A great article linked at the Crime & Consequences Blog.
Jason Riley has this piece in the WSJ with the above title:
Why the fate of criminals should matter more than the fate of crime victims is a question that went largely unasked, let alone answered, during last week’s bipartisan celebration of President Obama’s decision to release dozens of individuals from prison and push for looser sentencing guidelines.
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Higher black incarceration rates reflect higher black crime rates, but like many liberal critics of “mass incarceration” the president would rather focus on the behavior of police and prosecutors, not the behavior of the young black men responsible for so much lawbreaking. Not surprisingly, the poor and working-class blacks who are the primary victims of black criminality tend to have different priorities.
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Occasionally, an honest liberal, like the one who taught Mr. Obama at Harvard Law School, will state the obvious. “The most lethal danger facing African Americans in their daily lives,” wrote Prof. Randall Kennedy in these pages 21 years ago, “is not white, racist officials of the state, but private, violent criminals, typically black, who attack those most vulnerable to them without regard for racial identity.”
Mr. Obama sprinkled his speech with repeated references to the “nonviolent” and “low-level” offenders we presumably lock up for too long and are safe to release early. But the record of predicting which convicts will turn a new leaf is nothing to brag about. A 2002 Justice Department report tracked the three-year recidivism rate of 91,000 “nonviolent” property offenders who had been released nationally in 1994. Among those released, “21.9% were rearrested for violent crimes, including 726 murders, 637 rapes, 5,735 robberies, and 12,475 assaults,” wrote Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. “Interestingly, car thieves, which represented just over 10% of all the offenders released, were rearrested for committing more than 1/3 of the murders and a disproportionate number of other violent crimes.”
Retrieved July 2015 from http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2015/07/the-high-cost-of-letting-crimi.html