As Mr. Rogers told a neighborhood crime prevention meeting in East Oakland Monday evening: “We try not to put people in jail.”
I’m certainly not a fan of our prison system, but it seems self-evident to me that if kids know there will be zero consequences for criminal behavior even in the unlikely event that they are caught, then they will be more likely to engage in such activities.
So I’m really happy to see that he’s finally changing his tune:
Knowing how unlikely they are even to be caught, Rogers says criminals believe that “Oakland’s a free zone.” Yet crime could be curbed here, he argues, if more nonviolent offenders served even two-week jail terms, learning that actions have consequences: “If someone does a crime and does no time, he becomes a hero to his friends. That empowers him.” Draconian prison sentences aside, a little jail time can be a good thing, he insists.