In 2017 through 2019, many times it seemed like the crime in Dickinson, North Dakota was out of control. I had never personally experienced very much crime in Dickinson until I moved to downtown Dickinson in the spring of 2017. Within a couple of months my pickup truck was stolen.
By making flyers with a photograph of my stolen truck, and handing these flyers out all over Dickinson and the neighboring towns, I eventually received some phone calls and leads about who had stolen my truck. I found out, the person who had stolen my truck, he very recently had been released from prison for vehicle theft, and that there was currently a warrant out for his arrest for possession of stolen property.
I got my truck back about a week after I found out who had it. In the process of trying to find my truck, I read the complete criminal record of the person who had it, and the criminal records of this person’s friends and associates. This was my introduction to the fact that Dickinson has a large amount of residents who are repeat, continual, habitual, life-long criminals.
One of the things that I used to try to locate my stolen truck and the person who had it, was Facebook. I looked at this person’s Facebook posts, the people that he was communicating with, who these people were, and where these people were located.
The Facebook posts and Facebook friends, showed that there were easily more than several hundred drug-user, drug-addict, thieving men and women in Dickinson who were not ashamed, and not intending to stop what they were doing. Their names were familiar from the weekly Dickinson Press newspaper articles “Crimes & Courts” and “Police Blotter”.
I had always been interested in reading the Dickinson Press newspaper articles on crime in Dickinson, reading the names of the people who were caught, and what they had been arrested for, to see if there was anyone that I knew, or to save their names in my memory in case I met them in the future. But after seeing all the drug-addicts/criminals on Facebook, seeing that they all loosely knew and associated with each other, reading their criminal records on the ND Court Repository, I learned that not only does Dickinson have a large permanent habitual criminal population, but from reading the Dickinson Press, I now saw that these people are continually arrested again, and again, and again, over and over, with no end in sight.
I wasn’t the only person who saw this. The parent company of the Dickinson Press newspaper, Forum Communications, their owners, editors, staff, and reporters noticed this too. In August of 2019, Forum Communications, through each of its newspapers published five articles on crime, courts, prisons, parole, and probation written by reporter Sam Easter. Here is the link to the gateway article: https://www.thedickinsonpress.com/news/crime-and-courts/4046635-Too-big-too-fast-North-Dakota’s-other-housing-problem
The reporter Sam Easter was so thorough and detailed in his newspaper articles, that I think many North Dakotans lost one of the main, most important observations and conclusions: There are so many habitual, repeat, life-long criminal offenders in North Dakota because they are not being sent to prison, or being kept in prison, because it costs $43,000 per year to keep them in prison, and only $1,700 per year to keep them on parole/probation.
For some of the families in the Dickinson area, a life of crime is just a lifestyle choice. To them, a little bit of marijuana, a little bit of methamphetamine, a little bit of heroin, some drug dealing, some stealing, some robbery, some check fraud, some assault, fleeing & eluding, probation, and violation of probation, make for a good way of life, that they pass on to their children.
When will you learn, to just put each of these fuckers in prison for ten, fifteen, twenty years, and just leave them there for their entire sentence? You think that it costs $43,000 per year to keep them in prison, how much does it end up costing when they are not in prison and breeding five to ten children who will be exactly like them? How much does it end up costing when they are not in prison and introduce 50 to 100 people to meth or heroin and get them addicted?
The People, the Police, and the Judges in Dickinson are too tolerant and lenient on crime. In the past in Dickinson, there probably were individuals who might have committed a crime only out of desperation, impulsiveness of youth, or drunkenness. Their criminal behavior might have been corrected by a short time in jail and probation. But this is generally not the case in Dickinson anymore, the people who are being arrested, have been arrested again, and again, and again with no indication that they are going to stop what they are doing.
The policy or practice of no jail time, suspended jail time, short jail time, and probation is sending a message to the hundreds of habitual repeat criminals in Dickinson that they have nothing to fear, they can keep right on doing what they have been doing.