Ole Miss and Crime
This week The Oxford Eagle reported on the 2010 crime statistics at Ole Miss. The Eagle has a pay wall, so the article isn't available for free. I have excerpted some of the more interesting portions below, and thank Alyssa Schnugg for the reporting.
University Police Department officers on the University of Mississippi campus were kept busy in 2010 with the total number of arrests more than doubling from 2009. Drug-related arrests tripled from 2009 to 2010.Most interesting to me are the arrests for drug offenses, particularly marijuana possession and possession of paraphernalia. It is apparent to me that younger students have increased the trend of smoking pot in dorm rooms - of course this leads to more arrests because the smell of marijuana gets reported by other students in the dorm. Students, smoking pot is still illegal, and smoking pot in the dorm is simply not a bright idea.
However, not all those arrested by UPD are students. Some are people coming onto the campus and breaking the law, Sellers pointed out.
Most of the increase of arrests was seen in the fall semester of 2010.
In 2009, UPD officers made 269 arrests on various charges. That number also includes 79 moving violations that, while they are listed as arrests in a report from UPD, don’t always result in an actual arrest. Defendants are instead given a notice to appear in court.
In 2010, they made 604 arrests which includes issuing 216 notices to appear for moving violations.
The biggest jump in crimes was under the drugs category, with 34 in 2009 and 108 in 2010, although a large portion of the arrests in both years were for possession of drug paraphernalia, rather than actual drug possession.
Scott Wallace, assistant dean of students, said his office has been busy as well, since whenever a student is arrested for a drug or alcohol offense, they are referred to the dean’s office.
“It’s a shame,” he said.
The university implemented a “two-strike policy” after Langley’s death in 2006. Students receiving a first strike are put on probation for at least two semesters. If they are charged with a second strike while on probation, they are suspended for the remaining semester and one more full semester.
Since its conception, about 1,200 students have received a first strike and 21 have been suspended. In the 2010 fall semester, three students were suspended. In the spring semester of 2010, there were no suspensions issued.
“There were more arrests last semester, but we’ve also had a lot more students,” Wallace said.
In 2009, 22 of the 34 drugrelated arrests were for possession of drug paraphernalia, while 11 were for possession of marijuana and one arrest was for possession of a controlled substance; however, what kind of substance isn’t noted.
In 2010, 86 were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia out of the 108 drug-related arrests. Fifteen arrest were made for possession of marijuana and six were for possession a controlled substance. One arrest in 2010 was for selling marijuana.
Paraphernalia generally involves materials used to smoke pot, Sellers said.
“Also, containers or pill bottles with marijuana residue,” he said. “This class seems more interested in drugs. It’s sad."