« Texas appeals court stays pending execution to allow DNA testing | Main | You make the call: what is a fitting sentence for Conrad Murray? »

November 8, 2011

New ACLU report critical of private prsions

Bankingonbondage_web_page_01As spotlighted on this webpage, the ACLU late last week released this big new report on the private prison industry.  The report is titled "Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration." Here are excerpts from the webpage's summary of the 50+ page report:

The imprisonment of human beings at record levels is both a moral failure and an economic one — especially at a time when more and more Americans are struggling to make ends meet and when state governments confront enormous fiscal crises.  This report finds, however, that mass incarceration provides a gigantic windfall for one special interest group — the private prison industry — even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole.  While the nation's unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives individuals of freedom, wrests loved ones from their families, and drains the resources of governments, communities, and taxpayers, the private prison industry reaps lucrative rewards.  As the public good suffers from mass incarceration, private prison companies obtain more and more government dollars, and private prison executives at the leading companies rake in enormous compensation packages, in some cases totaling millions of dollars....

Part One of this Report traces the rise of the for-profit prison industry over the past 30 years, demonstrating that private prisons reaped lucrative spoils as incarceration rates reached historic levels.  Part Two focuses on the supposed benefits associated with private prisons, showing that the view that private prison companies provide demonstrable economic benefits and humane facilities is debatable at best.  Part Three discusses the tactics private prison companies have used to obtain control of more and more human beings and taxpayer dollars.

The time to halt the expansion of for-profit incarceration is now.  The evidence that private prisons provide savings compared to publicly operated facilities is highly questionable, and certain studies point to worse conditions in for-profit facilities.  The private prison industry helped to create the mass incarceration crisis and feeds off of this social ill.  Private prisons cannot be part of the solution — economic or ethical — to the problem of mass incarceration.

November 8, 2011 at 07:47 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e2015436b79760970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference New ACLU report critical of private prsions:

Comments

The "moral failure" against which the ACLU rails is propagated copiously by the organization itself, e.g.:

à Their decadent briefing paper (#2)which calls for bail for accused rapists rather than pre-trial detention;

à Their oft-repeated hypocrisy in suing to remove municipal buffer zones on behalf of anti-globalist protestors,
but defending said buffers around abortion clinics;

à Amicus briefs to advocate the removal of the 10 commandments, the national motto, etc., from the public square, but said briefs supporting Hindu swamis teaching spirituality in public schools. Yeah, each case is different, but advocacy for the diminishing of historic "morality" is constant.

To destroy a structure's foundation and then decry the structure's crumbling is idiocy.

Posted by: adamakis | Nov 8, 2011 9:41:56 AM

Adamakis,

Spot on.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 10:09:08 AM

Does anyone know if the ACLU, even once, has issued a press release saying something like this: "Today the Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of Defendant A for his commission of Crime B. Since the record fairly viewed indicates that the Defendant's behavior earned this outcome, we congratulate the Court."

Ever? Even once? Or is the ACLU an entirely rote, one-size-fits-all, anti-prosecution organization no matter what?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 8, 2011 11:19:57 AM

i'm going to have to go with the rest of you. the ACLU like a lot of organizations ...had a real purpose ONCE but has long since either lost it's way or outlived it usefulness.

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 8, 2011 11:50:08 AM

I'd like to thank the harpies for arguments so compelling I was convinced to not even click on the report link, which saved time to listen to the great Rush Limbaugh, who, unfortunately, was helped by the ACLU.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2011 12:53:16 PM

As a threshold point, it's telling how the appearance of a very important study pertinent to the subject matter of this blog immediately caused the four right-wing "lock-em-up" commenters on the blog to line up and issue ad hominem attacks against the ACLU while ignoring and avoiding the overwhelming import of the study in question. I guess you guys are in favor of government waste and the corruption of our criminal justice systems? Or is it just that you would prefer the foregoing to admitting that the ACLU could be right about anything?

