|'Judge sends home gang which stole more than 200 bicycles." (El Tiempo)|
|On their way back home? |
Alleged bike thieves and their take.
But 13 of the 15 alleged thieves won't go to jail, but instead received home detention. Home detention
is often a joke here, either because the arrestees relax comfortably at home or even remove the bracelets, put them on a housepet, and go out to party or commit more crimes.
Advocates of home detention point out, reasonably, that prisons are overcrowded and that prisoners often learn to be worse criminals, rather than be rehabilitated.
But, for a group which allegedly stole hundreds of bikes, which they might have sold for the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars, does home detention serve as any deterrent at all?
And the punishment seems out of line in a nation turning harsher and harsher against drug crimes - which many people call 'victimless crimes.'
In contrast, stealing the transport and recreation from hundreds of people seems like a crime deserving serious punishment.
By Mike Ceaser of Bogota Bike Tours