This week two starkly different stories are emerging regarding crime and how it is dealt with.
Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News printed a story on the continued shortcomings of the Dallas Municipal Court System. It details a lack of communication and coordination between law enforcement and court personnel, inadequate technology, a pass the buck approach to solving problems and a disturbing acceptance of court dismissals as the business as usual approach to dealing with traffic safety offenses -- three years after an audit identified all of these problems, a city council member referred to the courts as a joke and the mayor demanded improvements.
A much brighter story was offered today in San Joaquin County Superior Court. It is a story of amazing success achieved by people who needed, received and achieved a second chance. This year 330 people have graduated from the collaborative courts program in San Joaquin Superior Court. That means they have gotten sober, found jobs and changed their environments and rehabilitated themselves with a supportive criminal justice program that aims to collaborate and rehabilitate.
We applaud Judge Vlavianos and the graduates of San Joaquin County Collaborative Courts program. The San Joaquin approach to giving people second chances is commendable and we hope other courts and DWI offenders will look to you as an example.