As we have written in this space in recent weeks, the criminal justice system is full of convoluted systems and archaic rules that only hurt people who are accused or convicted of a crime. Now, to a certain extent, that's the whole point of the system. But far too many stories are coming out about people who are accused of minor crimes suffering consequences worthy of a headline-grabbing felony. That's just not right, and those who are accused or convicted of a crime -- any crime -- need to be wary of the punishment they face.
A few months back, we wrote a post about a new law enforcement program being tested in the Pacific Northwest. Under the program, low-level offenders were placed into diversionary support groups with a case manager -- instead of throwing them in handcuffs and starting a potentially endless cycle of crime for that individual -- and, as a result, their recidivism chances dropped significantly.