Letters: 6/15/17

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What’s behind CPW’s actions on bears?

After reading [“Off target, part 6,” News, June 1], I have a few questions. Is the reason Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is relocating bears to an area where there’s nothing much to eat but fawns a move to prove the need for their predator control plan? Or is CPW relocating “nuisance” bears to that area so they can kill them there and avoid the public attention and bad PR of killing the bears in more populated areas? And could CPW have purposely caused the bear problem in the Piceance Basin in order to divert attention from the environmental damage caused by the oil and gas industry? Could the answer to all three questions be yes?

CPW isn’t talking. But, maybe the public will get some answers when the two lawsuits filed against CPW by environmental groups go to trial.
      Mary Bauman/Longmont

More options for treating sex offenders

This is from someone who used to work in the criminal justice system. Very good, non-hysterical article that was factual [Re: “Communities on the edge,” News, June 1]. However, some aspects are not quite “nobody knows what to do.” Among experts (not politicians) but researchers and experts in the field, there are some facts about sex offenders that are not controversial:
      Private, police-only sex offender registries that are limited in scope so police can focus on high-risk registrants reduce recidivism. Public, American registries (no other country has them) increase recidivism as they cause homelessness, social marginalization and unemployment — the key dynamic risk factors for reoffending.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces recidivism. Insight-oriented therapy has no effect. “Confess all your sins and admit your crime” group therapy increases recidivism as it feeds fantasies of high-risk offenders (it is constant graphic verbal porn) — that is why the Correctional Service of Canada got rid of this in the ’90s.

Supportive housing and halfway houses reduce re-offence; homelessness increases it — in one California study by a factor of six.

GPS does not do anything but cause rashes to legs.

Parole/probation/sex offender registry fees all increase absconding dramatically as people are afraid they will be revoked for non-payment.

Lengthy U.S.-style sentences do not have any benefit at reducing crime — if they did, the crime rate would be lower than Switzerland’s, not vastly higher.

Truth in sentencing and other American-style no-parole rules are associated with increased recidivism as there is no hook to get inmates to do programming, so when they are released, they are more dysfunctional than when they entered prison.

Bans on social housing, welfare and student loans also lead to higher recidivism as they prevent rehabilitation and reintegration.

Terry Evans/ via internet

Affordable housing
shell game

As a longtime resident of the Mapleton Mobile Home Park, I often get asked by people who would love to live here how they can get in. Most understand that of the 137 homes in the park, 70 are reserved for residents who are at or below the HUD very low income level. These prospective residents assure me that they qualify for that lowest tier but they never see units for sale in that tier. That’s when I explain to them that folks in the affordable tiers tend to swap with someone in the market tier before they sell in order to avoid resale restrictions.

This tier swap seemed like such a glaring loophole to me that I have been bringing it to the attention of City Council and staff for the last year and a half. I recently received the response that because people must income qualify in order to swap to an affordable tier, it is of no concern to the City whether they bought in or swapped in.

This response made me realize that many homeowners in the City’s homeownership program might want to swap out from under their resale restrictions. Conversely, market homeowners who have had a loss of income may want to swap to affordable to have their housing payment reduced and then swap back to market when it is time to sell like the homeowners in the Mapleton Park. I have inquired with the staff of the Planning, Housing and Sustainability department and they have given no reason why the tier swap could not be extended to the City’s homeownership program. 

I consider it an act of oppression to force the homes of lower-income homeowners to lose value with respect to inflation. Allowing these homeowners to swap out of the onerous simple appreciation resale restrictions which have been imposed on them will eliminate this inequity.

Paul Keaton/Boulder