Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mark Baker Wants to Make Jackson Safe

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I care about Mississippi, and I care about Jackson, our capital city. As a longtime resident of Rankin County, I also care about the metro Jackson area and believe we are all in this together. No matter how far out you drive or how high the wall is around your neighborhood, crime in Jackson is going to have negative consequences and spillover effects in neighboring cities. That is why as your next attorney general I am committed to helping turn our capital city around. Care and commitment, however, are not going to be enough. We are going to need a plan. Above all, we are going to have to make Jackson a safe place to live, shop, dine and do business.

Jackson’s homicide rate for 2018 was 50.3 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the nation, worse than New Orleans, Memphis, and even Detroit. In comparison to 24 different cities with more than 150,000 people, Jackson was ranked third. And it’s getting worse. Through the first week of July, our capital city recorded 55 homicides. At the current rate, Jackson will suffer from more than 100 homicides in 2019, making it the deadliest year ever.

I’ve spoken with some people who feel like Jackson is never going to turn the corner. These people have lost hope. The people of New York felt the same way back in the 1990s. Ten years later, New York had done the impossible: reducing the murder rate by 73 percent; the vehicular theft rate by 73 percent; and the robbery rate by 67 percent. In 2018, New York’s murder rate hit a 50-year low of 3.31 per 100,000 people.

The story is well known among criminologists. Then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton adopted what is called the “Broken Windows” approach to policing. The hypothesis behind Broken Windows policing is that as law enforcement addresses minor offenses they will be able to more effectively combat more serious crimes. The way it works is this: the offender who vandalized your house yesterday is likely to be the same offender who robs your house tomorrow. If this person is held to account for “breaking the window,” so to speak, he is significantly less likely to do something much worse. In addition, Broken Windows policing understands that disorderly conditions – that is, broken windows and graffiti – encourages and justifies disorderly behavior.

Broken Windows policing alone, however, is not enough. The NYPD also worked with other agencies, nonprofits and foundations to employ the Broken Windows model in target areas, like Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center. Homeless people were hired to pick up trash. The transit authority cracked down on riders who didn’t pay their subway fares. New community courts were established to expeditiously deal with minor offenders. Finally, Giuliani and Bratton empowered police officers, making local commanders responsible for specific neighborhoods.

Broken Windows policing clearly worked in New York, and it has since been vindicated in other localities and through experimental research. It can work in Jackson too. Again, we need a plan. First, focus on “frequent flyers.” These are people who have repeatedly been arrested for low-level crimes, but then released as “not a priority.” New York made low-level offenders a priority, and it paid off.

Second, we need to employ the Broken Windows model around the state capitol complex. This would begin by using the Capitol Complex Improvement District (CCID), created by the legislature in 2017, as a beachhead to fight crime. The CCID provides a mechanism for infrastructure improvements near the state capitol building. With some changes in the law, this model could be used to fight crime in Jackson too.

Under my plan, we would expand the CCID to include Precinct 3 and other high-crime areas in Jackson. In turn, we would expand the jurisdiction of the Capitol Police to include full felony and misdemeanor arrest powers within the CCID. As they did in New York, we would also allocate new resources to deal with the increase in arrests. I propose establishing special circuit court judge positions, appointed by the Chief Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court, with primary jurisdiction over criminal offenses occurring in the CCID. Under my leadership, the Attorney General’s office would also serve as a coordinating hub to bring together local and federal agencies and nonprofits to help address the problem. My office would likewise make sure that offenders go to jail instead of being released to commit more crimes.

The time for talk is long past. We need action based on a proven model and solid research. As attorney general, I have a plan to stop the madness. Let’s work together to prepare the way for a renaissance of our capital city and our state.

Mark Baker is a State Representative from Rankin County and a Republican candidate for Attorney General. 

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS