The role of Corrections and the prison system are meant to do one thing no matter what, and that is to put forth efforts to rehabilitate those who are scheduled to be released back into our communities.
No matter where you sit on the debate of whether prison is cruel to all exposed or it’s a just punishment for certain crimes; the idea is that after an individual spends “X” amount of time in the system, they should be poised for release and ready to be a productive member of society.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Plus, when you’re dealing with previous violent offenders who relapse into their past behaviors, then that spells trouble with a capital “T”. This thought brings us to a case coming from Delaware County, Pennsylvania in the Ridley Township area.
A convicted murderer, who spent 24 years in prison, is accused of an armed carjacking in the Woodlyn section of Ridley Township, Pennsylvania.
Authorities stated that 44-year-old Donald Flynn was paroled in August of this year. Thankfully, he’s now in custody after the alleged incident.
Ridley Township detectives allege that Flynn was recorded on a doorbell camera in the 200 block of Elmwood Avenue attempting to carjack a woman driving a black BMW. According to Ridley Township Police Captain Scott Willoughby:
“The video shows everything.”
In the footage that was captured by the video doorbell (seen below), you can see a hooded figure approaching the BMW shortly after it pulls into a parking lot. Willoughby’s comments about the video convey the mood eerily well when describing the scene playing out:
“Waiting, unbeknownst to (the victims) was this guy with a gun to take their vehicle.”
The driver of the BMW stated that the man put a gun up to her head and told her to get out of the car. In a panic, she accidentally puts the car in reverse. Willoughby rationalized the driver’s reaction to the situation when stating:
“She’s screaming. He’s screaming at her and she panics and tries to put the car in park, at which time she puts the car in reverse.”
In the video you can hear the suspect yell for the woman to “put it in park.” The car then backs into a concrete wall during the encounter.
The driver, and her passenger, immediately exit the car and run into the house. At that point, the suspect is seen entering the car and speeding off while running over an elevated curb upon driving off.
According to police, after the initial 911 call pertaining to the carjacking, they’d gotten reports of a car on fire nearby the scene of the theft of the BMW. When police had arrived to tend to the burning vehicle, it was identified as the vehicle that had been involved in the carjacking minutes earlier.
Witnesses at the scene of the burning car also stated that they saw a man take off running from the scene of the smoldering vehicle.
When officers later encountered Flynn, he had burns to his neck, wrist, and knuckles. The woman who witnessed him running from the burning car was brought over to Flynn to make an identification. The unidentified witness stated:
“They had him sitting down in handcuffs and they ripped open his pants. His skin was burnt and he was saying it was from his cellphone blowing up.”
Yeah, everyone was convinced that Flynn was the latest victim of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (insert sarcasm).
According to Willoughby when speculating on what caused the car to go ablaze, he stated:
“The vehicle caught on fire probably because of the accident when it hit the retaining wall or when he went over the high curb.”
Flynn was evaluated by medics on the scene and subsequently transported to the burn unit of Crozer Chester Medical Center for treatment. Flynn is now facing six charges in connection with the incident, including robbery of a motor vehicle, recklessly endangering another person, terroristic threats and other related offenses.
Willoughby also commented on Flynn’s alleged return to crime:
“He’s an extremely violent and dangerous person. And after he was released from prison, he went right back to the life of crime that got him into prison 24 years ago.”
Well, hopefully the judge and prosecutor take the aforementioned into account when it comes time to hear the case.
It’s the second such case we’ve reported on this week.
The first was a Latin King gang leader freed by the ‘First Step Act’ who police say killed someone almost immediately after being released.
Recidivism is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend. Need an example?
A notorious leader of the “Almighty Latin Kings” gang, convicted of trafficking, instantly returned to a life of drugs and violence after being released from federal prison by the “First Step Act.”
“In early February, 41-year-old Joel Francisco — dubbed the ‘Crown Prince’ of the gang in 2005 — was released from prison after President Donald Trump signed into law the First Step Act, promoted by a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and progressive and libertarian nonprofits.
Less than a year after his release, was not only actively involved in the drug game, but he allegedly murdered 46-year-old Troy Pine by stabbing him to death and skipped town to evade murder charges. Weeks ago, police captured Francisco in Texas and extradited him to Rhode Island,” reported Breitbart.
