There is a difference between getting caught for a crime in Dayton and getting caught in Greene County: you’ll do time in Greene County.
Ask my former housemate: twice sent to prison for crimes in Greene County that would hardly get him into jail in Montgomery County (yep, I was a terrible mentor for 22 years).
Today’s paper had the good news that the punks who broke into my house have been caught- and Greene County is throwing the book at them.
Four men who police said committed as many as 245 burglaries in an East Dayton neighborhood this summer face a racketeering case in Greene County after a car stolen in Beavercreek yielded enough evidence to bring charges.
The members of the group, all residents of Dayton’s Belmont neighborhood, have been indicted by a Greene County grand jury for the burglaries.
Will I get anything back (the scooter keys would be nice, my Joe Rocket zip up jacket would keep me warm, the computer- peace of mind, the PS3 bonus- but the movies would make me really happy)?
Will they find out where the stuff went? Will I get restitution? An apology? Can I go rummage through their stuff- and take what I want?
Sending them to prison, where they get to hang out with other low lifes, get health care and 3 square meals a day doesn’t make me happy, or solve the problem.
Maybe we should send these Belmont boys to live on a street in West Dayton in a house that’s slated for demolition- that they would have to fix up, as well as other homes on the block that they would have to maintain- while holding real jobs- with the caveat that they can’t own a car, or have locks on their doors. The four of them- with their own form of scarlet letter, would learn what it’s like to be preyed upon- and help us keep some homes from deteriorating more.They’d have to sleep and work in shifts to keep their property secure. They’d depend on bicycles, public transit and the charity of others for transportation. They’d have to make a meaningful contribution back to the community, in a place where they’d have to earn their welcome.
Oh yes, they would also have to pay restitution to all the 250 home owners that they stole from.
That would be justice. Now, back to reality.