Namely, it turns out that private prisons are AS EXPENSIVE as public prisons. It also turns out that private prisons are WORSE than public prisons. Finally, private prison interests have systematically distorted and undermined our criminal justice systems in a deeply troubling and far-reaching manner for their financial ends.

Private prison interests undermine justice because they do not care about justice; they just want more incarceration. The result: the highest rate of incarceration of any society in HUMAN HISTORY. That fact alone tells the whole story.

This experiment with private prisons was a complete failure in every respect. It must end as soon as possible, with every state in the nation shelving new private prison commitments and phasing out private prison contracts currently in place. Obviously.

Whether you are a lock-em-up type or a bleeding heart, can't we all at least agree that this private prison thing has been a complete scam and needs to end as soon as possible?

Posted by: James | Nov 8, 2011 1:10:32 PM

BTW Anon,
Are you aware of the ACLU's *facade* of evenhandedness? Of course, they are not unconstitutional or wrong-headed on every issue.

However, their MO is to feign impartiality by occasionally defending extreme movements-- supposedly on the "Right"--such as the infamous Skokie(IL) Nazis--then to spend the near-totality of their largesse consistently on the left-wing side of the political spectrum.

I know of 2 attorneys, one very close to me, who broke from the 'protector of civil liberties' due to this political duplicity.

Posted by: adamakis | Nov 8, 2011 1:19:55 PM

James,

I do not recall one person claining the study was inherently wrong just because it came from the ACLU (genetic fallacy).

However, it IS obvious that the report is based on several assumptions that are either wrong or unproven. Of course these assumptions are in the exact same direction (they always assume the worse) as the four "lock 'em up" posters originally ridiculed.

A couple of examples from the summary:

"...even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole." -Many learned and intelligent people suggest otherwise.

"While the nation's unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives individuals of freedom,..." -So does a low rate of imprisonoment. Following their logic (that depriving individuals of freedom is inherently bas), we could have no prison system.

"...wrests loved ones from their families,..." -With no acknowledgement that a criminal's actions is what "wrests them from their families."

"As the public good suffers from mass incarceration,..." -Again, it assumes that we suffer from it without recognizing that many see a net benefit.

The scorn heaped upon the ACLU is deserved. Even to the limited extent that the social sciences are "science", this "report" is not science.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 2:09:02 PM

adamakis, as mentioned, it was unfortunate, unfortunate that Limbaugh would stoop to accepting the aid of the ACLU because the ACLU hates America.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2011 2:09:43 PM

James: "Private prison interests undermine justice because they do not care about justice; they just want more incarceration. The result: the highest rate of incarceration of any society in HUMAN HISTORY. That fact alone tells the whole story."

The typical liberal, someone so based on "feelings" that he has no concept of what makes up a "fact." Something is not a fact just because it feels right to you.

Please show us your evidence from a scholarly source that "the highest rate of incarceration of any society in HUMAN HISTORY" (as compared to "CANINE HISTORY" and their infamous prisons for cats?) is the RESULT caused by having private prisons. One could easily make a strong argument for the opposite, that the private prison industry arose from need as states began incarcerating more people.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 2:20:01 PM

Hey, Mr. Logic, what's the fallacy for attacking the premises and pretending they don't support any conclusion?

TarlsQtr: "...even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole." -Many learned and intelligent people suggest otherwise.

And they are free to write their own reports.

TarlsQtr: "While the nation's unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives individuals of freedom,..." -So does a low rate of imprisonoment. Following their logic (that depriving individuals of freedom is inherently bas), we could have no prison system.

Let's finish that sentence.

"While the nation’s unprecedented rate of imprisonment deprives
individuals of freedom, wrests loved ones from their families,
and drains the resources of governments, communities, and taxpayers,
the private prison industry reaps lucrative rewards."

