So far, the Indianapolis homicide rate for 2015 is right on track with the numbers from last year, and while Mayor Greg Ballard said local law enforcement are “working as hard as they possibly can,” there is another “pretty obvious” solution to reducing homicides and overall violence. However, Ballard said “nobody wants to go there.”
Ballard’s solution lies in requiring mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of gun crimes, noting that the majority of suspects involved in these crimes are not first-time offenders. He thinks a clear message needs to be sent to criminals that they will face more than just a couple of years in jail. Ballard wants to see a minimum of 20 years for crimes involving guns, but also admits that even half that would have drastically reduced the number of homicides over the last two years.
In addition, Ballard thinks more needs to be done to reach the younger generations before they turn to a life of crime.
“You’re not going to turn the tide unless we start at an earlier age — to make sure these young men and women don’t go down the wrong path,” he said, noting that the system needs an overhaul in “differentiating between people who need help and a hand up — and the people who are truly violent and need to go away for a long, long time.”
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