Misconception Monday - The Jail's COVID Procedures Caused the Uptick in Crime? Let's Clear This Up
With the adventure of COVID in the spring of 2020, it was necessary for the jail to come up with procedures to safeguard both the inmates and staff from the COVID virus entering the facility. COVID not only affected Laramie County but its reach was global affecting every facet of our society and hitting hardest in areas where people were grouped together in mass such as jails and other correctional facilities.
The Laramie County Sheriff's Office as well as facilities across the country strived to adopt procedures and follow guidance given to them by the CDC as well as the local health departments based on the severity of the COVID situation in each community. As Laramie County was considered one of the COVID hot spots in the state, our precautions had to be as strictly maintained as possible to guard against major outbreaks.
As it was, we did end up having a major outbreak of the delta variant during the summer of 2021 which necessitated even stricter precautions due to the severity of this variant.
Crime rates across the country follow the same trend is Laramie County, spiking during 2021 and then declining in 2022. However, Laramie County did not see the increase in physical crimes such as aggravated assault and homicide as did a large part of the nation. I believe Laramie County is unique and that we still have solid values and hold all life dear.
I can’t say that the jail procedures did not contribute in some way to the crime rate as people were given citations in lieu of arrest in many instances of property crimes but to say that it caused all or the majority of crimes in Laramie County is a misconception and definitely misleading the public.