Video: District Attorney Speaks Out About Repeat Offenders – Part II

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — District Attorney Scott Colom says even though he does not know the most recent recidivism rate he does know it’s too high.

“Some people are going to chose a life of crime, and those people who make that choice, there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re going to accommodate their choices and send them to prison,” says District Attorney Scott Colom.

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Colom says Mississippi lawmakers need to do a better job creating a transition for people leaving prison, so they don’t end up right back in the pin.

“A lot of times the people that gradually get to worse crimes are people that go into the prison system, and when they get out, they have a felony on their record. They can’t get a job and they end up gradually getting worse,” says Colom.

That’s why his office is working with local law enforcement and judges to make sure people needing help can get it and that punishments stay fair.

“Be smart about how we address crime, for the people who are violent criminals, the people that are repeat offenders, we’re going to be tough on those individuals because they’ve chosen to pursue a career in crime, and we can’t tolerate that,” says Colom.

He says it’s best to prevent crime by handling it right the first time.

“So what we’re trying to do is avoid that type of behavior by trying to fix it on the front end when possible,” says Colom.

Colom says his philosophy for laying down the law is two questions.

“Does it make us safer,and is it fair?”

He hopes following that will help the prosecutors and judges make the best decision for their community.

“Think that the key is being strict on the right people. I think it’s foolish to try and be strict on everyone, because what you end up doing is punishing people for minor behavior, and then they become worse off and get to major crimes later,” says Colom.

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