FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Frustration doubles if you find out the thief who broke into your car has been arrested five times before.
Criminal justice and political leaders, who have been taking heat over an uptick in crime, took part in a blue ribbon commission looking at ways to stop the revolving door at the Fulton County jail. Atlanta Police is having a dedicated squad track offenders and another recommendation calls for finding missing criminal files.
The district attorney said all these steps are well and good, but he believes the answer to the problem already exists. Paul Howard said elected superior court judges are failing to hand out serious sentences that can put teeth behind the arrests being made by police. He doesn't offer a reason why, but he said, in too many cases defendants get little to no time behind bars.
What about the district attorney's obligation? Howard said Fulton County is different than other jurisdictions in Georgia. In the vast majority of cases that he sends to judges, the district attorney said decisions on sentencing are made without any input from his office.