This is a factually true sentence and the conclusion follows from the premises. What about "unprecedented" do you not understand? Do you pretend to equate an "unprecedented rate of imprisonment" with an unprecedented "low rate of imprisonment"? Why, yes you do! What's the fallacy there, Mr. Logic?

TarlsQtr: "...wrests loved ones from their families,..." -With no acknowledgement that a criminal's actions is what "wrests them from their families."

So where in the report does the ACLU argue that everyone should be released from prison? Right, it doesn't, which signifies the ACLU understands that some sentences are fair and necessary, which is an "acknowledgment" that some crimes require defendants take responsibility. With a little more thinking you could have figured that out all by yourself.

TarlsQtr: "As the public good suffers from mass incarceration,..." -Again, it assumes that we suffer from it without recognizing that many see a net benefit.

Again, let's finish the sentence.

"As the public good suffers from mass incarceration, private prison companies
obtain more and more government dollars, and private prison executives at the
leading companies rake in enormous compensation packages, in some cases
totaling millions of dollars."

Again, a true conclusion even if you don't like the first premise. The conclusion of the report and much of the report itself argues why the public good suffers from this kind of justice for profit. That's the whole point. If you read it all, you could have figured that out all by yourself too.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2011 2:48:42 PM

Anon re: Limbaugh:

Dunno. Did he deign to accept their help? Check this out (I daren't attest to its accuracy):

"The ACLU attorneys didn’t defend Limbaugh but they wrote a very influential “friend of the court” motion which protested the seizing of Limbaugh’s medical records that the prosecution had used as the foundation of their case against him.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,108140,00.html
I think the ACLU agreed with Rush. I don’t remember if they argued for him in court. It was an unusual pairing."
http://www.zimbio.com/Rush+Limbaugh/articles/O3_KzGtlAIm/Rush+Limbaugh+hire+ACLU+bail+out+Illegal+Prescription

Anon, personally I don't know what I'd do if the ACLU sua sponte wrote an amicus on my behalf. WWYD -what would you do-?
I avoid supporting the group, because as They Might Be Giants once sang,

"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding".

Posted by: adamakis | Nov 8, 2011 3:10:01 PM

Anon --

The idea that "the public suffers from mass incarceration" is not merely mistaken but preposterous. I have been through this before but you just ignore it. I'll go through it again anyway so you can ignore it again and, while doing so, keep up the fantasy that the ACLU is even-handed and is telling anything like the whole truth about what incarceration actually does.

First, see http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2011/10/the-million-crime-march-or-how.html

For the source of the numbers stated therein: http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

As the figures show, over the last 20 years, as "incarceration nation" took hold, the violent crime rate has decreased 47%, and the murder rate by more than 50%. The number of violent crimes decreased by more than 665,000 PER YEAR even though the population increased. The number of murders per year decreased by nearly 10,000, again even though the population increased.

Or, to give the figure that absolutely startled me when I first saw it, the total number of serious crimes in 1991 was 14,872,900. Twenty years later, at the height of the much detested (by criminals) "incarceration nation," it was 10,329,135. That means that there were over FOUR AND A HALF MILLION FEWER CRIMES, and fewer crime victims, last year than before we started significantly building up the prison popluation with people who earned their way inside.

You certainly seem like you want to go back to the time of rehab and counseling (if you don't, please say so). I prefer to keep the four and a half million reduction in crime victims that you and the ACLU never seem to want to mention.

P.S. The fact that I do mention it is a big part of the reason your allies want me to "shut up" (their wording) by making sewer-level accusations that I'm a child molestor and a necrophiliac. How telling it is that you have not one word of criticism for slurs like that. Not a word.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 8, 2011 3:20:05 PM

LOL now this is a good one!

"As a threshold point, it's telling how the appearance of a very important study pertinent to the subject matter of this blog immediately caused the four right-wing "lock-em-up" commenters on the blog to line up and issue ad hominem attacks against the ACLU while ignoring and avoiding the overwhelming import of the study in question."

