Community safety comes first

This is in response to the recent letter to the editor entitled “Being given a second chance” regarding the West Virginia Legislature addressing the state’s prison overcrowding, the consideration of releasing prisoners, or building a costly new prison with high operating expense. The writer compassionately suggested that some prisoners be given a second chance – with the thought that after all, we have all been in need of a second chance.

However, one must live on “the other side” (victim) of serious crime to fully understand the importance of these decisions.

In the pursuit of resolving the problem of overcrowded prisons and cost cutting, it is my hope the legal system will not lose sight of the importance of keeping our communities safe with the realization that some criminals (e.g., sociopaths/psychopaths) will always pose a threat to society. Careful consideration and thorough psychological assessment should be of utmost importance to determine if an inmate is a good candidate for early release. “Community safety” should be first.

Linda L. Perry