The Sun-Times seems in a celebratory mood as its Dec. 23 headline reports Cook County Jail’s “Population Plunge.” That front-pager gave minimal play to Police Supt. Eddie Johnson’s confessed worry that it may mean gun offenders “are making bond.”

As if to validate the superintendent’s concern, a Sun-Times article just the day before reports that a West Side store owner shot a would-be robber who “exchanged gunfire” with the shopkeeper. The robber, “a 17-year-old boy,” is in good condition at Mt Sinai Hospital. That incident comes just 24 days after the same “boy”was “previously arrested for another armed robbery,” according to the Sun-Times article.

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In 2013 the Legislature decided 17-year-olds accused of felonies would no longer be held as adults. Apparently the feel-good aura of jail-emptying affects the Juvenile Court system, as well, though it seems incomprehensible that a full-grown “boy” would be released pending case disposition after shooting a gun at someone in order to rob them. The prior arrest was revealed with no further explanation in a metro-beat story on Page 19. This reader hopes some Sun-Times editor will think it incumbent to find out and tell us why the “boy” was at large.

Bern Colleran, Logan Square

Probe is getting close

Donald Trump, his supporters, Republicans and Fox News are all trying to undermine the Robert Mueller investigation because it’s closing in on the president and his family. They know that the Mueller team will find collusion with various Russians to rig the 2016 election, money laundering through the Deutsche Bank to fund Trump activities and obstruction of justice (firing James Comey).

So, Trump’s apologists stonewall, lie, forget the facts, change their stories and have initiated a massive campaign to discredit the news media, Mueller, FBI, the Justice Department and congressional committees as a giant partisan “hoax.” Why? Because they are getting close to Jared Kushner and Donald Jr.

Tom Minnerick, Elgin

Double standard

Mary Mitchell could not have been more correct about the double standard associated with the opioid epidemic. As an example of this, I doubt politicians will be in such a big hurry to throw anyone in jail over this. Of course, if our elected officials do that, how will they replace the generous campaign contributions provided by today’s pushers and dealers?

Don Anderson, Oak Park

Doubtful degrees

I’m writing regarding your editorial “Scamming for-profit schools roar back under Betsy DeVos.” It’s clear that that the Sun-Times owns the moral high ground regarding for-profit colleges here in Illinois and across the country.

However, I find myself wondering aloud, what exactly does for-profit matter? If they were not-for-profit, would they somehow be better? Nobody has ever explained to me in adequate detail what voodoo goes on in their classrooms that so easily parts the fool from his money. What are they learning that is so pointless yet obscure that the student can’t tell that they aren’t learning, and in fact, are being bamboozled? Part of me thinks that the first lesson of higher education is to prove you are smart enough to know when the manure you’re being fed is (A) not actually educational and (B) has no value in society.

The purpose of spending $120,000 on going to college is to find a job that can pay enough money to pay for college and then some. Nowhere in your editorial does the writer find fault (much less the vapid idiocy) with the gender studies major. Or, for that matter, African-American studies, communications major, English majors, political science, history … need I go on? I can find a litany of valueless, scammy majors at your favorite state-chartered, state-sponsored, state-accredited institution. I checked monster.com before I wrote this. You know how many jobs appeared where corporations in the real-world requested gender studies major as a prerequisite? Not. Freaking. One.

But I can get that major at University of Illinois for $120,000! What a deal!

It can’t possibly be a scam; U. of I. is not-for-profit!

Tim Allen, Wheaton