Newly reported details of the case by the Providence Journal‘s Brian Amaral and Katie Mulvaney reveal that almost immediately after Francisco was freed by the First Step Act, he returned to the same drug-fueled life that had originally put him in prison.
‘Latin Kings’ Gang Leader Freed by ‘First Step Act’ Arrested for Murder After Nationwide Manhunthttps://t.co/ZMReawaet3
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) October 25, 2019
Francisco was originally convicted in 2005 for dealing crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Days after his release by the First Step Act in February, drug records reveal he returned to using cocaine.
In February, days after his release, Francisco tested positive for cocaine. Then, months later in June, Francisco tested positive for marijuana three times. Weeks later, Francisco was charged with attempting to break into his ex-girlfriend’s home.
On September 23, Francisco again tested positive for cocaine. Days later, on October 2, police said Francisco stabbed Pine to death. Francisco had violated his terms of release six times within the first year of being freed by the First Step Act.
Many critics of the First Step Act have said that the law would result in the release of thousands of drug traffickers from prison despite their dealing deadly drugs such as fentanyl and heroin. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson ran a segment earlier this year saying that the:
“Act had successfully released about 240 sex offenders, nearly 60 convicted murderers and assailants, as well as almost 1,000 inmates convicted of drug crimes.”
Prior to being released, Francisco convinced the court that he had turned his life around, noting his taking part in rehabilitation programs in prison, which advocates of the First Step Act readily cited to make their case that even violent convicts could be reformed and thus released.
On July 13, about six months after being released from prison, Francisco was accused of breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend and charged with domestic violence. Three months later, on October 2nd, police said Francisco stabbed Pine to death and immediately skipped town to evade murder charges.
“I just want an answer,” Pine’s nephew Jay Chattelle told the Providence Journal. “I just want to know what happened to my uncle. But at the same time, you’re thinking, ‘Once this is all done, Uncle Troy is still not here.’”
Before his release from federal prison, Providence law enforcement officials warned that the former gang leader would likely commit additional crimes if released.
“Some criminals deserve to spend their lives incarcerated,” Providence Police Department Deputy Chief Thomas Verdi told the Providence Journal. “Joel is one.”
In November 2018, Breitbart News reported that the First Step Act would result in the release of thousands of drug traffickers from prison despite their dealing deadly drugs such as fentanyl and heroin.
The criminal justice system must do a better job when determining release. Francisco’s case is not an anomaly.
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A Seattle man with more than 70 criminal convictions was arrested by authorities after allegedly throwing hot coffee on a baby just two days after he was released from jail.
Francisco Calderon had just spent the last eight months in jail following a random brutal assault on a perfect stranger in public.
According to public records, Calderon has a laundry list of criminal convictions in the past. The man has been convicted 70 times, with 14 of those cases stemming from assault charges.
So why is Calderon repeatedly being released back into the community if he’s obviously a threat to the public?
It gets worse. Now the Seattle native is only being held on a misdemeanor in the coffee attack — stationed lockup and somehow avoiding a felony assault charge on a minor.
Witnesses said that Calderon was causing multiple disturbances in the park before randomly approaching a man who was pushing his infant son in a stroller. Calderon lashed out and threw the coffee on the child without provocation.
On July 7, we lost Deputy Sheriff Nicholas Dixon after a car full of suspects opened fire on two deputies who were pursuing them as they fled in a stolen car.
On Tuesday, we learned that the very man accused of taking the life of the young deputy had been arrested and locked up on separate charges just days before the fatal shooting.
According to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, 17-year-old Hector Garcia-Solis was released from the Hall County Jail on July 2 after being arrested on June 27 for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license, felony obstruction of an officer, possession of an open container and striking a fixed object.
He’d only been out of jail for a week and he was already back to breaking the law when police caught up to him.
Both deputies involved in the shooting were injured and were rushed to the hospital, but Dixon succumbed to his wounds. The second deputy remains in critical condition.
Garcia-Solis is now facing a felony murder charge for the death of Deputy Dixon. Brayan Omar Cruz, London Clements, Eric Edgardo Velazquez face party to a crime and felony murder charges.
They are all 17-years-old.
The current recidivism rate in the US is astronomical. While some states have a low rate, like South Dakota at 14.4%, 34 states reported rates that exceeded 40% recidivism within the first 3 years after release.