Jackson runs for District Attorney

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Michael Jackson said crime has gotten out of hand in Selma and Dallas County &045; that’s why he’s running for district attorney.

Jackson, a former assistant district attorney, former judge and practicing criminal defense attorney, said he’s seen crime from many angles. &uot;I must admit, I do not like what I am seeing,&uot; he added. &uot;I think it’s time we have new ideas. The old ideas aren’t working.&uot;

To achieve his goal of curbing crime, Jackson has a plan of action, which includes using the Perry Varner Boot Camp, having prisoners help clean the community and instilling discipline and respect into criminal offenders. &uot;Crime is a disease, and like many diseases, it can be terminal unless we have vision and employ innovative therapy to deal with the ailment,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;My wish is to heal our community, but it is going to take a collaborative effort.&uot;

Jackson said criminal offenders in their 20s and 30s could be sent to a boot camp where they would learn discipline.

Offenders would wake up early, exercise regularly and learn how to communicate. &uot;To house somebody in a prison costs a lot more money,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;This program would save a lot of money.&uot;

Prisoners in the Dallas County Jail would improve the community by working instead of sitting in jail, Jackson said. &uot;I would have many of those convicted of misdemeanors at the county jail picking up paper and cleaning up our streets,&uot; he added. &uot;There is no reason why these criminals should be able to sleep their lives away at taxpayers’ expense.&uot;

Jackson said that many offenders don’t think they’ll be affected by breaking the law. &uot;They don’t take school, and then court, seriously,&uot; he said.

If elected, Jackson said he would speak with judges about making a high school diploma or GED necessary for criminals to be placed on probation.

If someone has a degree, he’s more likely to have a job and less likely to commit a crime, Jackson added.

Jackson said he would also work to have police officers live all over the city.

Concerning juvenile crime, Jackson said he would devote more resources from the District Attorney’s office to curb young offenders.

Jackson added that Selma would have to come together to instill the value of a human life into area youth. &uot;One of the textbooks they need to start reading is the Bible,&uot; he said. &uot;We need to pray for our community every day.&uot;

Jackson is the son of Annie Tucker and the late Claude Jackson. He received his undergraduate degrees in economics and management and government from Centre College in Kentucky. In 1988 he graduated from the Florida State University College of Law and shortly thereafter became a member of the Florida State Bar. He currently maintains his bar license in Florida and Alabama.

Jackson began his legal career in 1990 with the Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, where he initially represented the people of Dallas and Perry Counties, and then those in Bibb, Hale and Wilcox Counties.

He entered private practice about four years later and became a Selma municipal judge about a year after that.

He was featured in Jet Magazine as the youngest judge in Alabama at the time.

Jackson remained a judge until 1998 when he began to focus and continue to develop a statewide private practice.