In today’s Letters section of the increasingly smaller Sunday edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there’s a submission that Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has to go because of the death of jail inmate Terrill Thomas.
Thomas’ death and the way it occurred was reprehensible, more than likely criminal.
Clarke’s level of culpability, if there’s any at all, is certainly up for debate.
The letter writer is Stan Stojkovic, dean and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Here’s a brief excerpt from his letter:
As a criminal justice professor and a person who works with and has trained thousands of criminal justice professionals, I know what it means to be a leader of a criminal justice organization: integrity, honesty, competence, fair mindedness and, ultimately, a commitment to upholding the law and supporting the best practices to achieve justice as defined by our laws.
I just had to shake my head at Stojkovic’s opinion of himself.
Stojkovic served on a panel that once tried to place a sex predator house, a facility that would have had housed numerous sex offenders, here in Franklin.
Thankfully that effort was defeated due to resounding opposition (Over a thousand people turned out at a public hearing at Stater Fair Park to voice outrage).
Franklin subsequently passed two anti-sex offender ordinances that have been found constitutional. The laws work.
Stojkovic opposes laws like the ones we have in Franklin.
From the Oshkosh Northwestern in 2015:
Since the mid-2000s, municipalities around Wisconsin have been enacting ordinances that have placed restrictions on where sex offenders can live in communities. At least 110 municipalities in Wisconsin have adopted some kind of ordinance, including the town of Algoma.
Stojkovic argues those ordinances do nothing to protect communities. Rather, Stojkovic said ordinances are often written broadly and include every sex offender on the registry instead of focusing on violent or dangerous offenders the community needs protection from.
“All of those do nothing,” Stojkovic said. “It’s more political fodder for politicians who want to make hay.”
Stojkovic appeared on WI Public Radio:
“The larger issue of ‘we don’t want them around here’ is just not reality. Sex offenders, like all different types of offenders, are everywhere in the community,” he said. “Putting local ordinances in place don’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense. What they do is deny responsibility to the community to manage this problem.”.
“At an intuitive level, these bans seem to make sense,” Stojkovic said. “But, it’s a hope more than any kind of hard fact that this type of ban will protect the community. We don’t have any evidence that it does anything to make communities safer.”
“What we do know is the strategy of alienation doesn’t make sense. The separation sometimes makes the offenders more likely to reoffend,” said Stojkovic.
Additionally, the incorporation of violent sex offenders into the community would allow for easier observation of their behavior, he said.
“That 3 to 5 percent that pose the greatest threat to you, you want them closer so you can watch them,” he said. “I would rather watch them intensely than not do anything or totally exclude them. If they have any chance of rehabilitation, they need to be included in the community.”
Also up for discussion is whether or not offenders can be, as Stojkovic desires, rehabilitated.
Stojkovic, with his inflated view of his judgments, wants to boot the sheriff before an investigation has even been completed. Yet he’s quick to sympathize with those who have been convicted of committing despicable crimes.