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La Crosse judges may have no choice but to get tougher on crime




It is no secret that La Crosse police have been openly critical of a local judicial system which they claim has been soft on crime. Police complain those arrested on drug and gun crimes aren’t being treated harshly enough by the courts, and often it isn’t long after their release that police arrest them again. Soon, efforts to ensure criminals get tougher treatment may be the law of the land in Wisconsin. A group of Wisconsin Republican lawmakers have introduced what they call the Tougher on Crime Initiative. It is a series of bills which they say is aimed at violent, repeat offenders who continue to slip through the cracks in our justice system and go on to commit serious crimes. Some of it is procedural, like a bill that would enhance the public’s ability to see full court records from the time of a person’s arrest until the case’s final disposition. But others get to the meat of the matter that has police upset with our local judges. This bill would require a person’s extended supervision, parole or probation be revoked if that person is charged with a new crime while they are out on supervision. La Crosse police must be pleased with that prospect. They have pointed out numerous cases where someone they arrest was released by local judges while awaiting trial, only to commit new crimes when they are free. If this becomes law, judges would have fewer options for dealing with lawbreakers, and police would likely spend less time chasing the same bad guys over and over again.

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