Proposals to Curb Crime

Some members of the Meridian City Council are offering proposals they say could help curb crime.

After much thought, Ward 4 councilman, Jesse Palmer, says he strongly believes that using city money to pay some people previously convicted of crimes to clean ditches and rights-of-way could help curb crime.

Palmer says many crimes are committed by people who are trying to get things that are easy to sell. He says money from the stolen items is often used to pay restitution and court fees that are owed.

"They can possibly do work that will help us. It'll be helping us, as well as helping themselves," said Palmer.

Palmer's proposal is to use a portion of the more than $4.5 million that has been allotted for the upkeep of city streets to pay the workers.

"I don't need my money, particularly, for paving because Supervisor Joe Norwood has done practically all of my streets," Palmer said.

Palmer says each council member's portion of the $4.5 million for street upkeep is roughly $900,000. Within his district he contends that at least some of that money would be better used to address the health hazards caused by some ditches and rights-of-way covered with tall grass, weeds and debris.

"There are snakes crawling in on some of those people's porches and yards in those areas," he said.

Mayor Cheri Barry shared her thoughts with us about the proposal.

"All options are on the table, and of course, we'd love for them to come and do some social work or do some community work with the city of Meridian also," said Barry.

Ward 2 council member, Mary Perry, is making a plea to local businesses.

"There are some businesses in Meridian that will not hire a person who has a misdemeanor, and because of that, a lot of good kids and people who are citizens here are not getting jobs," said Perry. "That's not a felony; but if you see that it's akin to a felony and you choose to disregard that person, there's nothing wrong with that, but please don't have in your policy that you will not hire a person with a misdemeanor. You see, everybody makes one mistake sometimes, but they don't have to be penalized forever for having made that mistake."

