YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is a significant cost to putting people in prison. That’s one of the topics as we wrap up our conversations this week with Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Carla Baldwin.
WKBN Community Affairs Director Dee Crawford talked with Baldwin about what else can be done to address violence in our community.
“I think we have to go to the basics, and I think we need to teach conflict resolution in schools. I think we need to teach it in our summer programs. I think we need to be mindful of what happens on social media with young people. There’s so much bullying and threats being made, and so nonchalantly, and [they] don’t understand the impact on the person who receives the message,” Baldwin said. “A lot of times, individuals don’t understand that there’s consequences criminally for that, both at the juvenile stage as well as the adult criminal stage. So I think we need to teach our kids the power of their words and the power of their decisions and that, you know, trouble happens to us all. But the rate of trouble, the type of trouble, and it’s one thing to make a mistake — we all do that. But we have enough people in the criminal justice system. I don’t need anybody else adding to the numbers.”
Incarceration can come at a high cost. That’s why Baldwin said it’s important to rehabilitate, something she said takes a team effort.
“Incarceration without rehabilitation doesn’t work.,” she said. “Are some people going to be incarcerated? Absolutely. We’re never going to close all the prisons, all the jails, but we need to leave that for our more serious offenders where rehabilitation is not a viable option, but for everyone, we can help. Let’s help because guess what? That person will eventually get out and that person will be our neighbor. We’ll see them at the grocery store. We will see them at church. We will see them in passing. What a revolutionary community this would look like if we worried about our neighbor as we worried about ourselves.”
Baldwin stressed that the city is full of great people, and good things are happening.
“We have resources, and if you don’t know, ask. But we are better than the worst headline about this place. So stay positive. Stay tuned in and do your part to help make our community what it has the possibility to be,” she said.