of concern for those with mental health or addiction issues and rightly so. The one thing all these meetings lacked was any real concern for the victims of crime. In my opinion it is the responsibility of society to protect its members particularly when in need and vulnerable but that also includes protecting the average person who is more and more becoming the victim of those who would “misbehave”.
Having a mental health or addiction issue should not be a license to “misbehave” or victimize others either through theft of personal property or physical and mental threat or harm. In fairness I believe that relatively few that suffer from mental health and addiction become violent or prolific offenders and they also deserve protection.
We as a society have taken extremes to protect the offender’s human rights while ignoring the damage being done to society. We are making those who respect the rights of others, victims to an ever-growing number of thug and prolific offenders who feel little of the minimal deterrence’s administered by a court system.
We see our police system often encountering confrontations and violent situations while trying desperately to serve and protect. All the while being asked to add to their duties an ever-increasing load of addiction and mental health expertise. Our police do their jobs well but are handicapped by a system that is becoming totally ineffective and in need of re-evaluation.
It is becoming apparent many prolific offenders and social miscreants have found that they can hide behind the shelter of addiction and mental health and the courts and correction system can no longer provide any deterrence of meaning. While in doing this these offenders rob valuable resources from those with mental health and addiction issues who truly need and would make use of these resources. Political correctness has become a weapon against society when we fail to separate those who use these issues as a shield.
Without a societal shift in thinking we will see ever increasing decay in the safety and protection for the average person that should be as much or a human and civil right as that provided the prolific offender.
We see young offenders committing acts of extreme violence aware of the protection granted them by the law. Where are those protection for the victims and future victims?
As we watch silently violence is becoming the norm and while some what contained for now will start pouring out more so into the innocent public domain. It is easy to look at the problem as far away from you until it touches you or yours.
Longer sentences and harsher terms of incarceration may be draconian but what will be the price to the innocent and those at risk if left unchecked.
Is it not now time for the justice system to act in defense of those who are being victimized?
Just my opinion.