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February 17, 2017

Hoping for the best from Prez Trump's creation of crime task force

As noted in this prior post, last week Prez Trump signed three crime-fighting executive orders.  In my view, the EO with arguably the most enduring significance and substance was this one creating a “Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.” Here is the heart of what the EO says about this Task Force:

The Attorney General shall determine the characteristics of the Task Force ... [and the] Task Force shall:

(i) exchange information and ideas among its members that will be useful in developing strategies to reduce crime, including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime;

(ii) based on that exchange of information and ideas, develop strategies to reduce crime;

(iii) identify deficiencies in existing laws that have made them less effective in reducing crime and propose new legislation that could be enacted to improve public safety and reduce crime;

(iv) evaluate the availability and adequacy of crime-related data and identify measures that could improve data collection in a manner that will aid in the understanding of crime trends and in the reduction of crime; and

(v) conduct any other studies and develop any other recommendations as directed by the Attorney General....

The Task Force shall submit at least one report to the President within 1 year from the date of this order, and a subsequent report at least once per year thereafter while the Task Force remains in existence. The structure of the report is left to the discretion of the Attorney General.  In its first report to the President and in any subsequent reports, the Task Force shall summarize its findings and recommendations under subsections (c)(ii) through (c)(v) of this section.

I find interesting and valuable that this Task Force is tasked with, inter alia, seeking to "improve data collection" and to write a detailed report with a year.  More generally, I think the Task Force is a really good idea and one that is, notably, not all that much of a variation on crime commissions recently urged by folks across the political spectrum.  Specifically, back in 2009, then-Senator Jim Webb introduced legislation to create a National Criminal Justice Commission, and in May 2015 President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing made this notable "overarching recommendation": "The President should support and provide funding for the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system for the purpose of making recommendations to the country on comprehensive criminal justice reform."

Among the reasons I am eager and hopeful about the work of this Task Force is the fact that crime realities appear quite divergent in different parts of the county.  While some big cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC seem to be experiencing worrisome increases in crime in recent years, other big cities like Philadelphia, New York and San Diego seem to be achieving record low crime rates.  I sense there is a similar diversity of experiences in small cities and rural areas nationwide as well.  Ideally, the AG's Task Force can and will advance and deepen our understanding of all the nationwide diverse and distinctive crime and punishment realities throughout the United States circa 2017-18.

February 17, 2017 at 04:42 PM | Permalink


Let's wait and see who the membership is before we get optimistic about the commission.

Posted by: Paul | Feb 17, 2017 6:05:17 PM

The phrase, Task Force, is Washington elite code for, we will do nothing whatsoever with your hard earned tax money, totally waste it, along with your time. It is a very swampy term, more like a quicksand term.

I have a suggestion. Stop your stupid identifying, your stupid sharing, your stupid evaluating. Those are all taken from Soviet 5 Year Plans. They are really grim news for crime victims.

Adopt a single word, instead. Duterte. And, end crime in a month. Give crime victims hope, and Make America Great Again.

I spoke briefly with a contractor for Trump. This guy's company and others did $20 million in work for Trump in New Jersey. Trump sent him a certified letter. It stated, I am paying you nothing. It took years, and much expense to finally collect $5 million.

This Task Force bullshit appeals to the lawyer because he knows it will achieve nothing.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 17, 2017 6:23:54 PM

It's funny that every since Trump won how much the word "hope" has been bandied about in certain circles. Personally, I am drowning in so much hope its like Obama is running for office again (snark).

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 17, 2017 7:02:36 PM

"It shall be the policy of the executive branch to reduce crime in America."

And puppies. More puppies.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 17, 2017 7:53:15 PM

Trump is still shooting from the hip. After he gets his crew installed and they brief him that he dont get to make laws, congress does that and the rest of the program. Then we can talk about hope and what Trump may or could have for crime.

Right now Trump is so busy tweeting and concerned with public acceptance, bla bla
isnt it sickening. Nobody wanted Clinton, so he was lesser if evils. Boy.

I agree with draining the swamp.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Feb 18, 2017 9:06:46 PM

Milo was on Real Time with Bill Maher. Milo claimed transgender people have a high rate of sexual offending. I looked it up. Milo is correct.

The lawyer needs to address that fact.

Posted by: David Behar | Feb 19, 2017 2:15:40 AM

"Nobody wanted Clinton"

The comment sounds snarky but just to toss it out there, she did receive more popular votes. Anyway, the executive department has significant discretion, so not making laws only takes us so far.

Posted by: Joe | Feb 26, 2017 12:29:30 AM

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