Never ever though i'd be considered "right-wing" or part of the "lock-em-up" groups...unless we were talking about crooked cops and politicians!

thanks james i've not had a good laugh like that in years. not since the last presidential elections i think!


but my problems with the ACLU were these!

"à Their oft-repeated hypocrisy in suing to remove municipal buffer zones on behalf of anti-globalist protestors,
but defending said buffers around abortion clinics;

à Amicus briefs to advocate the removal of the 10 commandments, the national motto, etc., from the public square, but said briefs supporting Hindu swamis teaching spirituality in public schools. Yeah, each case is different, but advocacy for the diminishing of historic "morality" is constant."

and any number of thier stupid causes like the idiot who was using his ass to paint and when someone refused to display it the aclu jumped right in to take them to court!

once apon a time the ACLU was there as an additional proection for the U.S. Constution....now it mainly dabbles in useless minor crud!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 8, 2011 3:26:43 PM

Anon stated: "Hey, Mr. Logic, what's the fallacy for attacking the premises and pretending they don't support any conclusion?"

Why don't you tell me along with how I committed the fallacy?

TarlsQtr: "...even as current incarceration levels harm the country as a whole." -Many learned and intelligent people suggest otherwise.

Anon: "And they are free to write their own reports."

They have. See the data behind what Bill has posted: http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2011/10/the-million-crime-march-or-how.html Just on the face of it, what is probably more reliable, data from an organization with an obvious ideology or from a scholar whose data is in a peer-reviewed journal? Does that mean that the ACLU is NECESSARILY wrong? Nope. But it is worthy of questioning, which I did.

You state: "This is a factually true sentence and the conclusion follows from the premises. What about "unprecedented" do you not understand? Do you pretend to equate an "unprecedented rate of imprisonment" with an unprecedented "low rate of imprisonment"? Why, yes you do! What's the fallacy there, Mr. Logic?

A) It is not "factually correct." Incarceration is a response to an act, crime. Crime is what "wrests people (both criminals and victims) from their families", not the reaction to it.

B) Did I "pretend to equate" an unprecedented high rate with an unprecedented low rate? Of course not. What I did do was show the natural conclusion of the ACLU's logic. A low rate of incarceration does everything that the unprecendented high rate does (separates families, drains resources, deprives of liberty, provides profits) to a lesser degree. Following their train of thought, no incarceration is a good thing.

Anon stated: "So where in the report does the ACLU argue that everyone should be released from prison? Right, it doesn't, which signifies the ACLU understands that some sentences are fair and necessary, which is an "acknowledgment" that some crimes require defendants take responsibility. With a little more thinking you could have figured that out all by yourself."

Of course the ACLU did not say that. They are far too media savvy to do any such thing. Of course, have they ever held a position that a sentence was not long enough? Not to my knowledge. And again, it is obvious they are implying above that taking people from their families, depriving individuals liberty, and the cost of incarceration on communities are negative things. If they are inherently bad, as the ACLU implies, then they cannot have the position you assert and still have a sound argument.

Anon stated: "Again, a true conclusion even if you don't like the first premise."

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. There is nothing more rewarding than to see someone prove his own argument to be incorrect. I thank you for that.

You apparently do not know logic 101, the definitions of valid and sound arguments.

Valid-The conclusion is correct IF the premises are correct.

Sound-The conclusion is correct because the premises ARE correct.

Now, you can tell where the ACLU's argument falls, correct? And you can tell whether it is better to have a valid or sound argument, correct? If not, let me know and I'd be happy to walk you through it. If I am too busy, I am sure one of my freshman college students could explain it to you...


Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 3:55:54 PM

Bill- Respectfully, you have it bass-ackwards, as they say. :)

There was no causal connection between the incarceration rates and the drop in crime rates. No serious researcher thinks that. Instead the research suggests the reverse. To prove it to yourself, you'd have to run your own regressions using some long time series from a number of states. To throw out two national data points twenty years apart is meaningless. The decreases in crime of which you speak were either unrelated to increases in incarceration rates, negatively related to the increases in incarceration rates, or, as was most often the case, the decreases in crime occurred before the increases in incarceration.

