BAXTER COUNTY, ARK. Local sheriffs in Arkansas say repeat offenders are a huge problem. Just one case in point: a man got locked up in county jails 58 times-- he was in prison three times-- yet was released over and over again. One time while he was out, he killed another man in a drunk driving crash.
"You know his parents miss him and they want to give him a hug. Ya know, I have sympathy for his parents... but eventually he's going to get out again and they are going to be able to hug him," explained mother Kim Jordan. Her son was killed in a crash by Terry Teeter. "They'll be able to make him Sunday supper and do whatever their family does... I'm never going to get to do that again!"
Authorities say Teeter was drunk, on drugs and running from the law when he crossed center-line and hit Christopher Jordan head-on.
Deputies say he should have been behind bars when it happened. Teeter had been in county jails 58 times, and to prison three times-- all very short stays though. Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says repeat offenders are a repeating problem.
"They've been down to prison 3, 5, 8, 15 times and we're still letting them go... no. That's just wrong," Montgomery said. "I still say we have got to decide what we want to do. Do we want to keep our citizens safe-- and if so, we're going to have to pay for it."
As of January 1, 2017, a new law in Missouri now somewhat prevents repeat offenders to an extent... if you go to prison three times, on the third time, you will have to serve at least 80-percent of your sentence. That was not the case until now.
Arkansas legislators are mulling over three or four mental health institutions to be built. County sheriffs say that would help with prison over-crowding.