Monday, May 26, 2014


We Put More Criminals In Prison, Despite a Drop in Number of Crimes Committed

The New York Times goes full looney on crime here. I am a former prosecutor (although it was a long time ago) so I know that it is a good thing to put a person guilty of malum in se crime apart from society until he (and it's usually a he) gets the idea that perhaps he shouldn't do such a thing. On malum prohibitum crimes, I don't think locking up people is such a good idea.

Here is the stupidity of the Times on display:

And even though the political climate has shifted in recent years, many politicians continue to fear appearing to be “soft on crime,” even when there is no evidence that imprisoning more people has reduced crime by more than a small amount. (Emphasis added).

Oh, so the lower number of criminals outside prison had hardly anything to do with the actual decline of violent crimes committed between 1985 and 2012, even as the population grew from 239 million to over 314 million. Gun homicides rates are down 49% since the peak in 1993. What then, oh keepers of the truth, caused such a decline in violent crimes committed?

Crickets chirping.

Here is the lefty wish list:

Reduce sentence lengths substantially. Provide more opportunities for rehabilitation inside prison. Remove the barriers that keep people from rejoining society after they are released from prison. Use alternatives to imprisonment for nonviolent offenders, drug addicts and the mentally ill. Release elderly or ill prisoners, who are the least likely to re-offend. And since more than 95 percent of inmates are eventually released, rate prisons on their success in keeping former inmates from returning — which as many as two-thirds currently do.

I'd add, wouldn't it just be super if people were nicer to each other.

Wait. So two-thirds of the felons released go on to commit other felonies which put them back in prison? Isn't that an argument for not releasing felons?

I'm for diversion for drug crimes, for all malum prohibitum crimes, like giving too much money to a candidate for office, but if the people willing to murder, rape or rob a fellow human are in prison and not on the streets, then obviously they cannot commit a crime against normal citizens (prison guard assaults is a separate problem) because they have no access to them. This is not exactly rocket science.

OK, we should release more criminals on parole, but only if the people who support releasing more criminals have the released live with them during the parole period. That way they can really help the criminals reintegrate into law abiding society.


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