The eighth Philadelphia police officer death in a crime over a three-year stretch has prompted the same finger-p0inting over who or what is responsible, says the Philadelphia Inquirer in an editorial. In addition to the individual criminals, “responsibility also lies at the feet of a criminal justice system that seems incapable of stemming the violence that keeps staining the streets of Philadelphia with the blood of police officers,” says the newspaper. The police say it’s not their fault that career criminals aren’t in prison; they blame lenient judges. Judges say prisons don’t use the time to rehabilitate effectively. Prison officials say society doesn’t provide the help returning felons need – a good job, for starters – to stay out of trouble.
The Inquirer says that “every part of the criminal justice system must work harder. Police must keep making arrests. Judges must make the right sentencing decisions. Prisons must intensify their efforts to rehabilitate. But that’s not all. Society must better prepare for returning inmates. Parolees must be monitored closely. Companies must provide more jobs.” The paper also says “it shouldn’t be so easy for [criminals] to acquire the guns they use to kill.”