Saturday, August 15, 2009

Getting Smart on Crime?

After decades of supercharged incarceration rates, our bloated prison system is straining under its own weight, and policy makers are finally being forced to deal with the need to shrink it.


Asking elected officials to get smart on crime is asking a lot. Many have difficulty in admitting that the get tough approach of the 1908s has failed to reduce street crime. Challenges to the current orthodoxy are frequently labeled as being soft on crime and/or a liberal approach. There seems to be little appetite for changing polices such as mandatory minimum sentences or drug prohibition, except where the budget is forcing some changes such as in California.

The politicization of crime may have left an enduring legacy from which we may never recover.

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