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For Jersey Burglars, It’s Deja Vu All Over Again [AUDIO]

Flickr User Scot Rumery

Many Garden state residents consider the holidays to be the most wonderful time of year- but some Jersey lawman might disagree, following a rash of break-ins – by repeat offenders! Morris County College professor of criminology Nick Irons – a former Sgt. with the Sparta Township Police Department – says the current situation is very troublesome – because what happens is “a person who is locked up for burglary doesn’t spend a great deal of time in jail – but once they’re inside the jail, they have a chance to share knowledge with other burglars, and they actually become even better at it – we know that jail is really the college of higher knowledge for future criminals, or bettering the crimes that you’re presently involved in…. because they have learned from fellow burglars behind bars- better techniques and better ways to do the crime.”

He says what happens is, because of current state law and prison over-crowding, “the courts will lock them up there, and then the police are faced with arresting them two, three, four maybe more times after the fact -and putting them in prison for just a short period of time which aggravates the police…and the result obviously is what we’re faced with right now – which is an increase in crime and burglaries.”

The professor points out in this tough economy – in all areas of Jersey – “people are out to try to make as much money as they possibly can, and burglary is certainly – of course – a very dishonest way – but it’s one way of making a few dollars for people…to solve the problem, we need to improve the education system inside our lockups – they’ve got to be able to put our prisoners in programs that will encourage them to go out to work…it takes a whole village to raise a child – we have to have commitments from employers out there that will hire these people once they come out – and monitor them – but it’s going to take an effort …people don’t want to hire people that have been locked up – that’s one of the things they do – they check your record, and see what you have- and that’s a problem.”

He adds changing criminal behavior is certainly challenging, because “people recognize they are going to continue to commit crimes until they’re caught – and it’s only the stupid ones that we have in jail.”

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