Friday, January 15, 2016

outliers cost society dearly

"Lariat Comes, a 27-year-old homeless Rapid City man, has been arrested 77 times in the last 7 1/2 years, and twice in the first five days of 2016. He has been accused of stealing everything from the boots of a fellow destitute person to the ramen noodles a man had just purchased from a convenience store at 2:30 one morning."

"For a recent grant application to the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation, a local consortium attempted to assemble costs associated with “chronic recidivists” and discovered that a few such as Comes cost local organizations nearly $1 million a year. The consortium includes the Police Department, Rapid City Fire Department, City/County Alcohol & Drug Programs, Regional Health, and Pennington County’s Public Defender’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Health & Human Services, and Community Health.
The study, which did not include Comes, tracked 28 repeat offenders ranging in age from their mid-20s to their mid-60s from Oct. 1, 2013, to Oct. 1, 2014, and found costs associated with their arrests, indigent-defense counsel, incarceration, health care and substance-abuse treatment totaled $931,441.27, said Barry Tice, director of Pennington County Health & Human Services."

So this one drunk jobless dude costs the rest of us $1 million a year.  Perhaps it might be better to put him in a jobs program of some type?  Has that been tried?  This is astounding, and I suspect that trying to help him might have a better result than repeatedly incarcerating him.

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