Friday, October 25, 2013
Why is there a skew toward less severe crimes in 2012, with a big jump on the low end of the scale and little change higher up the criminal ladder? One possibility is a general softening of criminal justice policy nationwide. The self-designated "smart on crime" people are proclaiming nationwide, based on flimsy evidence, that we have been locking up lots and lots of people we don't "need" to lock up. They are finding receptive ears in financially strapped governments, even among people who ought to know better. Efforts to drive down the incarcerated population start with those convicted of lesser offenses. That means more persons who have committed such offenses in the past are on the street instead of in jail. It also means that those on the street disposed to such offenses have less to fear if they commit them and are caught.