Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Slumber Party At Mayor Brown’s Pad

Well, mayor Brown plans to pair up with Tom Orloff (the DA who couldn’t convict the crooked cops) to attack parolee’s civil liberties. The dynamic duo, the absent and the incompetent will work together to implement the ill advised (a mandatory bedtime for parolees: a 10:00 pm curfew). You see Jerry really wants to look tough on crime, he’s running for Attorney General, so he’s trying to beef up his image. He’ll be long gone when the American Civil Liberties Union starts suing the Oakland into oblivion over this curfew business.

Besides, Jerry’s a big idea man; he can’t be bothered with testy details. So what if parolees become homeless, it happens all the time, do they just have to report to a designated freeway overpass or parking lot; or are they in violation of their parole? Is homelessness now an automatic parole violation? Is this “curfew” just a tool to send hundreds of homeless parolees to prison?

What about those parolees that don’t come from stable loving homes, a cold hard truth? Say junior comes home and mom’s locked him out, do junior and mom go to jail? Let’s say little miss gets put on curfew, and someone in the stable home attacks her at 11:15 pm. Can she sue the city and county for forcing her to stay in an unsafe environment? Here’s one Jerry should know something about, say a dude with a history of disputes with his female partners, gets into an altercation one late night with his wife in their home. The attacker then uses the “curfew defense” insisting that had he not been on curfew, he would have done what they taught him in anger management and left the environment.

So do I oppose the “curfew” approach to curbing crime? No, the idea is not without merit it just needs some modification to reflect the realities of life in Oakland. You see the curfew only works if we can guarantee a safe and stable home environment for parolees. I think this is just the job for Jerry; he can bring all the parolees over to his loft for slumber parties, anger management groups and seminars on animal rights and leash laws. Jerry can start “We the Parolees” and take, real hands-on approach to fighting crime.

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