Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good News on Violent Crime

Looks like the violent crime surge of the last two years may have been a blip rather than a trend, although the offenses and rate changes vary from city to city. Once again, places like NYC (which emphasize a strong law enforcement rather than imprisonment approach) have a giant impact on overall national trends, and other cities, like Minneapolis, are also claiming substantial law enforcement program impact on the violence in their communities. The major point, of course, is that crime rates shift pretty dramatically over a period of time in relation to rates of imprisonment (like now when one’s going up and down while the other stays steady), and we have to stop this business of cherry-picking the times when they are inverse to each other to show how locking people up is the best strategy to prevent all crime. Some crimes, absolutely, most crimes, no. And the best strategy, as we note in a post above, is to stop the crime from happening in the first place, no costs, no victims.

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