Monday, September 15, 2014

Crime reduction rates show little link to incarceration

The justification for mass incarceration has always been public safety. But this new analysis from the Pew Charitable Trust shows that "higher threats of incarceration don't actually deter criminal activity." Indeed, states which reduced incarceration rates saw similar or even greater reductions in crime from 1994 to 2012 than those that expanded their number of prisoners. For example, New York State reduced its incarceration rate the most over this period (by 24 percent) but also saw the largest reduction in crime. Meanwhile the state with the greatest rise in incarceration rate (percentage-wise) was West Virginia, which expanded its prison population by 195 percent while it was the only US state to see crime INCREASE over this period.

RELATED: On my "to read" list is a new, seemingly exhaustive analysis by the National Academy of Sciences (published in May) titled "The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Causes and Consequences" (pdf). It's a fat tome but delves deeply into the substance of why crime reduction and mass incarceration seem at best tenuously linked and explores other theories and factors that may explain the counter-intuitive data.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the headsup on this. I'm going to wade in. I noticed that Tony Fabelo (former head of the Texas Criminal Justice Policy Council) is on the committee that wrote the report.

Anonymous said...

This should be distributed in Texas every newspaper about the time prosecutors begin campaigning.

Anonymous said...

When they are locked up for a couple of years it gives the rape victims a break for a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

So, Fabelo is conducting research and producing findings that so just so happen to correlate with the answers his friend Whitmire wants to hear. There's a report due out in January on JJ recidivism on TJJD and select counties which further supports Whitmires desire to ensure TJJD state operated facilities are closed or reduced to no more than 1 facility with about 400 kids.

Fabelos new Research Manager Arrigona (old buddy from criminal justice policy institute) has been the Director of Research at TJJD for the past two years collecting data from unknowing counties. They thought they were answering questions to TJJD but she retired in May suddenly and took all the data to Fabelo CSG. Now they will release a report at session opening that throws three large counties and TJJD under the bus in a nationally released report.

Wonder what the county consent releases said? Sample sizes aren't even large enough to be scientifically valid. Then Fabelo puts former TJJD ED Griffiths on his payroll to make it look like TJJD authorized this all along. TJJD had no idea what Arrigona was doing, only that she never produced any TJJD work. She used her state time and salary (and her assistant Gonzalez) to work on this project for CSG for the last two years. She owes the State of Texas an explanation and back pay.

Arrigona presented to counties with, oh yes, you gave it to me as an employee of TJJD but I gave it to Fabelo. She even called herself a liar and manipulative with a smile on her face because she knows she has Whitmires support. . Fabelo brings Whitmires aide with him to presentation to ensure none of the counties protest the incredible lack of ethics and huge research validity issues with this project.

They know the counties will lose state funding at Whitmires direction if they make a fuss. Now they are in the same boat with TJJD, smile and suck up it up when people in power lie for their own agendas. No wonder Whitmire keeps making sure there is a county person as Agency ED.

Whitmire knows advocates won't go along with making TJJD a juvenile division of TDCJ so this is the best way to get people in line. Don't worry about it being ethical or accurate. And don't worry about the backdoor deals he is doing with Rite of Passage to further privatize JJ although research and findings in other states who have done so reveal dismal and dangerous results for kids.

Fabelo has been empowered for too long through his friendship with the Senator and this is one of the most unethical stunts they have pulled so far.

Anonymous said...

Interesting 4:10. So besides the outrage at the way the information got to Fabelo, and the validity of the information provided - what was the gist of the talk and can you say who the three counties were?