Why Being Soft On Crime Does Nobody Any Good
Last Thursday, Joshua Drake was shot and killed while allegedly attempting to rob a store in Fox Point. He was 22.
According to information I've received, Drake had been arrested multiple before last week's attempted armed robbery. Several of the arrests were as a juvenile, five were as an adult.
On November 1, 2010 Drake was arrested for, among other things, felony Armed Robbery. On January 19, 2011 Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Richard Sankovitz sentenced him to 30 months confinement in the Wisconsin State Prison system and another 18 months of extended supervision.
Judge Sankovitz then stayed the prison sentence in lieu of 3 years of probation and 12 months at the House of Correction. At least 6 months of the time at the House of Correction turned out to be in the Day Reporting Center (where people report instead of being locked up).
Think of it as summer camp for gangsters.
While on extended supervision, sources tell me that Drake was arrested twice. Once in July of 2012 for misdemeanor Theft and felony Violation of Probation and once in August of 2013 for Illegal Drug Activity and felony Violation of Probation. It doesn't appear that much happened to Drake as a result of these various arrests while on Probation.
Now Drake is dead after allegedly exchanging shots with a store employee while trying to rob a business.
I'm sure that everybody in the criminal justice system who came into contact with Drake thought they were doing him a favor by giving him a second chance. This no doubt includes all the juvenile authorities who dealt with him, all the Probation officials who apparently chose not to send him to prison and Judge Sankovitz who chose what turned out to be the Day Reporting Center at the House of Correction instead of prison.
You can't help but wonder whether the outcome would have been different if, at any point along the way, had Drake really been made to suffer consequences for his criminal behavior?
Maybe a sentence of five years in prison following the armed robbery conviction would have deterred him from committing crimes in the future? Maybe not. We'll never know for sure.
We do however know that imposing almost no consequences for criminal behavior on Joshua Drake didn't discourage him from operating on the wrong side of the law. And now he's dead. And that's really unfortunate.
It's also a great example of why being lenient on criminals does nobody any good - including the criminals themselves.