Viewpoint: March 2, 2011

Our recent I-Team investigation revealed an unsettling revolving door right here in our community. Criminals are making a career out of crime.

Our I-Team found a man who had been arrested more than 64 times, not to mention many individuals who have been arrested dozens and dozens of times, only to find themselves quickly back on the streets.

The East Baton Rouge district attorney admits the old system failed many times and in that failure, innocent victims were targeted by people who should have been in jail.

There's hope in a new program that is simple, but so far, effective. Sometimes just a simple label on a criminal's file can let a judge know the person is a repeat offender and this is a case that may need more attention.

When they can, prosecutors are now actively using a person's arrest and conviction record against them.

However, even with this new program, it still takes five or more felony convictions before a criminal is technically listed as a repeat offender.

The program will only do so much. Prosecutors and judges also need to renew their focus on aggressively pursuing those who have learned how to turn the justice system into a revolving door.