Stop the Violence forum addresses area crime issues

Kevin Sproul, Dougherty County Sheriff, says he sees education as key to reducing crime in Dougherty County. Sproul has implemented a program where inmates may pursue completion of their GED certificates while incarcerated.

Kevin Sproul, Dougherty County Sheriff, says he sees education as key to reducing crime in Dougherty County. Sproul has implemented a program where inmates may pursue completion of their GED certificates while incarcerated.

ALBANY -- The first of four planned citywide forums focusing on crime in Albany and Dougherty County was presented by the Taking Authority Stop the Violence group at Albany State University's ACAD Auditorium yesterday. The anti-crime organization hosted a nine-member panel, including an elected official, law enforcement authorities, government administrators and community leaders.

Although a stated primary purpose of the forum was to have parents and other interested people come together to discuss crime solutions, only some 100 people were in attendance and had little interaction with panel members.

"Our theme," said Stop the Violence Chairman Bishop Frederick Williams, "is 'Crime -- We All Pay', and certainly the theme itself speaks volumes."

Dougherty County Sheriff, Kevin Sproul, began with some less than encouraging news concerning trends of arrests and incarcerations.

"As of yesterday, the Dougherty County Jail had 849 inmates locked up," Sproul said. "Just a few months ago we'd gotten that figure down to 750. We're trying everything we can to reduce the population of the jail and where we're seeing a big problem is people who get assigned to probation can't stay out. They're violating their probation and coming back."

Part of Sproul's hope for a reduction in local crime is to make education easier to obtain, even for those who find themselves in jail or prison, he said. To that end, he has initiated a program where inmates may be able to complete their GEDs while serving their sentences. According to Sproul, three inmates have graduated the program during the past year with 25 currently involved in obtaining their certificates. Sproul said he didn't want his time as sheriff to be judged by how many people he'd locked up.

"We see education as such a necessity and so many of our inmates begin by dropping out of middle school or high school and continue to come back over," Sproul said. "As you all know, without an education you have a very slim chance of making it in this world."

Ward 5 Commissioner Gloria Gaines, saw the answer to high crime rates not in education but in returning to former family values and parental responsibilities.

"To raise your child has nothing to do with education," Gaines said. "It has everything to do with parenting. If you don't send those kids (to school) ready to learn, they are simply not going to learn."

Williams said additional quarterly forums will be held in the west, south and north sections of Albany.


tocar 2 years, 1 month ago

Wanting to learn begins in the home with the parents. If the parents don't spend time with each child and encourage them to learn then it has negative effects on that child. Parents need to see that their children have the desire to go to school and the desire to want to learn so they can make it in this world. We all want our children to be successful and without good parenting skills and a good education, that child does not stand a chance.


waltspecht 2 years, 1 month ago

Inorder to stop the violance, you have got to convince folks that violance doesn't pay, it only costs them heavily. This is where Law Enforcement, the Courts and the Penal System need to step up and set sever examples. As long as some people aren't afraid of going to jail, the violance won't stop. I was in court once where one individual had shot another in the gut. When the guilty individual was leaving the court, he said to the victim "I'll be out in five years, you'll be wearing that bag for the rest of your life, fair trade."


Progressive 2 years, 1 month ago

"To raise your child has nothing to do with education," Gaines said. This is short sighted and Wrong! A parent must attempt to teach a child the differences between right and wrong, having respect for human life, proper behaviour at home, at school and at church, good morals, who, what, when and where to say no to, pulling up your pants to demonstrate having pride in the way you look, and keeping your environment clean and organized, etc, etc, etc. ..... This is called "educating" your child. I guess we also need to educate the adults with these same principles.


Blaqueknight316 2 years ago

I very rarely respond to most of the comments in this forum because most of the comments are so negative and self serving, however I find myself responding to your comments. First, I was at the forum and I wish you could have heard Commissioner Gaines comments in their entirety. Commissioner Gaines is a "no nonsense" type of person that does not sugar coat a topic to try and make you feel good. The rest of her comments were quite similar to your comments....while we may never agree on everything, I believe that we're trying to make positive change so things will better for everyone. .....it starts with dialouge with positive and "Progressive" people. It is unfortunate that the gentleman that reportded on the forum did not remain for the entire meeting, he missed the most important part. I read the article as you did and if I had NOT attended the forum I would feel as you do....I don't expect you to believe me but I would suggest you call Sheriff Sproul and ask him about the comments of Commissioner Gaines.


RedEric 2 years, 1 month ago

The values being taught to Albany children are that rules and laws are for fools. That the surest way to get ahead is to lie cheat and steal. I have heard that prisons are crime schools where young people learn how to be criminals. Corruption at all levels in Albany serves the same function. Violence is a symptom. It doesn't do any good to fix the symptom and not cure the cause. Earnestly and honestly stop corruption from welfare fraud to municipal mischief.


billybob 2 years, 1 month ago

It won't be popular, but I'll say it. Problem number one is black fathers who don't stick around and raise their kids. These kids born to single mothers who have three and four kids by multiple men, none of whom are around is the root of most of the trouble facing our community. It's generational and it is ingrained in this community and many others as well. There aren't a lot of single Jewish moms or single Asian moms running around with multiple kids by multiple men and those cultures/ethnicities seem to be doing pretty well. Funny how that works.


