Rock Co. authorities study repeat offenders

Effort aimed at keeping repeat offenders out of criminal justice system
Rock Co. authorities study repeat offenders

Law enforcement leaders in Rock County are hoping to curb crime by studying their most notorious repeat offenders.

Janesville’s top five offenders have a combined total of more than 450 arrests.

“The police department, the district attorney’s office, juvenile probation, adult probation, it’s just frustrating dealing with the same people over and over again,” said Lt. Tim Hiers, of the Janesville Police Department.

Hiers had the task of identifying the top five repeat offenders that Janesville police have dealt with.

The five offenders police identified, all men 17 to 46 years old, have been convicted of crimes ranging from disorderly conduct to battery. Three have gang affiliations, one has a history of mental illness and another has a history of problems with alcohol, police said.

“Each individual person had their own unique circumstance to them, because some of them were punished by the system (and) others weren’t,” Hiers said.

Identifying the offenders is a part of the Rock County Coordinating Council’s mission, which is aiming to improve communication between agencies and keep repeat offenders out of the criminal justice system. The council also plans to strategize on how incarceration, counseling and probation affect people differently.

“We want to keep looking at the system approach to this. Is there something in the system we can do to improve and hopefully take these five off the list?” Hiers said.

Hiers said repeat offenders, especially those with mental health issues, require a significant amount of police resources.

“The process of dealing with a detention can last hours for a police department, and I’m not talking about Rock County, I’m talking about in the state. It could take hours in the process involved in that,” Hiers said.

Hiers said police are also compiling a list of their most dangerous offenders.