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Don’t ignore minor crimes, help the offenders instead | READER COMMENTARY

A group of squeegee kids try to drum up business at the intersection of North and Mount Royal avenues in Baltimore on a Thursday morning. File. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun).
A group of squeegee kids try to drum up business at the intersection of North and Mount Royal avenues in Baltimore on a Thursday morning. File. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun). (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

While I strongly support Dan Rodricks’ column regarding changing our prison system to provide more support to inmates to change their attitudes and behavior, I respectfully suggest that there would be even more success in reducing crime by supporting offenders when they commit their first crime (”Dan Rodricks: Want fewer repeat violent offenders in Baltimore? Tear down and rebuild the prison system,” Oct. 19).

Marilyn Mosby’s plan to not address “minor crimes” is wrong. First, her job is to enforce the law, not to determine what laws to enforce. The first offense is exactly the time when changes to a person’s attitude and behavior can more easily be made. Providing children or young adults with social services, mentoring, job training, drug treatment or whatever they need when they first get “into trouble” could potentially change their attitudes and behavior and prevent future crimes.

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Please also get the “squeegee kids” and “squeegee men” off the streets. It is not safe for them or for the drivers. What lessons are being taught other than aggressive panhandling? This not only hurts them and their chances for a successful life, but also hurts the city. People are not going into Baltimore to avoid being accosted by aggressive squeegee kids and men or being a victim of a crime. Why not, as many have suggested, provide social services, job training, jobs (including building homes for the homeless) to them instead?

The squeegee people and those who commit minor crimes deserve more — as do city residents.

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Susan Joslow, Baltimore

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