The falls in violent crime prior to increases in incarceration rates are at a minimum proof that the increases in incarceration had NOTHING to do with increasing public safety and were unnecessary. The only thing those increases accomplished was to provide a source of profit to the private prison industry and prison guards. Oh yes, and one additional thing they accomplished was to create MORE criminals and hurt GENERATIONS of children and grandchildren (and make them more likely to become criminals).

Finally, anyone who says that the private prison industry and prison guards unions have not systematically written, lobbied for, put on the ballot, and in general conducted a massive public fear campaign in pursuit of longer and tougher sentences whenever and wherever possible over the last twenty years or so -- well, any person who claims that has had his head in the sand. Entire books and multiple documentaries (including a recent one on CNBC) have been done on the subject.

Why are some of you people rushing -- against all evidence and common sense-- to defend these scammers? Are they giving you stock options or something?

Posted by: James | Nov 8, 2011 3:58:34 PM

James stated: "Why are some of you people rushing -- against all evidence and common sense-- to defend these scammers? Are they giving you stock options or something?"

Why do you suggest that having a negative view of the ACLU "report" is necessarily support for the private prison industry? In fact, without looking, I do not remember a single positive thing said about private prisons. I know I have not.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 4:10:36 PM

Good point, TarlsQtr. You are right.

Posted by: James | Nov 8, 2011 4:18:19 PM

James --

With all respect, sir, you are utterly divorced from reality.

"There was no causal connection between the incarceration rates and the drop in crime rates."

The two biggest crime stories of the last generation are (1) the big decrease in crime and (2) the big increase in incarceration. To think that the fact that we have a lot more of the people who commit crime in prison has nothing to do with the fact that we have a lot less crime is to have taken leave of one's senses.

"No serious researcher thinks that."

That is point-blank false. See the U. of Chicago study cited in the Crime and Consequences link.

"The decreases in crime of which you speak were either unrelated to increases in incarceration rates, negatively related to the increases in incarceration rates, or, as was most often the case, the decreases in crime occurred before the increases in incarceration."

That is also false.

You're just in denial, James. The idea that more incarceration causes MORE crime is contrary, not only to common sense and experience, but the the figures that overwhelmingly -- not by some small margin, but overwhelmingly -- show the opposite.

You have this bee in your bonnet about prison guards, and that's what's driving you. But it's little more than a boogeyman theory.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 8, 2011 4:19:45 PM

TarlsQtr, all you proved, as I stated, was that you do not like the premise, not that the premise is false. Indeed, you didn't not offer any proof or argument at all that the premise is false. Bill Otis tried to argue with some substance with his study links but James shot that down.

Now if you or Bill Otis could explain how Texas cut its incarceration rate and improved public safety maybe we could get somewhere.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 8, 2011 4:27:28 PM

Anon stated: "TarlsQtr, all you proved, as I stated, was that you do not like the premise, not that the premise is false. Indeed, you didn't not offer any proof or argument at all that the premise is false."

Anon, that is a "shifting the burden of proof" fallacy. The ACLU and you, by your articulated support for the ACLU study, have the burden of proof to show that the premises are correct. You have not and, I suspect, cannot.

Anon stated: "Bill Otis tried to argue with some substance with his study links but James shot that down."

LOL A short time after upbraiding me for not reading the ACLU "report", neither you nor James have shown a whisker of evidence that either of you read it and have a specific claim to why it is wrong. I know that I have asked this before, but seriously, do any of you actually read what you write and even TRY to have a little intellectual consistency?

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 4:40:10 PM

Anon and James,

If you do not like the Levitt study (published in a peer-reviewed journal, unlike the ACLU's), may I point out something that a poster said on this thread earlier today when the shortcomings of the ACLU "report" were made clear? You are "free to write [your] own."

