The Garden Island publishes comments – positive and negative – on its news
coverage and editorial views.
From Douglas Rapozo of Kapa’a:
any given week, I’ll read a dozen newspapers from various parts of the U.S. and
Canada. To my mind The Garden Island leads the way in gullibility and
foolishness when it comes to crime reportage.
The Aug. 27 issue was full of
propaganda served up by state bureaucrats and reported with zeal by staff
writers. Staff writers are those lockstep creatures who never think to doubt a
spoon-fed statistic or question a fat-cat bureaucrat. One knows these creatures
by one characteristic: Laziness.
The page 2-A article with theh headline
“Hawai’i tops at keeping paroled convicts from returning to jail” was plain
nonsense. It is meaningless for a staff writer to write, “Fewer of the state’s
convicted felons are rearrested while on probation than in any other state…”
The qualifying clause is “while on probation.”
For the ex-convict, there is
life-and quite often crime-after probation. Probation is not forever. In most
cases, probation lasts a year or two and sometimes it is set at five years. The
appropriate measurement to be used is the lifetime recidivism rate. The
criminal recidivism rate in Hawai’i is nearly the same as in other
Another bromide cited in the article was the old moss-laden
statistic showing that, “It costs an average $70 to $100 a day to house
inmates. Probation services, on the other hand, cost an average of $1.57 per
But what does it cost an innocent person whose head gets bashed by
a pipe-wheeling, drug-using parolee? What does it cost when someone’s home is
broken into and looted by some recently released thug on probation? What does
it cost when someone’s young daughter gets raped by an ex-jailbird just
early-released from custody? What does it cost when a paroled, intoxicated
repeat-offender drives a vehicle and smashes into you, dear gentle
The $70 to $100-a-day lockup cost is cheap when matched against the
destruction heaped upon innocent people by criminals on parole or
In the article, one also finds this gem of mindless reporting:
“Fewer people are going to jail, too. The overall crime rate dropped in Hawai’i
from 1996 to 1999.”
The overall crime rate dropped because most reported
crimes are property crimes. Crimes against property went down. The rental cars
of tourists and the luggage and cameras within are getting better protection
from police patrols.
But crimes of violence are as high as they have ever
been in Hawai’i. Insiders know that “fewer people are going to jail, too”
because state judges are sending fewer thugs to jail. Weak-kneed, water-boy
judges are being pressured, by the state Democrats who appointed them, to
reduce prison overcrowding. Year after year, state Democrats showed no desire
to get a desperately-needed new prison built.
Judges who put convicted
offenders on probation are the true terrorists and assassins of the innocent
people being hurt by such releases.