olympia valley california is now ground zero as to the problems with criminal justice reform. a 7-11 shoplifter’s activities best explains why the policies are meant to fail.
the criminal did not steal expensive items. he reportedly only stole junk food. he took candy bars. he taunted the store’s clerks by eating his ill gotten gains in front of their faces. he has become a repeat offender to the stores. security measures could not stop him. dailymail.com
you may ask, so what, why is this such an important story?
the criminal was a big brown bear.
this bear learned that the store, rather than nature, was its dependable food source. robbing the store became part of his food gathering activities. he no longer wanted to find his food in nature. he openly embraced this short cut for calories.
this non-human tale illustrates the problem. allowing shoplifting habituates the shoplifters. they no longer wish to do the things that need to obtain the items. namely, get a job, earn money, and pay for them. likewise, they may sell the items and turn the shoplifting activity into a form of income. criminal justice reform is creating the same addiction to theft as to what occurs with bears. this is where they can get both money and food.
the sad part with respect to the bears is that, once they become habituated, they become unable to live in the wild. they pose a risk to their human neighbors. in these circumstances, there are those who advocate that those animals be put down. with humans, we must ask what is to be done with these habituated individuals? will they graduate from shoplifting to start robbing individuals for cash and possession? are we in danger of creating individuals who will not be able to live a crime-free lifestyle.
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