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Nov 8, 2011 4:53:34 PM

Anon --

Anyone can take one or two jurisdictions over a short time span and prove anything. That's the oldest, cheapest statistical trick in the book.

It is precisely to avoid the distorting and misleading effects of a small sample size that I used a 20-year period across the entire nation. I also cited the University of Chicago study that you do not specifically mention, much less refute.

I repeat, the idea that the two major crime developments of the last generation -- the big increase in the imprisonment of people who commit crime, and the big decrease of the amount of crime that then gets committed -- are unrelated to one another is beyond preposterous.

There are more than four and a half million fewer serous crimes now than there were before the massive increase in incarceration got seriously underway. But unwilling to take yes for an answer, you want to push us back to the failed policies of the 60's and 70's, when the crime rate was galloping forward.

No thanks.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 8, 2011 4:53:45 PM

If all of the data indicates that 1. Violent crime has decreased, and 2. the increase in prison population is due to NON-VIOLENT, first-time, drug offenders - then the logical conclusion would be that the decrease in violent crime has nothing to do with the increased prison population. Most drug prosecutions consist of either "conspiracy" and/or "Possession" - neither of which is a violent crime. Any authority will tell you that the increase is due to the "war on drugs" and the decrease in violent crimes is not related period.

Posted by: msyoung | Nov 9, 2011 12:43:02 PM

msyoung --

The crime data I used relate exclusively to non-drug offenses, as you will see if you go to the original source I gave.

As you will also see there, the number of non-violent crimes dropped by a far greater amount that the drop in the number of violent crimes.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 9, 2011 1:04:27 PM

Bill- I took a look at the statistical models of Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and William Spelman of the University of Texas that give rising incarceration credit for about 25% of the decrease in violent crime over those twenty years. Thanks for the reference.

Other explanations account for 75% of the reduced crime, according to Levitt and Spelman. Other possible explanations include changes in demographics, an improved economy, an expanded police presence, gun control laws, the shrinking impact of crack, and perhaps most controversial, the legalization of abortion.

Are these the studies to which you refer? If so, it seems that even academia's tough-on-crime advocates could at best come up with models that explain a quarter of the drop in crime with increased incarceration.

That's not much at all, especially if you know how easy it is to build such models to support your conclusions.

I guess I could see people with your point of view getting excited if they were able to explain at least half of the drop with increased incarceration. As it is these 25% studies -- against the myriad statistical and anecdotal studies that show that incarceration in fact increases crime and has incredible other social costs -- kind of fall in the "methinks he doth protest too much" category. Pretty flimsy, in other words.

Posted by: James | Nov 9, 2011 2:06:51 PM

James --

"Are these the studies to which you refer?"

Yes.

"If so, it seems that even academia's tough-on-crime advocates could at best come up with models that explain a quarter of the drop in crime with increased incarceration. That's not much at all, especially if you know how easy it is to build such models to support your conclusions."

A quarter of the decrease amounts to a crime reduction of WELL MORE THAN ONE MILLION CRIMES A YEAR. The idea that "that's not much at all" is just staggering. It proves exactly what I've been saying -- that the pro-defense side just pooh-poohs crime victims and the enormous economic and human toll crime takes on them.

Criminals have a choice. Victims don't. Even if it were a close question about whether imprisonment is worth saving a million people a year from being crime victims -- which it is not -- the burden of doubt should be borne by those who had a choice rather than by those who didn't.

P.S. If you really believe that incarceration INCREASES crime, which I doubt, then you ought to propose completely emptying the prisons. The more criminals released, the less crime, right? So why not release them all?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 9, 2011 3:28:19 PM

Bill.

The #1 one way to reduce crime is to stop making new laws and repeals old ones. You can't violate a law that doesn't exist. So no laws=no criminals.

