Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Serial Rapist Next Door

David Prollitt was convicted of and imprisoned for the rapes of five women in five towns in the late '70s and early '80s in Connecticut. Now he has been released after 24 years and is moving into his sister's house in Southbury, Conn. He will be on Probation for five years with 24 conditions of probation including wearing a monitoring device and face an additional 15 yrs for violations.

His neighbors are very unhappy, police advised residents not to panic, to lock their doors, buy alarm systems, and look out for their neighbors. Calls to Gov. Rell lead him to ask Atty Gen Blumenthal to ask for a delay of Prollitt's release, Superior Court Judge Susan Handy refused stating that Prollitt had completed his sentence and was "entitled to release." Friday afternoon prior to Prollitt's arrival about 2 dozen neighborhood residents gathered across from his sister's house with signs and explained their points to reporters. Prollitt arrived in a caravan of cars with reporters and cameras trying for any view of him. What seems to have been lost is the presence of five sex offenders in the town of 19K and in Waterbury, pop 107K ten miles north east, 250 more. Some are advocating the type of indefinite civil commitment allowed in 20 other states, including NY & NJ.

I do not have an answer for the problem of released criminals, most criminals will be released short of the draconian solution of life or death sentences for a vastly expanded list of crimes. California has tried expanded sentences and the result is a prison system that is broken, broke, and eating an unconscionable portion of the state's budget, shortly it will take a larger percentage than all education. We need to face the fact that people who have committed crimes are going to be released back into the community and pose whatever threat they still pose.

The threat that they pose depends on what their psychology at release is and their opportunities on release, both to re-offend and to create a legal life. It seems that fear of jail time does not do the job, so another alternative is required. This is not some "soft on crime" issue, it is about the safety of the citizenry and the economic costs of crime and imprisonment. We need to address this, we have a huge prison population which means we have a huge number of releases coming. Harsh sentences for re-offending do are an after the fact solution, someone has been victimized at that point. Emotional baggage will not deal with this, it will require pragmatism and real research and an investment.

9 comments:

DA English said...

Chuck,

There are no easy answers. I am quite dismayed by the NIMBY's who advocate locking people up indefinatly. It wouldn't surpise me if these same people would suggest stripping all rights for those convicted of a crime from the constitution.

We've done enough damage here in Oregon by pretty much removing any form of rehabilitation that use to exsist. The mindset that anyone that is convicted of a crime is not rehabilitable is wrong.

Chuck Butcher said...

Alcohol and other drugs are the biggest contributors to the prison population, that certainly would be one area, but, and it is huge, that takes willingness on the part of the 'patient.'

If I had some real good programs I'd be doing something other than banging nails and blogging.

Anonymous said...

The mindset that anyone that is convicted of a crime is not rehabilitable is wrong.

BSBSBSBS: Want 5 guys judged guilty but insane of murder, arson or rape in a group home next to a grade school loose for 90 minutes at a time "unsupervised"...you want to risk your kids? leave them where they belong. in a locked up cell!

Chuck Butcher said...

Knowing DaEnglish, I'm pretty sure what he meant was "that everyone that is convicted..." He knows better than what you're objecting to, careless language, we've all said "anyone" meaning "everyone".

Your point Re: unsupervised is well taken.

Anonymous said...

Most "informed" left POLITICALS know that a freaken Demorat killed "Jennifers law" here in Oregon (that would be Sen.Kate Brown) with that kind of leadership, it's a miricale more kids aren't dead...BUT THE LEFT KEEPS ELECTING HER.

Chuck Butcher said...

Well, Kate is running for SoS now. Some laws are fatally flawed which doesn't mean their core idea isn't good. M37 had a good core idea, problem is that the core idea wasn't what the thing was. I voted against 37 because of what was wrong with it, since I didn't get to vote for what was right about it. That happens. People will frame a law and then not tell you what it really means.

Steve Culley said...

Too bad you didn't come to the rural action meeting at the library on Saturday Chuck on measure 37 and 49. I represented the other view. Of course there was no press coverage and it's hard to compete with the organized machine of Thousand Freinds and The Oregonian. Our local Record Courier does print my articles and I guess they are getting on line but counter views from a pro 37 side are hard to find. If 49 passes it isn't the end of Oregon's land use wars. I advocate the end of state wide land use planning and a return to county control and will continue to advocate that position. Our arogant urban elite has had a strangle hold on the state for years, everyone, except the very rich must live in a city, like it or not and the democrats did a hatchet job on the big look that was suppossed to gather information on what state control actually did to Oregon instead of just the McCall point of view. I would be more than glad to have you post some of my stuff, just for discussion.

KISS said...

Steve, I agree with your sentiments on Measure 37 and 49. I sat on our planning commission for over 4 years and the nuttiness of UGB is loony. From sprawl to density cooker is what passes as good planning. The geniuses of Salem wanted to make 32 houses to an acre from the now of 24 was downright scary. $9 if passed, I'm sure it will, will be in the courts for years. M 37 was far from perfect but 49 is worse. The housing in my area has jumped some 300 % + because of Comp plan. There is no affordable housing and the phrase is hyperbole for politicians to throw out for votes.

Steve Culley said...

Yeah, Kiss, we turned Oregon into a feudal state with statewide land use laws. Only the well to do imports from other places can afford the large size land blocks. native born country boys who would like to raise a beef or two or help out wiht grocery bill from a large garden are out of luck. Oh well the battle goes on and one thing I can count on is the far left over reaching and an eventual back lash. Our local Record Courier says they are getting up and running on posting to the net. I write a lot for them. The local likes no more than 350 dumbed down words per month.
One thing I brought up in a recent meeeting. Oregon has no law against foreign ownership of all that farm land we saved. Can't wait until China starts spending that trillion dollars they hold on prime Oregon land. Then maybe we can start a real conversation.