Thursday, January 24, 2008
Prison for the Heinous
Steven Erickson at Crime and Consequences has a smart post up about the need to refine our approach to the heinous offenders, such as the sex offender he describes, to ensure that guys like that get put away for good. He also makes some appropriate comments about the utility of the STATIC-99 assessment tool. STATIC-99 can be useful, particularly for lower level offenders and if used in conjunction and triangulation with other tools and subjective judgments, as they did in CA in this report I mentioned yesterday. The only part of the post I have a problem with is his agreement that we can’t “one size fits all” all offenders but his challenge to those of us who want reform of the system to deal with the offenders like he describes. I’m sorry, Steven, but I’m one of those you’re talking about and I have no problem with putting that guy away forever, as I and other “reformers” have made clear over and over. In fact, those are the first guys who should have a bed found for them in the view of every “reformer” I know. It’s sorta what we mean when we reject “one size fits all.” That’s why I essentially agree with 98% of what you said here and hope that you take that seriously rather than assuming we “reformers” believe things we clearly don’t.