Showing posts with label Prison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prison. Show all posts

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Kicking Off The New Year With Positivity

I'd like to kick off the new year with some positivity. Check this out.

The rate of violent crimes in the United States has been cut in half during the past 20 years. That’s according to statistics released in November by the FBI. What surprises some criminologists is that the decline has persisted against the backdrop of two other trends long believed to lead to an increase in crime: The US prison population is dropping and the number of young adults, who are considered more likely to commit a crime, has risen.

But why is this happening?

Criminologists say the latest gains against violent crime appear rooted especially in improved law enforcement, rather than a drop in the number of teenagers and 20-somethings. The “community policing” movement has brought beat cops into closer ties with the neighborhoods they serve, for one thing, and a data-driven focus on crime “hotspots” has led to successful prevention efforts in high-risk areas.

Isn't this exactly how the United States is supposed to work? I find it very interesting that this flies in the face of what I see in the mainstream media...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finally, A Decline...

For the first time since 1980, the number of federal inmates has fallen. The drop in nearly 5,000 inmates comes as a direct result of the polices of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Holder wants to reduce the number a further 10,000 by 2016, which would be enough to leave six maximum security prisons empty. His package of policing and justice reforms is designed to divert nonviolent criminals away from prison and is seen as a rebuke of the so-called 1994 “crime bill,” which expanded the list of felony crimes, pumped $10 billion into new prisons, and gave incentives to states to mass incarcerate even low level offenders.

Considering we have only 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's inmates, I'd say this is a very large step in the right direction. My hope is that our government goes even further and begins the process of decriminalizing drugs.

Prohibition never works.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Got Any Stories?

In the last 15 years, the juvenile detention rate has fallen 41 percent. A staggering drop, to be sure, but why? A recent article in my favorite news magazine sheds light on this welcome shift.

  • A shift in thinking about the best ways to handle young people who break the law. 
  • A sustained period of decreasing juvenile crime. 
  • Fiscal pressures on state governments that have many people – including conservatives who, in the past, espoused tough-on-crime policies – clamoring for less-expensive alternatives to mass incarceration.

I'd say the reason for the second bullet point is the spread of smart phones and video games. And the third reason seems perfectly understandable given the belt tightening that has gone on at the state level. But the first one is the reason that intrigues me the most. Why? Because any time there is a shift in thinking on an issue, the situation invariably improves.

In my local community, I've seen this shift in action. A few years ago, we had some trouble with Somali youths. The police engaged the community rather than cracking skulls and created some programs geared towards their culture. They also created some community events specifically for younger immigrants to get excited about how much it is to live in America. These involved athletic events and, yes, a video game swap. The result? No more Somali youth problem.

I'd bet there are stories like this around the country. Got any?