Three meth labs, sexual assaults, murder, suicide, a bank robber claiming he had a gun, a pharmacy thief passing notes about a knife, and countless acts of degradation, cruelty, violence and inhumanity unaccounted for.
Does this mean crime in Plattsburgh and the surrounding region is increasing?
Is there a growing army of criminals lurking in dark alleys, waiting at home to pounce with their hoodies and shades, cooking meth while Susie swings from the maple tree across the street?
I don’t have a clue.
Actually, this reminds me of Clinton County Sherriff Dave Favro and his insistence that society focus on the root of the problem instead of reacting to the results. I don’t know if he and I agree on all the snarled roots of growing problems, but I agree with where the focus should be placed and applaud him.
Too much energy is rammed into reacting to social ills. Even investigations, whether by law enforcement or social services, while required, are a reaction to a spreading sickness.
I’m no pioneer in suggesting focus be placed on the problem’s inspiration and breaking dysfunctional cycles, as nearly every expert and survivor says the same.
Yet a persistent and sometimes aggressive segment of society consistently demands government slash funding to “entitlement programs,” which include social services, education, a range of proactive, therapeutic approaches and more. I’m consistently confused by this, because that same group wants less crime – some of them could care less about the suffering of others so I will leave that out – yet their demands would result in more robberies and murders and sexual assaults and so on and so forth until even the statistics are cuffed and charged with assault.
These same groups, like many, often want fewer taxes and less governmental spending, yet prisons are not cheap and more criminals means more cops.
Treating the symptoms of the disease, while costly at first, would undoubtedly, over time, result in less money spent and fewer people victimized.
If, say, a young man or woman is consistently molested, there is a chance that child could grow up to be a pedophile unless some sort of intensive action occurs to remedy the situation, beyond removing the child from the home.
Children born to addicts have the odds stacked against them.
Violence births violence.
Our children often do as we do, not as we say, which is why the lying, cheating and stealing likely started a few generations back.
Even decent people at times act as criminals to satisfy basic needs when living in poverty, and those needs grow like a cancerous tumor along with the crimes if the people are not so decent.
And this mindset that hard work pays off is about as truthful as the earth’s flatness, except even in the wake of statistics people close their eyes, plug their ears and squeal “nanny nanny goo goo” to that reality. Countless individuals work intensely hard yet barely put food on the table due to pathetic wages and suffer from inadequate to no to overwhelmingly expensive health insurance.
Anyone reading this could accuse me of fueling my assumptions with stereotypes and generalizations.
Stereotypes and generalizations are stereotypes and generalizations because numbers back them up. I’m a fierce advocate for benefit of the doubt over assumption because you never know when you might oppress someone. But if say, 8 out of 10 children born to crack heads do not succeed, then there is nothing wrong with rolling with that stereotype and tackling the problem at its root to offer those children an improved chance at success, at the same time reducing costs in the long run by decreasing crime.
Yes, children from horrific households can defy the odds, and that inspirational story, but it is not the norm. Children from healthy and loving families can fail, but that is also not the norm. Yet some people act as if those rare stories are as reliable as rising gas prices.
Ultimately, more often than not, dysfunctional behavior is not malicious, meaning that while reactions may be required at times, this society possesses an array of tools that can fix the problem before it starts.
Is there more crime in the North Country?
Why don’t we adequately shift our focus before answering questions that don’t yet need to be asked.
Reach Editor Stephen Bartlett at email@example.com.