So I take it you'll joint with me in advocating for the total elimination of the penal code so we can live in a crime free world.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 9, 2011 11:00:31 PM

Bill Otis: "Does anyone know if the ACLU, even once, has issued a press release saying something like this: "Today the Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of Defendant A for his commission of Crime B. Since the record fairly viewed indicates that the Defendant's behavior earned this outcome, we congratulate the Court." Ever? Even once? Or is the ACLU an entirely rote, one-size-fits-all, anti-prosecution organization no matter what?

Is that what the ACLU was created to do?

How often do prosecutors admit publicly to wrongful convictions?

Posted by: Huh? | Nov 10, 2011 1:54:22 AM

James: "As a threshold point, it's telling how the appearance of a very important study pertinent to the subject matter of this blog immediately caused the four right-wing "lock-em-up" commenters on the blog to line up and issue ad hominem attacks against the ACLU while ignoring and avoiding the overwhelming import of the study in question."

That's the noesis of the naive bunch that frequent SL&P. Which explains why we lock up more people than current and former Communist countries.

Posted by: Huh? | Nov 10, 2011 1:59:06 AM

Another useless thread that reads like a high school forensics club practices various ruses and rhetorical subterfuges. (Although, to be fair, I guess that describes a large portion of discourse on any level.)

Posted by: Anon3 | Nov 10, 2011 1:23:43 PM

practicing

Posted by: Anon3 | Nov 10, 2011 1:23:58 PM

It's telling that not a single pro-defense commenter will deal soberly with the fact that the upswing in imprisonment over the last generation has reduced serious crime by more than one million incidents per year. Do they just not give a damn?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 10, 2011 3:06:53 PM

Bill:

I give a damn. I just don't know what to do with a study this stupid! If this is all you have, don't use it to anchor your boat!

Posted by: albeed | Nov 11, 2011 10:22:05 PM

albeed --

"I give a damn."

I wish.

"I just don't know what to do with a study this stupid!"

You could explain why its analysis is wrong. You don't because you can't.

"If this is all you have, don't use it to anchor your boat!"

What is your specific estimate of how much imprisonment lowers crime, why what facts and reasons support it?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 12, 2011 7:07:44 PM

Bill:

Like your previous response to one of my previous questions to you on a thread, which I later asked you for follow-up and you replied that you had previously responded to (on a totally separate thread and smeared me generally), I may or may not pull an OTIS and do likewise on this thread.

Keep your eyes open. From a purely objective (no pre-conceived conditions or expectations), the scientific validity of this study is minus 10.

PS:

Where is Soronel's Texas Sex-Offender data, in response to the most pertinent and accurate comment you have submitted to this blog, i.e., what are we to make of sex-offender registries, if we do not know who is on them?.

PSS:

I will tear apart that UoC Study. He (they, it) initially examine a compilation of Mass Media reports (from very selected sources) for reasons for the contemporary crime rate reduction to determine and quantify what are the significant factors! (By pulling additional media numbers out of their but).

WTF?

How can you respond to just plain stupid?

Posted by: albeed | Nov 13, 2011 9:52:41 PM

James: "There was no causal connection between the incarceration rates and the drop in crime rates. No serious researcher thinks that."

I had read an article about Steven Picken recently that touched upon violence in the world in general. When compared with previous centuries, the 21st Century has been least violent. Including terrorism, homicide/murder, domestic violence, hate crimes, and cruelty to animals [for example] are down. Picken says that strong centralized governments, international trade, empowerment of women, "the escalator of reason," and forces of human nature ["inner demons" vs. the better "inner angels"] have given the good in people the upper hand.

Is he right, IDK. Many believe that violent video games make kids violent - and there are a number of DA's that pushed that bullshit. However, recently released research by the APA suggests that the child's personality [e.g. moody or impulsive] and highly competitive games play a larger, negative role than the violence in the game. Not moody or impulsive? Not going to pull a Columbine.

Posted by: Huh? | Nov 15, 2011 11:04:54 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB