Perhaps I am the exception to the rule because of my age, but — although in federal court it is hard to hear what is going on because the sound system is kind of either too low or too loud — some of what the defendant was saying made perfect sense to me.
From what I gathered, the defendant met someone while at the halfway house and started a relationship that was prohibited by the rules of the house and by the parole rules.
“We sat there conversing with other people all day long and sometimes we can’t help but to grow feelings for others of those with the same rules,” the defendant told Judge Mahan.
After hearing the defendant’s arguments and after leaving the federal courthouse, I checked with a few people about what I just heard a federal inmate telling Judge Mahan.
Some of the people I questioned about the living arrangements in the halfway house were not aware that these facilities where male and female living under the same roof where just one wall separated them at night, but the rest of the day they could eat, talk, smoke and do whatever together among themselves.
Perhaps what that federal inmate was doing in the telling of his situation to Judge Mahan was reaching out with a cry for help; he might believe that he met someone in the halfway house and because he was not able to communicate with her he was depressed and chose to commit another crime.
The man’s parole officer was in court and when the judge asked if she wanted to transfer the defendant to another parole officer, she responded that she did not believe that was necessary and that she is sure that she can handle him with no problem, giving the impression that she knew the situation of that inmate, and even if she can relate to the situation she believes he can be successful with the new sentence that the judge just imposed on him.
From the little I could hear, it seemed like that man, after getting out of prison, was doing well; he had a job, he was living at his mother’s home and was paying all his financial obligations without anyone forcing him to do it.
Maybe he is a weak person and did not know how to handle the separation from the woman he met at the halfway house and succumbed to the old days of drinking and other things that as a parolee he should not be doing.
Maybe he was under the same impression that many people on the street and those who have spent time behind bars hold: that they are smarter than law enforcement and believe that they know far more than those in
charge of their custody and their life.
Maybe they don’t want to realize that law enforcement is about more than just one person committing a crime. While the criminal is sleeping, there is one law enforcement watching out; when he is having lunch, there is another law enforcement watching out; when he is taking a shower, there is one more law enforcement watching out, and so on and so on.
The majority of the time people get caught committing a crime it’s because they actually believe they are superior in intelligence and the law will never catch up with what they are doing.
People get caught because there are more cops than criminals; people get caught because there are other criminals that snitch and tell the cops what happens on the streets. And some criminals are downright stupid.
Cops alone cannot solve the crimes; coffee and donuts don’t give them the brains to solve all the crimes, and they need the snitches more than they need their wives or girlfriends—that is why the divorce rate is so high among law enforcement officers.
Most halfway houses are private entities and they are there for the money, like any other business; but maybe when the government is going to approve a prisoner’s franchise they should include the clause that they need to have seperate facilities to avoid any bad influence or impropriety.
It is incredible how stingy the government can be for some things and how careless it is with other things. Haven’t we all heard about the $900 hammer?
The man walks into a hardware store to buy a hammer and the sales person quotes him nine dollars and 80 cents. The man jumps up saying, “NINE dollars? Are you crazy? This hammer is for the White House!” The store clerk responds, “Oh, for the White House? I meant to say nine HUNDRED dollars and 80 cents.” The man signs the ticket and leaves the
store with the nine-dollar-and-80-cent hammer.
It may sound funny, but that is the reality of life and that is why the economy is so bad and why people are suffering more now than ever, because all the prices are made higher that what they actually are.
Three days after my mother died, the hospital “gave” her three aspirins for thirty-eight dollars. When we called and questioned the bill, the woman on the telephone said, “What do you care? The insurance is paying for it.” When we told the hospital that we were not questioning the price of the aspirins, but the fact that our
mother died three days before they gave her the aspirins, the woman went, “Oh!”
The people in these halfway houses are not there for free; they either pay something or they pay a percent of what they get paid working somewhere else. The least those people can do to avoid conflict is to not place a T-bone steak in front of a person there that has not eaten in three days.
Just because a woman has committed a crime doesn’t mean that she has lost respect for herself or lost all integrity and must now be nothing more than a little rabbit among lions… and every time they all get out of the living area into the common area that it’s okay for all the guys to look at them like they have never seen a woman before.
The male guards must be working for less money just to have that job because they get to do the countdown at night when the women are sleeping or getting ready to sleep, and they have cameras that allow them (the male guards) to see everything in the women’s dormitory, even when they are taking a shower, so I’ve been told by former guests of these halfway houses.
Perhaps the higher-ups in the government should revise the contract with these franchises to make sure that these places are not co-ed to avoid any relationships among the temporary guests of these places where connections among them are not allowed, yet the administration encourages them nonetheless by making them co-ed to have more profit,
even at the risk of these former inmates breaking their own rules of no fraternization allowed.
My name is Rolando Larraz, and as always, I approved this column.
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Rolando Larraz is Editor in Chief of the Las Vegas Tribune. His column appears weekly in this newspaper. To contact Rolando Larraz, email him at: Rlarraz@lasvegastribune.com or at (702) 699-8111.