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December 4, 2013

Interesting (similar?) accounts of distinct forms of tough justice being reconsidered

Yesterday's New York Times had two distinct pieces telling similar types of stories about the review and reconsideration of tough sanctions that have not always worked out ideally.  Here are the headlines and links, with just a bit of excerpted  content:

"Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance":

Faced with mounting evidence that get-tough policies in schools are leading to arrest records, low academic achievement and high dropout rates that especially affect minority students, cities and school districts around the country are rethinking their approach to minor offenses.

"Born of Grief, ‘Three Strikes’ Laws Are Being Rethought":

To most of the world – back in 1992 and even now — Mike Reynolds’s effort to keep repeat violent offenders locked up for life after the murder of his 18-year-old daughter, Kimber, in Fresno, Calif., was a non-event, not the opening salvo of what would become a barrage of state laws and referendums eventually known as the “Three Strikes and You’re Out” movement....

A few noted criminologists predicted at the time that “three strikes” laws, which would sweep the nation, were unlikely to have much effect on crime, would fill the nation’s prisons to bursting and would satisfy frustrated voters at the expense of bad public policy. They were largely ignored. As this Retro Report points out, California voters eventually concluded that its three strikes law was excessive in its zeal and financial burden, and last year they amended the law that Mr. Reynolds had put before them two decades earlier.

December 4, 2013 at 09:03 AM | Permalink

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|BORN OF GRIEF|
A few noted criminologists predicted at the time that “three strikes” laws, which would sweep the nation, were unlikely to have much effect on crime, would fill the nation’s prisons to bursting … They were largely ignored.

-- largely ignored because [they were] largely wrong

As this Retro Report points out, California voters eventually concluded that its three strikes law was excessive in its zeal and financial burden,
and last year they amended the law…

-- poignantly not because of a lack of efficacy, because such mandatories have been wildly successful!

-- Journal of Economic Perspectives—Vol18:1—Winter 2004:
“By 2000, more than two million individuals were incarcerated at any point in time, roughly
four times the number locked up in 1972. Of that prison population growth, more than half took place in the 1990s.”

The evidence linking increased punishment to lower crime rates is very strong.”

Posted by: Adamakis | Dec 5, 2013 1:07:11 PM

Is it hard to understand? People in a cage cannot commit hundreds of crimes a year in their neighborhoods. Aside from direct damage from crime, including loss of life, horrendous violent injuries, each criminal drops real estate values by $millions. When in school, their toxicity precludes learning by any other student, devastating striving, growth and the acquisition of skill.

Crime is so rewarding and has such low risk, thanks to the lawyer, repeat offenders have shown they cannot resist committing them. So only external controls have any effect in helping them slow the crime meter, whirring away.

Their kindergarten classmates can identify the repeat, full time criminal at age 5 with a 90% rate of accuracy 30 years later. Why? Because they are committing the same crimes their entire lives, and have not changed. These including the forcible rape of nearby kids. They steal , set fires to entire structures, and fearlessly assault adult 5 times their size. Now, all forms of punishment are being prohibited by the lawyer, including verbal criticism.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 5, 2013 9:26:57 PM

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