Sunday, March 30, 2008

Do the time, lower the crime

Too many people behind bars? The statistics suggest otherwise.

read more | digg story

1 comment:

Dan Greenleaf said...

This is an interesting article. Seeing that the author is a prof at Pepperdine, and has been at UCLA and Harvard, I will not try and pretend to know more than him. I am curious however about the robbery statistics. I am curious as to how they classify their charges. I know we have many theft related charges that can lower the number if they have fewer theft related categories. Many things get listed as grand theft, burglary, grand theft by possession, etc. in order to get pleas. Whatever the case, the author has some interesting points that demand to be looked at before making a snap decision. I have often said that the general public allows their domination by emotions and fear determine their opinion about crime, so I likewise have to look at mine on the flipside. I appreciate the fact that the author mentioned that mental illness and minor drug offenses were exceptions to his statements. Lastly, I believe that whether prison is working as a deterrence or not, we need to overhaul the system with best practices from the cognitive treatment community and find a way to encourage mature coping rather than allow inmates to victimize others and create ever angrier criminals.