ACLU Wrong on Rockwall
The ACLU accuses Rockwall County of ‘racial profiling’, listing us seventh on their racial ‘witch hunt’ list. In an article in our local Rockwall County Herald Banner, the ACLU report decries “the aggressive policing of marijuana” as “time-consuming, costly, racially-biased” and unworkable. Read the full story via link below – click on
I suggest two points to consider.
Point Number 1
It’s the ACLU that demonstrates racism. The highest on their list is Van Zandt County at 34.7%, a ranking of 7 Texas counties with Rockwall at 6.1%. Obviously, the ACLU has assigned its own standard. Why is 6.1% bad and 6.0% good? What I posit is simply this: does the ACLU label Rockwall County “racist” because we are seventh on their list? Why not take it all the way to those counties where the arrest record is 2% or even less? My opinion is the ACLU is attempting to smear Rockwall County solely on the basis of a meaningless statistic. The fact that organization did not interview our local law enforcement agencies is evidence of ignorant bias.
Point Number 2
Incarceration seems to be the “magic elixir” expected to cure all society’s ills. To support this statement, I point to global statistics. While we have only 5% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners. How is this working for us?
Experts who study the effects of incarceration of nonviolent law breakers say jails and prisons have become educational centers where petty criminals learn from the masters. As further evidence, let’s consider recidivism: the Pew Center on the States report titled “State of Recidivism – The Revolving Door of America’s Prisons.
According to the survey results, 45.4 percent of people released from prison in 1999 and 43.3 percent of those sent home in 2004 were reincarcerated within three years, either for committing a new crime or for violating conditions governing their release.
I personally know and frequently communicate with leading law enforcement officers in my county of Rockwall. Doing so isn’t a herculean task. Ours is the smallest of 254 Texas counties, only about 144 total square miles. Our Rockwall County Sheriff and the chiefs of police I know are not racist. They are patriots who fervently believe in and support the Constitution and our natural rights.
Arrest records are skewed by the fact of Interstate Highway 30, the drug corridor between Mexico and New York City. Drug enforcement officers have described to me the flow of money and illegal drugs through our fair city: eastbound is the ‘drug side’; westbound is the ‘money side’.
Exponentially more people drive through Rockwall County than live here every day of the year.
I agree we incarcerate far too many people who would otherwise be effectively disciplined through probation that entails accountability and education. Faith-based organizations like Care Center Ministries in Mesquite, Texas are tremendously successful in the rehabilitation of offenders.
Incarceration for minor drug offences often means bankruptcy for the family, loss of a parent from the lives of growing children and a very heavy economic burden on the community.