B4it 2 years, 1 month ago

Correct. Go back and read "Progressive's" comments. It has to start with teaching the children to become responsible for their actions.


Chimmeree 2 years, 1 month ago

First of all God has been pushed out of everywhere He needs to be, therefore children grow up to be adults without knowing right from wrong. Parents rights of correction have been stripped away. Government (corrupt Government at that) wants so much control they pay people to sit on the porch by day and pay them to make more babies by night. Some of these parents teach their kids to go out and rob and steal so that they can have money to buy more drugs (which are supposedly against the law, ha ha) They sell their food stamps for the same. All the while they see the people from cops to City Managers to teachers, people that should be role models lying, cheating killing and stealing. There is no punishment for crime. As a matter of fact for all the crime city officials do all they get is a paid vacation. And why should we have to pay City Workers to dig ditches and such, get out those ball and chains and have these criminals do the work. Harsh punishment reduces crime, Quit paying people to be sorry.


billybob 2 years, 1 month ago

Actually, most prison inmates self identify as Christian. And the black community where this is a real problem has an very high rate of religious belief. So it wouldn't seem god has anything to do with it. In fact, countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark who have very high atheist/agnostic populations have low crime rates. Perhaps the answer is less god and more focus on intellect and reasoning skills.


Jacob 2 years ago

Perhaps you can entertain satan with your pseudo intellectual dribble when you are roasting in the sulpher pits of hades for eternity.


erock 2 years, 1 month ago

Parents can't teach their kids the difference between right and wrong, when they themselves choose to set bad examples. When their kids get shot, how do they respond? Don't talk to the police, we're going to take care of this ourselves. They themselves are thugs and pass this behavior down from generation to generation. It's obvious some of the citizens of Albany want to quell the violence, but many are not willing to put forth the effort required. Our panty waist judicial system doesn't do us any favors either. When an officerci chases down one of these punks, he or she is met with a barrage of flying debris, insults, and criticism. The parents try to stash the gun or dope their kids dropped while running from the police. Next thing you know, that very same hoodlum is on the way to the hospital suffering from a gunshot wound, and the community is outraged the police are not doing their job. How long are you spineless people going to let these thugs and their parents buffalo you?


erudite 2 years, 1 month ago

With what generation did this slide start? If children learn from parents (and most are writing that education starts at home), then this generation (the millenials-Gen AO (always on)) learned from their parents (generation Y) who learned from generation X, who learned it from the "me" generation, who learned from the baby boomers and so on.

There has been government assistance since the 30's; where did it go askew?

Is street crime more costly than suite crime? Perhaps in panic and hospital bills but Madoff's criminal costs could have set up Albany in its entireity for life!! But nope, we're paying for his sorry behind too with taxes.


Jacob 2 years, 1 month ago

Albany already is set in its entirety for life. Wake up and smell the welfare cheese. Your democratic elected officials' schemes and ripoffs of the hardworking American taxpayers make Bernie blush like a new bride.


bigbob 2 years, 1 month ago

Buy a gun & learn how to use it safely. The cops have shown they can't protect you. Heck 70 cops couldn't handle a few juveniles at the fireworks.


Sister_Ruby 2 years, 1 month ago

Messrs. Smith & Wesson got my back........and front and every other side too.


chinaberry25 2 years ago

Read what Billy Grahams daughter said about children today. It is not just black people, it is whites too. Whites may not act up in school or other things, but they will disrespect their parents when they do not have their way. If I do not get what I am entitled to, I will leave and you will never see the grandkids again. Happens all the time. No conscience whatsoever. Never mind, they will someday be fed out of that same spoon. That is what she states when children are raised without God.


billybob 2 years ago

Nonsense. The observable data in other, much less religious countries does not support that line of thinking.


chinaberry25 2 years ago

There are much stricter discipline in those spoken of countries. Death for a crime or your hand removed for stealing. BTY back up with support. rather than hearsay!!!!! Where is the proof, I want to look it up to see for myself not just your babbling.


billybob 2 years ago

Here is data from the least religious countries in the world accoring to Gallup. In addition to the low crime rates, note the literacy rates indicating an educated population.

Estonia 14% religious

GDP - 24.65 billion (98th)

Literacy - 99.8% (3rd in the world)

Life expectancy - 71.4 years (104th in the world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 6.7

Sweden 17%

GDP - 354.7 billion (33rd)

Literacy -99% (42nd in world)

Life expectancy -80.9 years (20th in world)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 1.2

Denmark 18%

GDP - $313.8 billion (46th)

Literacy - 99% (28th)

Life expectancy - 78.3 (36th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 1.1

Norway 20%

GDP - $276.5 billion

Literacy - 99% (20th)

Life expectancy - 80.2 (13th)

Homicide rates per 100,000 - 0.8


erudite 2 years ago

If you look chinaberry25, those countries who inflict such harsh crimes are very religious countries. The US, because we do not have official religious dogma, incarcerates people more than any other industrialized nation in the world, including Russia. Would you rather we blind and/or maim and/or kill for crimes?


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