Why are repeat criminals being released from jail?

NBC Charlotte investigates: Repeat offenders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Defendants arrested more often than you think, going before a judge time after time.

One example is Romell Mackey; he’s been arrested about 30 times in less than three years.

One of his victims, who doesn’t want to be identified, says the system is broken and needs to change.

“When you found out he had a lengthy criminal record and has been so many times how, how did that make you feel,” asked reporter Mark Boyle.

“I was infuriated. The detective and police officer told me that they're on a first name basis with this guy and they know he robbed me and four other people,” she explained.

Recidivism is a major problem in Charlotte. We asked Judge David Strickland if judges can be stricter with repeat offenders.

“First, when we are dealing with bond, this is pretrial. A defendant is innocent until proven guilty,” said the Judge.

There are several examples of repeat offenders committing crimes, getting arrested, bonding out and committing crimes again.

Jahuan Long was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle, drug charges and attempted first-degree murder.

Jakieran Harris has been charged with larceny of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon and even accused of tampering with his electronic monitor.

Harris has been arrested nearly one dozen times over the course of just three years.

Marcus Philemon with Court Watch tracks repeat offenders.

“Somebody who’s been arrested 10 times in the last two years, you need to send a very clear message,” Philemon said.

Judges NBC Charlotte spoke with say there is a lengthy process they go through before deciding if a defendant gets bond or not.

“We are provided with information that will provide us with information into their criminal record, what they had been convicted of, whether they have pending charges and how violent there offenses are,” said Strickland.

Recidivism is a problem across the country. According to a National Institute Of Justice Study, three years after release, about 67.8% of released prisoners were re-arrested.

In addition to increasing the bond for certain reasons, including flight risk, there are restrictions judges can include for bond release like a curfew, no contact orders for certain victims and rehabilitation programs.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment