June 14, 2009
Lots worth reading around the blogosphere
Here is just a sampling of some criminal law posts of note around the blogosphere:
From The Crime Report here, "The Public Health Implications of Prisoner Reentry in California"
From Grits for Breakfast here, "Might threat of punishment reduce drug dealing more than punishment itself?"
From How Appealing here, "Ed Carnes, an 11th Circuit judge, issued a strong dissent in a rare vote to overturn a death sentence."
From SCOTUSblog here, "Guns, dicta and 'sensitive places'"
June 14, 2009 at 10:54 AM | Permalink
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The Crime Report discusses the public health implications of releasing a population of prisoners with a high rate of physical and mental pathology. They mean, they will require a lot services.
Here is another implication. They will be committing a crime a day, victimizing all around them. Each is a natural disaster. There will be massive demand for trauma care, for treatment of sexually transmitted disease, for child services after abuse rockets up. The economy of their neighborhood will drop as their criminality obnoxes and drives out business. Real estate prices will drop from their distressed levels. What is the value of a crack house? What is the value of all the houses within blocks around it?
The return on investment in prison is likely 10 to 100 times its cost. Most of the damage will be herded by the criminal lover lawyer to minority neighborhoods, without political clout. Prison cost should be the last to get cut. The left wing, criminal lover lawyer propaganda has persuaded responsible officials that prison is discretionary.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 14, 2009 12:11:02 PM
SC, the ROI on prison is well below what you claim. Judging by this recent analysis from Bill Spelman, a statistician at UT-Austin whose research specializes in this exact subject area, increased prison building cannot be justified on the basis of economic cost-benefit analysis:
"Estimates vary widely, but the marginal prison bed seems to prevent somewhtere between two and seven crimes, which saves potential victims between $4,000 and $19,000 per year.
"But note the details: If each prison bed reduces costs by no more than $19,000, but costs us $20,000 to $40,000, then do we need this many beds? Clearly not, and it's not (too) difficult to use current estimates of the crime-control effectiveness of prison, the costs of crime to victims and nonvictims, and the costs of prison to show that we overshot the mark sometime in the early 1990s. Enormous cutbacks - reductions of 50% or more in the prison popoulation - are not difficult to justify and would probably save the US public billions of dollars earch year. Certainly there is little economic justification for continuing to build."
Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jun 15, 2009 8:45:07 AM
Spellman has not used 50 crimes a year, nor valued the impact of these crimes properly. For many in prison, it would be 500 ultraviolent crimes a year, with medical costs all around, huge costs in police and social services, and huge drops in real estate prices. The cost of a single felon on the street may reach $millions a year. So the $25K in cost is an unbelievable bargain.
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 16, 2009 1:29:24 AM