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May 8, 2018

In latest speech, AG Jeff Sessions calls "war on crime and drugs ... a roaring success"

Today, Attorney General Jefferson Sessions delivered this speech at the Gatlinburg Law Enforcement Training Conference.  The use of the phrase "roaring success" to describe the "war on crime and drugs" caught my attention, and here is some context and some more notable passages from what AG Sessions had to say today:

My best judgement is that working together we have an historic opportunity to make our country better, safer, and more prosperous. We don’t come to this conference with a blank slate. We are experienced. We are professional. We are trained to do that which the times demand.

The problem is that we got away from the proven policies that reduced crime all over this country: community-based policing, incarcerating serious repeat criminals, new technologies, more officers, and more prosecutors. The war on crime and drugs did not fail. It was a roaring success. The success came as a direct result of rejecting the criticism and policies of the progressive left. The country gave its attention to the American people and crime victims for a change. High school drug use rates and homicide rates fell by half after the dreamland policies of the fuzzy-headed left were rejected, and sound professional policies were adopted....

Of course we don’t need anyone in jail that doesn’t need to be there. But revolving prison doors that allow dangerous criminals to prey on the innocent will not produce safety. Indeed homicide increased by 12 percent in 2015 and 8 percent in 2016 after 22 years of decline. Drug use, addiction and overdoes deaths have surged. We must work resolutely to stop those trends and to reverse them. We know how. We have proven what works. Science proves what works. We share good practices at conferences like this all the time.

My goal is to support you, to empower you, and to unleash you and your law enforcement partners to apply the good and lawful policies that are proven to make our communities safer.

This point was given a powerful support just a few weeks ago when Paul Cassel and Richard Fowles of the University of Utah analyzed the dramatic surge in Chicago homicides in 2016. Homicides went from 480 in 2015 to 754 in 2016 — a stunning event. They asked why. They considered numerous possible causes. They concluded the 58 percent increase was caused by the abrupt decline in “stop and frisks” in 2015. There had been a horrific police shooting, protests, and an ACLU lawsuit. The settlement of that lawsuit resulted in a decline in stops from 40,000 per month to 10,000 per month. Arrests fell also. In sum, they conclude that these actions in late 2016, conservatively calculated, resulted in approximately 236 additional victims killed and over 1,100 additional shootings in 2016 alone. The scholars call it the “ACLU effect”.

Look, this does not surprise you experienced professionals. If you want crime to go up, let the ACLU run the police department. If you want public safety, call the professionals. That is what President Trump believes and that is what I believe. Let’s put our focus on what works.

These are our explicit goals for 2018: to bring down violent crime, homicides, opioid prescriptions, and overdose deaths....

We have tolerated and winked at the illegality in our immigration system for far too long. It’s time that we put ourselves on the path to end illegal immigration once and for all. And, that will be one step towards reducing crime. And it will build on the centerpiece of our crime reduction strategy: Project Safe Neighborhoods, or PSN.

Here’s how it works. I want our U.S. Attorneys to target and prioritize prosecutions of the most violent people in the most violent areas. And I’ve directed that they engage with a wide variety of stakeholders – our state and local law enforcement partners, as well as others like community groups and victims’ advocates – in order to identify the needs specific to their communities and develop a customized violent crime reduction plan.

This approach has been proven to work. One study showed that, in its first seven years, PSN reduced violent crime overall by 4.1 percent, with case studies showing reductions in certain areas of up to 42 percent. PSN has the flexibility necessary for it to work in every district. PSN is going to build on the results we have achieved across America over the past year.

In 2017, the Department of Justice brought cases against the greatest number of violent criminals in a quarter of a century. We charged the most federal firearm prosecutions in a decade. We convicted more than 1,200 gang members. We have already charged hundreds of people suspected of contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis — including more than 150 doctors for opioid-related crimes. Sixteen of these doctors prescribed more than 20.3 million pills illegally. Our Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces have also indicted more than 6,500 defendants in opioid-related investigations and forfeited more than $150 million in the past year.

From 2016 to 2017 our fentanyl prosecutions more than tripled. And in the past month and a half, the DEA has seized nearly 200 pounds of suspected fentanyl in cases from Detroit to New York to Boston. Fentanyl is 50 times as powerful as heroin, and it’s the killer drug. It’s got to be a priority for all of us. All of this hard work is paying off. There are some good signs in the preliminary data that the increases in murder and violent crime appear to have slowed and violent crime may have actually begun to decrease. Publicly available data for the rest of the year suggest further progress.

May 8, 2018 at 01:28 PM | Permalink

Comments

It is a roaring success in its real purpose. Big government has consumed $billions and maintained government employment. That is the real purpose, and it has been achieved.

Overdose deaths continue in the ascending part of their curve. Crime victimization by addicts is soaring. Massive identity theft to finance addiction is also on the ascending part of its curve. So, the War on Drugs is a less successful from the addict and crime victim view.

Posted by: David Behar | May 8, 2018 3:12:16 PM

The Attorney General cites a number of "studies" showing the efficacy of his policies. His opponents will soon cite a passel of "studies" showing exactly the opposite.

Sociological research has always been iffy. But we've reached a point where scientific research appears to have no value at all. They are produced, read, and cited with political goals. Even a cynical scientist like me, spending a lifetime looking at research papers, still has a huge cognitive bias towards studies that agree with my point of view.

An honest question - Is there any truth value in sociology studies?

Posted by: Boffin | May 9, 2018 2:22:16 AM

Sessions forgot his boy, Harvard Law School radicalized Rod Rosenstein. He Fergusoned the Baltimore Police, and hundreds died, as a direct result of his irresponsible crippling of the police. Rosenstein is a mass murderer of black people.

Posted by: David Behar | May 9, 2018 10:38:34 AM

David, this is almost a parody of the type of repetitive, off-topic, noxious comment that has led me to ask you to leave.

Posted by: Doug B. | May 9, 2018 12:03:01 PM

From the article, "They considered numerous possible causes. They concluded the 58 percent increase was caused by the abrupt decline in “stop and frisks” in 2015. There had been a horrific police shooting, protests, and an ACLU lawsuit. The settlement of that lawsuit resulted in a decline in stops from 40,000 per month to 10,000 per month. Arrests fell also. In sum, they conclude that these actions in late 2016, conservatively calculated, resulted in approximately 236 additional victims killed and over 1,100 additional shootings in 2016 alone. The scholars call it the “ACLU effect”."

Rod Rosenstein's irresponsible Draconian consent decree with the Baltimore police, resulting in hundreds of additional murders, illustrates and adds to the above effect. It points to the hypocrisy of Sessions, attacking the ACLU for hobbling the police, when his Harvard Law School radicalized mass murderer of black people has done worse. Sessions needs to fire Rosenstein for his appalling, and highly foreseeable mass murder.

That is relevant.

Posted by: David Behar | May 9, 2018 12:37:56 PM

Here is an article from a liberal news source about Baltimore. Basically, the Baltimore police now only answers 911 calls, fills out a report, and does nothing else. Please, note the mention in the article of a drop in arrests in Baltimore, even in the face of a surge in the murder rate. I cannot believe how obtuse and unsophisticated you are. Then I remember where you attended law school. You are like a child, but harmless. Rosenstein, a Harvard Law School radicalized lawyer, is like a highly destructive child.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/baltimore-homicide-murder-rate-highest-2017-crime-increase-freddie-gray-killing/

Posted by: David Behar | May 9, 2018 12:43:15 PM

This is the final consent decree.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/925056/download

Posted by: David Behar | May 9, 2018 9:16:35 PM

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