A week plagued by violent crime: Criminal judge offers perspective on what’s needed to slow the trend

The causes of violence are beyond the control of the criminal justice system, the judge says

San Antonio – San Antonio communities experienced their share of violent crimes this week. There were a number of fatal shootings and two of the shootings in which San Antonio Police officers fired their weapons at the suspects.

But, violent crimes are not a problem just in San Antonio.

Bexar County 379th Criminal Court Judge Ron Rangel said it’s a state and national trend.

“We do know that crimes of violence are up. We do know that crimes of violence and violence involving firearms is also up. Also, statistically, Texas leads the nation as it relates to gun thefts,” he explained.

The causes of violence are beyond the control of the criminal justice system, he said.

The economy, post-pandemic issues, homelessness, hunger, lack of family support as well as education are just a few. But mental health issues are also a part of it, he explained.

“We used to see less than 50% of folks get arrested as a result of mental health disorders. And now that’s much higher,” he said.

Rangel said that putting everyone in jail or prison isn’t always the long-term answer.

The community and leaders are much better at understanding that it’s going to take a different approach to resolve the matter. That might mean more funding for jails, but also clinicians, case managers and programs.

“If we don’t deal now with the effects of mental health disorders, that is going to continue to cause crime to rise,” he explains.

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About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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