Mayor Weighs in on Crime Problem with Appeal to Judges to Keep Offenders Behind Bars

Mayor Kasim Reed carries no police badge but he is getting directly involved in the crime fighting issue. And the effort is more than the politician ride-along with an officer.

What the Atlanta mayor is doing is doing -- starting with meetings dating back to last year - is having direct meetings with Futon county judges asking them to take a tougher stance on non-violent property crime offenders.

Ex prosecutor Ash Joshi says it is common for a vandal who may have smashed your car window to get little or no time behind bars. The primary reason, he says, is that judges who have full calendars are devoting their time to murder and rape cases.

But the mayor has heard complaints from his police commanders about a revolving door -- police will make an arrest only to see the individual back out in no time.

Reed says slowly progress is being made. He has gotten the court to examine thirty of the offenders who fit the pattern. In those cases, Reed says, judges have handed down sentences between one to two years for each individual.  The mayor says it may not sound like much, but he will ask for more with another face to face session with the judges in ten days.