Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Real Issue: L3SO CONCENTRATION The Culprit: (dare we say?) THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
Photo from wikimedia, blog post by The Walking Drum
Ok we have made some real progress here in identifying the real issue. We all agree that L3SOs are too heavily concentrated in the 55411 and 12 zip codes of Nomi. Now let's capitalize on that. Let's take that same energy that has gone into bashing the STrib (well-deserved bashing, I might add) and apply it to tackling this problem head on. With budget cuts and a recession the Department of Corrections might start making some "judgment calls" that might increase the number of L3SOs coming out on the street. They might become more lenient at parole hearings in favor of not having to pay for one more prison bed. Who knows. These comments are of course conjecture but the fact remains, this problem is not going to go away on its own.
There was a similar mountain to climb in the Eco-village. We had...
....four to five properties that we could see that were a network of drug dealing and prostitution. Tackling the issue independently as individual residents of NoMi, we felt very isolated, alone, unable to accomplish anything. But then we started coordinating our efforts. We started doing repeated targeted 911 calling. Through the neighborhood association we got the attention of the Fourth Precinct, and housing inspections. Pretty soon everyone wanted to make this area a top priority to clean up. After stirring up that coordinated response within 18 months that area was completely "salesman" free and to my knowledge is still relatively free of drug traffic.
You say, Hey I know all of this. Well I'm saying let's take this same "Raising the Shire" approach to the L3SO problem and see what we can dig up. We can't just sit around and wait for these problems to go away. We have got to pick them off one at a time, even if it means taking on the Department of Corrections. Let's get the name of Peter Richard Stephenson's Parole Officer and ask him/her what his decision making process was that led him to believe it was OK to infuse another L3SO into an already L3SO saturated area. Let's ask his/her supervisor the same question. See if they match up and then compare their responses to what the law reads. Can you imagine what would happen if the same 20 commentators on the last blog post did this. What kind of impact it would have on the parole officer. What kind of impact would it have on his supervisor? I guarantee you both of them would think twice before they ever put another L3SO in NoMi.
We might have to ask Linda Higgins what her take is on this whole issue. Maybe she knows something that we should. If we have gotten the attention of Mayor RT Rybak and most of City Council, let's get the attention of Governor Tim Pawlenty and a few senators and representatives. Let's show them how this is important to us and why it needs to be important to them. After all they are only one city away.
Hey, what have we got to lose? At least the parole officers won't torch our vehicles...