Saturday, June 19, 2010

Violent criminals back on the street; is Darren White responsible?

According to the Journal, link, nearly 1 of 10 of the criminals who have been let out of jail under the Community Custody Program, have gone missing. According to Metropolitan Detention Center Capt. Heather Lough, that is not "abnormal".

The Journal reports; though warrants are supposed to be issued when released criminals go AWOL, apparently some have not. The effect is when police officers confront these folks out on the streets, they might be letting them go for lack of a warrant to arrest them. The community is less safe as a result of the failures.

The program, which replaces jail bars with ankle bracelets and promises, is not supposed to allow violent criminals back on the streets, but does, including a convicted rapist.

Judge Albert S. "Pat" Murdoch defended CCP this week, saying:

"As far as we're concerned, the program is working fine."
though it is unclear who "we" are; the rest of the Judges voted to suspend the program, at least temporarily.

The story is not without its amusing aspects. Vincent Peele, who sits on a committee that decides who gets a bracelet and who stays in jail, is charged with accepting bribes in order to gain releases. Through his attorney, Lisa Torraco, he said;
"The community needs to know and be assured that no one got out of jail and onto CCP without approval from (his) committee ..."
Well yeah, that's the kind of the problem in a nutshell, isn't it?

So what role does Public Safety Director Darren White play in all of this?

White is the butt of a long standing joke that goes like this;

Q. Where is the most dangerous patch of ground in Albuquerque?
A. ... between Darren White and a TV camera.

Darren White seems to be in the TV news on a daily basis.

We pay TJ Wilhelm a good salary as a Public Information Officer for the Public Safety Department. He used to be a crime beat reporter for the Journal, and now spins the truth for the other side.

You see him most frequently, standing behind Darren White, watching, as his boss basks in the limelight.

So the question is this, if instead of searching for TV crews and cameras, White was sitting at his desk, searching for corruption, incompetence, and the practices that enable them among his subordinates, would we now have violent criminals buying get out of jail cards from one of them?

Does the buck stop on White's desk, or not?

And if not, then where? Who is the highest ranking public servant with responsibility for making sure that criminals are not set free for no good reason?

photos Mark Bralley


Lisa Torraco said...

I did not say "his committee." You have mis-led and mis-quoted me. Mr. Peele states that "no one has been released onto CCP without a Court Order or consent from the committee." Mr. Peele is not the Chairman, and he is only one vote out of 7 people. It was by no means "his committee." Please do not sensationalize the story, stick to the facts.

ched macquigg said...

"his" is in parentheses (his) indicating the words are mine not yours.

According to the Journal article to which I linked; "Peele has been a member and chairman of the committee."

I believe your gripe is with the Journal, not with me.

Your objection is noted.