Good news. The worst hurricane to hit the northern East Coast is over. Well, not really. Irene has moved on, but the situation is far from over.The clean up has just begun. And, by clean up I mean clean up in all ways. Anytime we have a disaster like 911, Katrina, The Gulf Oil Spill and now Irene, the scams and scamsters line up. Everything from petty crime to massive SBA and FEMA fraud.
We have an economic environment that is the worst in years. This, along with the fact that most families affected will have to wait to receive aid. Added to this the fact that the government did not choose to relocate the inmate population on Rikers Island. So, the staff and inmates managed through in lockdown mode cut off from services. Harsh, as several of these inmates were due to be released today. That alone may create some anger and cause people to act out in a criminal way.
We must look at these disasters as a turning point in how we see crimes and criminal activity. A “regular” street crime offender would have already hit the slammer. But here the totality is just to hard to grasp and often law enforcement finds simple crimes easier to deal with. Should large scale FEMA and SBA fraud be treated the same as petty crime? Maybe or maybe even in a more drastic light. One thing for sure. These disasters are good for lawyers and prison coaches, but not society itself. We must change the way we look at crime, punishment and the link with our economy.
The time has come to have fair and equal justice. This insider says that change in every way is possible and much-needed.