Home Security & Repeat Crime Offenders - Important Facts About the U.S. Criminal Justice System & the Criminals that Walk Among Us
Home Security Expert Jordan Frankel Discusses the Reasons Repeat Crime Offenders Continue to Roam Free and What Residents Can Do to Protect Their Homes and Their Families
Many of the burglaries, home invasions, and other crimes that occur around the U.S. are carried out by career criminals—repeat crime offenders that move in and out of our criminal justice system as if it had a revolving door. Despite the many benefits of our criminal justice system, our law enforcement agencies, courts, and prisons can only handle so much. Evidence of these limitations can be found in the countless crime news reports throughout the country.
It is rare to come across a news report about a property crime that was carried out by a person without a criminal history. For example, in a recent home invasion in Anderson, Indiana, the suspect was a 30-year-old man with a number of previous felony convictions. According to The Herald Bulletin report, one of his previous crimes involved bodily injury to a pregnant woman.
In a recent robbery of a jewelry store in Torrance, California, the suspect was also a repeat crime offender. According to the ABC7 news report, the 20-year-old suspect, who was shot and killed by the store owner, was later linked to three other crimes—one of which involved a home-invasion robbery that resulted in the murder of an elderly couple.
Reasons Repeat Crime Offenders Walk Free
There are a number of reasons why so many repeat crime offenders continue to walk among us. One of the most significant reasons is the limited number of state and federal penitentiaries. There just aren't enough prisons and jails to hold the number of criminals that pass through our court systems.
Some states are also limited to the number of inmates that can be housed in a state prison. In 2011, California was required to reduce its state prison rolls by some 40,000 inmates. To achieve this, state officials have been forced to transfer inmates from state prisons to local jails, modify the state's sentencing laws, and even set some prisoners free.
State and regional law enforcement agencies and court systems are also stretched thin in terms of staff and other resources. Attributing to this problem are the Federal budget cuts on state and local public safety programs that have taken place over the past several years.
As a result of the limited facilities and public safety resources within our criminal justice system, thugs that commit robberies, burglaries, and even physical and sexual assault crimes are oftentimes set free with nothing more than probation, community service, and/or a fine. This is true for both first-time and repeat crime offenders.
Statistics on Repeat Crime Offenders
Every person that commits a crime has a choice. While the hope is that they will learn from their mistakes and refrain from breaking the law again, recidivism—repetitive criminal behavior—is a significant problem among criminals throughout the United States.
In 2014, the Bureau of Justice released their findings from a study that was conducted on some 400,000 prisoners from 30 different states between 2005 and 2010. The purpose of the study was to investigate the crime patterns of the prisoners after their release from prison. Here are some of the staggering statistics:
- Approximately 77% of the prisoners were re-arrested within 5 years after their release (68% were re-arrested within 3 years, 57% were re-arrested within 1 year, and 37% were re-arrested within 6 months).
- More than 80% of property crime offenders were re-arrested within 5 years of being released. Over 70% of violent crime offenders were re-arrested within 5 years.
- Approximately 11% of the prisoners studied were arrested in a different state than the one they were released from.
- Of the 77% of prisoners that were re-arrested, only 55% were returned to prison.
Make Home Security Your Priority
As the BJS study shows, criminals who commit property crimes are more likely to continue committing crimes than other types of criminals. Property offenders are also less likely to be sentenced to prison because of the non-violent nature of their crimes. Because of the limited space within the prisons and jails, the courts must find other ways to deal with these criminals. In many cases, the courts have no choice but to allow them back into our communities.
What this means for you as a resident is that it's up to you to keep these repeat crime offenders out of your home. To do this you must make home security a priority in your life and put in place the necessary security devices to deter criminals and prevent them from gaining entry into your residence.
While I can't cover every home security measure you should take in a single article, I can provide you with three essential home security tips that can help minimize your risk of falling victim to a burglar or home invasion criminal.
1. Assess your home for its security strengths and weaknesses. Before you can determine what you need in the way of home security devices, you need to have a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in your home's security. This requires setting time aside to assess the interior and exterior of your home.
During your assessment, pay close attention to every potential entry point. This not only includes your home's ground-floor doors and windows, but also garage doors, basement doors and windows, and second-story balconies and windows. Aside from standard locks, what else do your doors and windows have in place to prevent entry? If the answer is "nothing," consider this a weakness. If you have metal or solid wood rods in the tracks of your windows, consider this a strength. Having a home alarm or surveillance system in place also counts as a strength (as long as you're remembering to turn it on).
If you live in a city where crime is prevalent, consider having a home security inspection conducted by a certified security professional. In addition to providing video and photos of your home's vulnerable areas, you can find out exactly what your home requires in terms of affordable security upgrades to prevent would-be intruders from entering your residence.
2. Install home security devices that can prevent forceful entries through locked doors and windows. If your only means of home security has been the standard locks on your doors and windows, now is the time to change this common yet sometimes fatal home security mistake. Two of the most effective security devices for securing vulnerable doors and windows are the OnGARD security door brace and BurglarGARD glass protection film. Each of these home security devices is specifically designed to prevent forceful entries during a burglary or home invasion. At the very least, these devices will provide you and your family the time you need to call 911 and seek safety.
3. Equip your home with outdoor lighting. When assessing the exterior of your home, take into account the lighting of your property. Outdoor lighting can serve as an effective crime deterrent when done correctly. This is especially true of motion-activated security lights with intense LED brightness. The key to deterring criminals is to have a security light that is bright enough to startle a would-be intruder when it turns on.
Keeping outdoor lights on continuously through the night is not effective. All this does is provide criminals with a clear view of your home's entry points and waste electricity. Motion-activated security lights, however, save you money by turning on only when the motion of a person or vehicle is detected. The sudden turning on of an intensely bright light can also be quite startling and is oftentimes enough to cause a would-be intruder to flee the property.
To learn more about how to protect your home and family from burglary, home invasions, and other property crimes, visit the home security tips page at Global Security Experts, Inc.
Ensure Your Home Security Prevails Where the Criminal Justice System Fails
No matter where you live or how safe you believe your neighborhood to be, there's always going to be criminals walking among us. The majority of these criminals are also likely to be repeat crime offenders with a history of burglaries and other types of property crimes. The fact that they are free to walk about your community doesn't mean they're reformed. These are career criminals who not only know how to take advantage of innocent residents, but also our criminal justice system.
Don't let one of these thugs take advantage of you—make home security your priority today!
1. ABC7. (2016). Suspect killed by Torrance jewelry store owner was person of interest in Apple Valley double homicide. Retrieved from http://abc7.com/news/suspect-killed-by-torrance-store-owner-linked-to-apple-valley-murders/1240671/
2. Bureau of Justice. (2016). Recidivism. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=17
3. The Herald Bulletin. (2016). Home invasion suspect arrested. Retrieved from http://www.heraldbulletin.com/news/local_news/home-invasion-suspect-arrested/article_90da2db4-5bb3-54ac-afa2-1bdefedb96ee.html