The Greeley Tribune
A declining crime rate over the past few years, on top of five arrests of local gang leaders this week, was good news on the crime-fighting front, but the Greeley City Council was warned Tuesday night that the good times might not last.
Dozens of parolees — including registered sex offenders and people arrested in serious assaults — are being released from the state prison system back into Greeley. Although the state Department of Corrections said the number of parolees is not unusual, Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner warned the council Tuesday that problems could be coming.
Garner said this week that he believes the crime rate in Greeley is bound to increase again with the release of so many “serious” criminals back into the area.
“Many of these people will turn back into crime just to make a living,” Garner said. “And, the parole officers are thinly spread right now, so it will be difficult keeping up with all of the parolees.”
At the DOC, spokeswoman Katherine Senguinetti said that won’t be the case.
“This is not an unusual amount of parolees,” she said. “We usually release about 900 per month across the state. Our parole officers have a caseload that’s a little on the high side, but it’s manageable.”
Among those released was Renee Polreis, 57, who was convicted of child abuse resulting in death in 1997. In a trial that attracted national attention, Polreis was sentenced to 22 years in prison. In that case, Polreis was arrested following the death of her 2-year-old son, David, whom Polreis and her husband, David Sr., adopted from a Russian orphanage. Prosecutors and police said Renee Polreis beat her son with wooden spoons, a spatula and a hair brush, and he choked to death during the beating.
Defense attorneys had argued the boy inflicted the wounds on himself as a result of “reactive attachment disorder,” which some doctors said caused children to harm themselves.
Because it was the first time the disorder was used as a defense in a homicide, the case attracted national attention. Television news crews came to Greeley from New York and Los Angeles, and the case appeared on evening news shows across the country.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
The Greeley Tribune