Lonoke Co. Sheriff's Office says some offenders frequently back in jail
LONOKE, Ark. (KATV) —
Jails and prisons are meant to protect the public from criminals and, most importantly, rehabilitate those criminals so they don't commit further crimes.
But one county is seeing that while they're enforcing the law, they're seeing the same people come in and out of their jail, on average, every six months.
According to the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, people like Chon Armstrong are no stranger to law enforcement.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Austin Police Department assisted in arresting Armstrong for a parole violation, along with a myriad of other charges.
According to the Sheriff's Office, he has seen jail time in Lonoke County about 20 times over the last 12 years.
"We see it a lot," Matt Edwards, a lieutenant with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office, said.
This type of recidivism is nothing out of the ordinary, according to Edwards.
"It seems like within a year or two they're coming right back out," he said.
He says he can only name a couple handful of people he knows that have been able to get out of jail or prison and go on to do good things in the community.
Aside from those individuals, "A year, six months down the road, we're dealing with them again," Lt. Edwards said.
Mainly, he says, because prisons and jails don't have the capacity to keep criminals in for long periods of time.
"It's a choice that these people make when they commit these crimes and when they get out they're either going to do good or they're not," Lt. Edwards said. "I believe the prison systems are doing what they can but it's just not working."
Now Lonoke County prosecutor chuck graham was unable to sit down today for an interview, but said over the phone that he shares in the frustrations with the Sheriff's Office.
He said it's tough going into court and seeing those same defendants he's already prosecuted, sit across from him once again.