Access to health care, mental health services, and substance abuse treatment reduce crime.
Another example of how preventative costs are much lower than punitive costs.
We need to get better at accepting evidence based fixes to our societal problems. In this case providing more treatment up front will reduce crime and the need for jails.
One way to increase access to care is to open more treatment facilities throughout the country. Existing facilities often operate at capacity because of limited funding, so that those who want treatment cannot always find help.
The authors found that an increase in the number of treatment facilities causes a reduction in both violent and financially-motivated crime. This is likely due to a combination of forces: reducing drug abuse can reduce violent behavior that is caused by particular drugs, as well as property crimes like theft committed to fund an addiction. Reducing demand for illegal drugs might also reduce violence associated with the illegal drug trade. The authors estimate that each additional treatment facility in a county reduces the social costs of crime in that county by $4.2 million per year. Annual costs of treatment in a facility are approximately $1.1 million, so the benefits far exceed the costs.
We were tempted to quote the entire opinion piece, but we’ll stick to the part about crime.
People are terrible at analyzing risk, especially when it comes to personal safety. Most US cities, the country as a whole, and the entire world are all the safest they’ve ever been and are getting safer.
Last year there were 352 murders in New York City. This was a bit higher than the number in 2014, but far below the 2245 murders that took place in 1990, the city’s worst year. In fact, as measured by the murder rate, New York is now basically as safe as it has ever been, going all the way back to the 19th century.
National crime statistics, and numbers for all violent crimes, paint an only slightly less cheerful picture. And it’s not just a matter of numbers; our big cities look and feel far safer than they did a generation ago, because they are. People of a certain age always have the sense that America isn’t the country they remember from their youth, and in this case they’re right — it has gotten much better.
Delusions of Chaos http://nyti.ms/2amlvbq
Baltimore police behavior is deplorable and shameful.
Yeah, yeah, yeah not all officers are bad officers, or even bad people, but this situation shows just how many people in the criminal justice system are the wrong ones to be protecting, policing, prosecuting, and judging.
We need widespread reform of how we enforce laws and penalize criminals.
We should not tolerate crime or go soft on true criminals, but we clearly need better ways of telling who those criminals really are. Most importantly we need better people helping us make those determinations.
It’s important to remember that for quite some time now crime overall and violent crime in particular has been dropping significantly. This means it’s now the time to make sure we’re getting fairer and more careful about reducing what crime remains.
It’s also time to turn societies attention to the economic and white collar crime that has not seen similar reductions in the recent past.
Some Women Won’t ‘Ever Again’ Report a Rape in Baltimore http://nyti.ms/2b9TPal
There a lot we can do to break the cycle of poverty and jail. It’s not about emptying jails. It’s about getting people on the right track and eliminating barrier that aren’t productive.
A Fair Chance After a Conviction http://nyti.ms/1qeQPNo
This is NobodyisFlyingthePlane.
We fear the wrong things and we act to assuage those fears not the actual dangers and issues in real life.
Things we should fear more than violent crime.
Flying (jk ;-), climate change, political polarization and gridlock, fundamentalism, economic inequality, loss of privacy, data breaches, corporate malevolence.
A decent article about gun violence, but a better article for what it says about how we’re all in this together. We can’t really see or solve our problems if all we see is different tribes everywhere we look. We have to alleviate the problems of those below us on the ladder in order to make things better for ourselves.
If you ignore America’s poor, you can make all kinds of problems disappear from view. Not counting the poor and minorities, the country does not have an obesity epidemic. Not counting the poor and minorities, the United States has perfectly adequate schools. Not counting the poor and minorities, America would have a higher average income.
Likewise, not counting hurricanes, America would not have so many natural disasters. Not counting divorces, America would have more intact families. Not counting wars, America would have a smaller public debt. But what’s the point of this exercise? The people who make up America count as Americans, and their problems count as America’s problems. Their problems do not occur in isolation, but are manifestations of failures to which all Americans contributed together.