Preventing crime? U.S. attorney not just prosecutin'

news-gwen-masonGwen Mason's job is to help keep the 2.2 million people in the western part of Virginia out of jail.

Apparently there's a lot of money in federal grants for crime prevention floating out there, and U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy's boss thinks it makes more sense to prevent crimes rather than just prosecute them. That's why Heaphy has a new hire to help funnel federal grants into organizations that keep people out of the courtroom and the jails.

"Federal prosecutors should be community problem solvers, not just case processors," said Heaphy in a July 23 press conference, repeating the instructions of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder from a recent meeting in New Orleans.

And with Holder's backing, Heaphy has hired former Roanoke city councilor Gwen Mason to be the community outreach coordinator for the massive western district of Virginia in what Heaphy calls a "trail-blazing" program.

Mason's job is to tap into federal grants to stop the big three of drugs, gangs and guns. "I can see her in the coalfields–- in a community struggling with methamphetamine addiction," says Heaphy.

Heaphy acknowledges that Charlottesville has a wealth of groups dedicated to crime prevention.

"Redundancy is a problem here," he says. "It's not in other areas."

Read more on: Tim Heaphyu.s. attorney


Remember Dems " It's the economy stup**"

On paper this sounds like an excellent idea, but now ? The Democrats would be well advised to put all their time, money and energy into job creation. Efforts such as this, although worthwhile, and needed, are for times when governments are not running huge deficits and people are not on the warpath, in the party out of power, to curb government spending.

@NancyDrew: Don't like to lose elections? Better get used to it. Folks with at least room temperature IQ aren't going to be buying the snake oil Obama/Pelosi/Reid have been peddling. Screaming "Racist!" and blaming Bush aren't going to cut it anymore. Americans won't be fooled again. Hope and change....what a crock.

Hefty salary, but bet not equal to the recent city officials of Bell Californis-sorry off topic, just couldn't resist. This has set a new standard for government job compensation.,0,4500089....

nancydrew, you're saying the attorney general and the us attorney shouldn't be involved in crime prevention? They are federal law enforcement? How could anyone say that fewer crimes are bad?

Stop being so blindly partisan and think before you post.


Disclaimer, I am a liberal democrat, just don't like to lose elections. Jobs, jobs, jobs --for now !

It would be interesting to know the relationship between Gwen Mason and Tim Heaphy. Old friends? Relatives? Other? Was the job advertised before being filled with the "best applicant?" How many applicants applied? Were there any pre-employment interviews? What were the applicant's qualificatons?

And before the Gasbag Fan Club gets wound up tight, I am not interested in the job. I am most likely not qualified for the job. But I have a real bad taste in my mouth from watching all the friends and family hired in local government to fill magical high paying positions. I suspect this position carries a hefty "salary" with it too. I would like to know the best applicant was hired rather than just a friend or family.

Awesome - this is going to get the wingnuts and tea partiers to dig deep inside their subconscious to discover a whole new level of bats*** crazy! Will somebody PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE alert Bachmann and Palin?!?!?!?

Arlen, crawl back into your cave. I'm sure bin Laden's already missing you - probably gazing at a tear-stained picture of you as you're read this. The two of you are a perfect pair, women-haters that you are.

(Well, who says you're the only one who can bring in a totally irrelevant bit of bigoted slander?)

@realist, believe you are right, not for the reasons given, but it's the economy stu*** . Just wish Americans would smarten up and think long term, history repeats itself, and once the Republicans are back in power we'll see de-regulation and tax breaks for the wealthy, and the disappearing middle class, who voted them in, will ask -how did this happen, I'm worse off now than ever before.
Democracy cannot survive without the middle class, that is the danger we are facing.

So sad, that we point at that group and point at the other and blame, blame, blame.. let's take this into our own hands and please read what your specific congressperson has done. If you don't like it, vote them out. The longer we keep the folks who have been in forever in their comfy little seats in DC the longer we have to deal with them. Get Out And Vote !!!

One way to save money would be for the Commnwealth Attornys to stop charging everybody with felonies and rolling them back just so they can get paid their "commission" from the state budget.

It costs the taxpayers money and is unfair to people who should only be charged with a misdemeanor anyway.

This policy turns people into criminals because it gets them too involved in the system.

Prosecuters should not be paid on commision.

well they are starting off well by keeping Morgan Harrington's killer(s) out of jail. nice work, Virginia. the first state to face deportation out of the United States should be ... you guessed it: Virginia.

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