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 7, 2012 at 04:28 PM
    How about instead of the school system getting more money to waste, we hold parents accountable and then they could hold the 83 school districts with superintendents making about 300K each accountable or cut it down to a reasonable number of districts...
  • by Here's a Twist on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:49 PM
    Get the criminals out of jail all right & put them to work... on the chain gang, except NO PAY! They get to work their restitution off & are busy all day cleaning ditches or whatever, all day. They will be so tired at night they won't have time to think about anything but going to bed. Repeat on a daily basis until sentence is fulfilled.
  • by JKJ on Jan 5, 2012 at 05:33 AM
    So Mr . Palmer area does not need any pave work done. He needs to ride around see what he is missed . He still say is area does not need than give it to other parts of the city. They can use it on their streets. THE COUNTY HAS GOT SOME OF THE BOARD MEMBERS OUT OF OFFICE NOW IT IS TIME THE CITY DID THE SAME MR. PALMER ,MRS. PERRY ,AND MR SMITH WOULD BE A GOOD PLACE TO STARTE!!!!
  • by WAKE UP Location: Meridian on Jan 4, 2012 at 05:28 PM
    WOW! That is all I could think when I heard the proposal. I tell you how to curb crime: PUT THEIR _____ in JAIL!!!!
  • by Fed Up with Palmer Location: Meridian on Jan 4, 2012 at 03:47 PM
    Jessie Palmer this is the stupidest idea you ever thought up. PAY A CRIMINAL TO CLEAN DITCHES SO THEY CAN PAY THIER FINES. Apparently You do not follow what is going on in the City or Your District. Misdemeanor Criminals are already working off fines and fees for the City and out of those who are the Police wind up chasing 3 or 4 a month who decide to walk off or run. First Mr. Palmer & Mrs. Perry they are CRIMINALS whether Misdemeanor or Felons, they committed the Crime, not You or Me, and they should do the time and take care of thier own fine. You are rewarding them for Committing the Crime by paying them, when there are many unemployed people who are not Criminals who need work and will work for minimum wage. Mrs. Perry if Im not mistaken and I dont beleive I am The City of Meridian itself will not hire anyone who has a Misdemeanor that is more than a traffic violation. Ive seen that myself. As for as committing a Misdemeanor Crime I understand why it is hard for someone to open thier doors to someone who broke the law. It would be very hard for me to open my Company to them and say I trust You with handling my equipment, cash, goods, and supplies due to thier past behavior. Lastly Mrs. Perry I believe everyone deserves a second chance but only after they have admitted thier fault, paid thier fine, served thier time and provided restitution to the Victim. I'M TIRED OF THE COURTS & COUNCILS CODDLING CRIMINALS: My family has been a Victim of a Violent Crime and what the DA & Court sentenced that Fine Outstanding Redline Criminal too was as usual, nothing more than a slap on the wrist and nothing has been done to bring justice for our loss. You doubt ME talk to the Police I seen how hard that Detective worked on our case only to have a Criminal walk out on time served and probation. So GO AHEAD JESSE PALMER put the Criminal out there and pay them so they can cause us more pain.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 5, 2012 at 08:40 AM in reply to Fed Up with Palmer
      I agree 100%
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 6, 2012 at 06:43 PM in reply to Fed Up with Palmer
      Totally agree. Palmer, Perry & Smith have been there too long also & are totally out-of-touch or wish-washy. Makes little to no sense to this proposal. These 3 are the Counsel of Fools or Jesters of the Courts.
  • by RLEO on Jan 4, 2012 at 03:03 PM
    To curb crime you need to have enough well trained police officers to know what to do and how to do it properly. A sure and swift punishment and a jail to hold thoses in that do not want to comply with the program. That would fix our problem. BUT ITS GOING TO COST MONEY $$$
  • by Andrew Location: Meridian on Jan 4, 2012 at 07:59 AM
    One of the hardest things for a convicted criminal to do is re-enter the work force. Many employers won't take some people because of their criminal history, even when they have only been convicted of misdemenors. I had some misdemenors a few years back and several employers turned me down immediately simply because of my criminal background. When I actually want to work and now do some LEGAL odd jobs and inform the police of bad things that are going on. When a criminal turns away from those things and still isn't able to get a job, it's not as much their problem anymore. This program would have been great for people like me. Teach them how to make a living. There are a million things the state could make money off of and train and rehabilitate criminals simultaneously with.
  • by Retired Location: Union on Jan 4, 2012 at 07:40 AM
    Jesse Palmer I Never Knew You was Stupid Until You Opened Your Mouth And removed All Doubt.What You Are proposing Is Like Begging A Criminal To " Please Dont Rob Me " I Dont Think In Your Wildest Dreams That A Thug Should be Paid Money Not To Commit crime..Get real.How Long Do You Think A Thug Is Going To Work In A Dirty Ditch before He's Up In Somebody's House Taking Their Stuff.....
  • by tommy Location: mdn on Jan 4, 2012 at 05:52 AM
    that is a stupid idea, reward someone with a job that cannt follow the rules. how bout give the job and money to someone who can follow the rules. dont reward stupid
  • by James on Jan 4, 2012 at 05:25 AM
    We should take the people that are in jail and put them out there to clean ditches . Don't pay someone who is to lazy to work now . Until people get back to doing the right things in life . We see criminals keep on doing the same thing over and over . The easy way is what people want to do ever the ones that have jobs .They don't want to do more than they have to do.Just to get by that why we have the mind set someone ownes me something. People want ditch clean get out do it at yours house .Don't want for the next person to do it do it your self .
    • reply
      by Andrew on Jan 4, 2012 at 08:12 AM in reply to James
      How is someone who is lazy supposed to gain good work ethic and good standing in the community after being in one of our "corrections" facilities, if they aren't allowed to pay off their debt in a righteous, legitimate fashion, and pay their, more than likely, outrageous amount of debt to creditors, like hospitals that use the money to help people like you. It could be a flop, but they said the same thing about building the highway and interstate system. I don't think you enjoy riding a horse from town to town. The last thing this city wants is a bunch of institutionalized drones, bent on going back to jail because the state and the companies in the area don't do enough to help.
      • reply
        by James on Jan 5, 2012 at 05:19 AM in reply to Andrew
        Frist of all do right thing in life and not go to jail. I say if people that are in jail need to work not be waited on in jail .If they work in jail maybe they want come back to jail . Company will hire people that be in jail .I know of aleast 3 people that be in jail and got out and got jobs. And city county are state had to pay them to right things when they got out. They work in jail to pay off fines and didn't want to go back .
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