Reader considers cost of violence
No one can deny the emotional impact of violent crime in our country, but there is also a huge financial cost to society.
I decided to explore this by doing research to ascertain the cost of one crime in Washington County, the White Creek murders in 2011. It is almost impossible to extrapolate the exact amount expended to investigate and prosecute the murderer, but I did find, through the help of Washington County offices, a pretty fair estimate of some costs.
Funeral home transport to Albany Medical Center: $745
Forensic medical services: $2,400
Albany Medical Center lab/morgue services: $2,064
Albany Medical services testing: $906
Washington County district attorney’s office involvement for nine days, plus a $4,000 fee for testimony of a blood spatter expert and jury fees of $40 a day: $19,034.48
Public defender expenses: $15,584
Washington County sheriff overtime expenses: $14,123
There are many costs not included; this is a conservative estimate.
The VERA Institute of Justice Center gives an estimate of housing one felon for one year in a New York state penitentiary as $60,076. Expenses ought to be taken into consideration when penalties for violation of gun regulations are imposed. Gun traffickers who sell guns without background checks, or gun owners who do not secure their guns, should be fined heavily to mitigate the cost of gun violence.
Our area has a small tax base, and I find it difficult to absorb the expense of prosecuting and incarcerating criminals for whom it has been easy to buy guns without a background check or to acquire a gun from an irresponsible gun owner.
Editor’s note: The following letters are from some of Denise Lamouree’s fourth-grade students at William H. Barton Intermediate School.
Students consider their environment
The world is a special place, and we should keep it as clean as we can. If people work together, we can make the world a cleaner place.
One problem that is very common in our environment is plastic. The plastic you throw on the ground can stay on the earth for more than 100 years! One solution that we would use less plastic would be instead of using plastic bags, we could use paper bags. We also could use paper cups. Paper is better for the environment because paper can decompose into the ground without staying there.
Another problem we have in our environment is garbage. Too much garbage goes to the dump every day, and I have some solutions that would help the environment. One solution is to throw away biodegradable things. Biodegradable things are better for the environment because they decompose into the earth instead of staying there for hundreds of years.
As you can see, our environment has a lot of flaws, but we can still make it a better and cleaner place to live in.
I feel people need to start taking more care of our earth. We don’t live for a long time, and I don’t think we want to live a garbage life. If you don’t want to live a garbage life, then we should start taking care of this world.
Smoking is a huge problem! We have a sealed world that keeps us from the sun, so that means all the smoke we smoke is still trapped in this world! In the future, that can affect our grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even our great-great-grandchildren! So we need to fix this problem, unless you want your family to die younger than you ever did. If you just can’t think of an idea to stop smoking, then here are some ideas. You cannot even think about going to the cigarette store. Or you can ask a friend or a relative to hide the cigarettes in a spot that you don’t know.
You would be amazed of how many humans throw trash in an empty field. This can cause all sorts of things. It can cause animals looking for food, and when the animal eats the trash, it can poison the animals and die. It can cause us even! So I ask you to please don’t do that anymore.
In conclusion, I ask everyone to please avoid doing such a silly thing. If everyone takes care of our world, one person at a time, we will have a wonderful world. I hope everyone can do these things.
Have you ever wondered about our earth and how it’s treated? Well, all I have to say about earth is treat it how you treat people or how people treat you. I mean, come on, do you want garbage to be falling or even thrown on you 24/7? I bet your answer is never, or ewww that’s icky!
One problem we’re dealing with now is plastic and its effect on earth. Well, just think of dumps — it must have lots of plastic and even some tin foil. This is because plastic never ever breaks down, no matter what, even in water. On the other hand, tin foil (it depends on the type) stays or breaks down.
Another problem that we’re dealing with is recycling — a big problem. Well just imagine a garbage-free world, that would be absolutely amazing. Mostly because of littering! Now don’t go telling other people not to litter, because you litter too. It’s hard to think, but you do it every day outside, even inside your house.
If you just recycled one thing a day you can save earth, and believe it or not, you are saving lives. That makes you a superhero, so remember, garbage — no good or earth a disaster. Thank you for your time.
Have you ever thought of the way people have been treating the earth? We pollute the air and the water.
Sometimes people don’t know the reason we have water. It’s used for fishing or swimming but not to use as a dump, because it might end up with that the fish gets poisoned and the animal that eats the fish gets poisoned and etc. That’s why we got to be careful with your water and what you put in it. We need water, that’s our main product in our soda or our milk and any other drink. I don’t know why people just don’t care about our water, but I came up with a solution to our problem. We should not just put the sign that says “Don’t litter,” we should put some chemical that turns the trash into the earth. That won’t hurt the plants and the animals too.
And the last problem we have is the air is getting filled with toxic gas from the factories. That’s bad when it rains and there’s dogs outside, the rain could be filled with that bad gas, it could hurt it. But I came up with an idea, the factories should make a filter that would suck up the bad air and throw out the good air.
I feel we need to take better care of our ecosystem. Every day, someone throws trash. Wake up, people. You’re polluting. We can change the world.
Have you noticed we are littering? Garbage can kill several animals like squirrels, birds, fish and other animals. There is a solution. All of us can throw trash away instead of throwing it on the ground. You can recycle things that can decompose. How would you like it if there was a piece of trash on the ground and you die from it? Sad, right? If we work together, we can clean up the world.
Also, have you noticed we had been cutting down trees? If you cut too many trees down you can destroy animals’ habitats. How would you like it if you were a squirrel and a person destroys your habitat? You wouldn’t like it.
That is why I think we should clean the world. Also, don’t litter.
Every day, ecosystems and our own earth are getting destroyed, and it is horrible because one day it is going to affect our living. Once it does, we need to work together to clean up our communities, and why not start now!
If there is one thing that is affecting our earth, it’s plastic! The worst thing is when people throw it on the ground. They don’t realize plastic never rots and never goes away. One hundred years from now, plastic will still be here. Every day animals are dying because they get caught in plastic and stop breathing and eat plastic and die. But what you can do to help is get some friends together and go to a beach or a soccer field or even your local park and pick up the trash.
One other thing that is a big thing on earth is noise pollution. Leaf blowers, motorcycles, lawn mowers, they all make noise that causes hearing loss and also kills animals. Once the scale goes over 95, then bad things start to happen. It’s not just neighborhoods that make all the noise. It’s factories, businesses and repair shops, and car washes too. What we can do is turn down the radios, TVs and the video games, and read a book for Pete’s sake! It will make our communities so much more quiet and a beautiful place to live.
As you can see, earth is a very important place, and we need to keep it beautiful and living. Just getting people together to pick up trash in an area makes a huge difference. One person at a time we can help clean up the earth.