Friday, October 05, 2007

Gaming Priors

Teri Carns from the AL (Alaska Judicial Council) sends along a couple of links to an interesting and maddening practice turned up in CA, the competitions law enforcement types have gotten into there to see who can turn in the most arrests in a given period, a "morale booster" for the boring jobs of law enforcers, according to the guy who dreamed it up. This genius apparently feels all arrests and all arrestees are equal, so no harm, no foul. (Same apparently applied to a similar game of car impoundment, which I'm sure the impoundees also appreciated.) As Teri notes, this is yet another way that our sentencing system can be corrupted, since many studies of recidivism and harsh laws resulting from it are predicated on re-arrests, not reconvictions. Having some jurisdictions using the arrests for sport just might throw a little bitty wrench into that, beyond just the general effect on the legitimacy of our legal system in the public's eyes. But really, we seem to have given up on that a long time ago.

No comments: