By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Buchanan [sarcastically]: And I suppose you accept the charges.
Schwartz [wearily]: If I know them, I do and I pay for it. And I work to find places for those people to live and jobs....
Buchanan: And they're getting free dental, medical, psychiatric, legal care. They're given all these rights, they're getting married in prison. They're fathering children in prison. I mean, you call this punishment? Many of them are living better there than they did out on the street. There are people in Miami who worked all their lives and can't afford air-conditioning, but they got it in jail. They got color TV in the jail. I've eaten the food in jail and it's better than the food in the Miami Herald cafeteria. 'Cause they want to keep them happy, they don't want them to cause any trouble, so they give them the best. I've had people call me from jail to complain that the coffee was cold.... A cop killer used to call me from jail every time his coffee was cold to complain.
Schwartz acknowledges that no one supports "the idea of frivolity in prison," but then asserts, "The descriptions of this prison system that you've put out here are just wildly exaggerated." Later Suarez asks Buchanan about the value of judges having discretion in sentencing juveniles.
Buchanan: Well, I think creative sentencing is terrific, and I think that if they can't go into the military and serve their country there, they could paint public buildings, they could work on public projects, they could clean up litter -- it's most of their peers who throw it there anyway. There are a lot of things that they could do, a lot of ways judges could be creative. They could sentence them to work with retarded children, they could sentence them to work helping old ladies. Somebody caught mugging an old lady could be made to work in a nursing home, could be made to assist old ladies, take them shopping, you know, do things that help them to develop a sensitivity to other people, a sensitivity that they don't have. If you notice, the crime rate in this country among young people soared once we no longer had the draft. I mean it's a real tragedy --
Schwartz: The crime rate decreased actually --
Buchanan: -- and --
Schwartz: Violent crime increased a bit in the Eighties. But after the draft was eliminated, juvenile crime plummeted dramatically.
Buchanan: But in the Eighties, without a sense of discipline, I mean we've had the same trouble in our police departments, because they used to have this vast pool of retired military or people who'd served in the military to draw upon, and now they no longer have that. And they have to take these kids out of school who, instead of following orders the way someone who's been in the military will do, question it, give their sergeants an argument, didn't want to wear their hats, wanted to wear mustaches, want to wear earrings, want beards -- you know, have changed the whole idea of police work into something that now doesn't work as well as it used to.