Lauderdale County, Miss. The problem of repeat offenders is one that local law enforcement just can't escape.
Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie spent part of Thursday afternoon looking at one repeat offender after another in his computer system, but says he does not have a handle on exactly how many repeat offenders are in the Lauderdale County Detention Facility at this time. Sheriff Sollie says offenders realize the court systems are overburdened and that serving a long sentence is unlikely.
"We all know that we have a small number of people here in the Meridian-Lauderdale County area committing a large number of offenses," Sheriff Sollie points out. "These offenders know that the system is broke."
Sollie tells Newscenter 11 repeat offenders absolutely have an effect on investigators ability to do their everyday jobs. He says the biggest challenge is keeping morale up.
"They're getting beat up by the victims, saying we want something done," Sollie admits. "They investigate, they prepare cases for prosecution, and individuals receive very minimal sentences. And are back on the streets again within a year, recommitting offenses again."
The sheriff tells us unless the entire system is revamped, this problem will only get worse.
"Be patient with your law enforcement," Sollie stresses. "They are investigating the crimes and gathering the evidence and making prosecutions available when they can."