Friday, August 30, 2013


The Freakonomics authors posited that the reason crime rates went down in the 90's and beyond was Roe vs. Wade--fewer unwanted, poorer children (the ones most likely to commit crimes when they got older) were born.  Nice theory, but a better one is that the availability of porn and violent video games has provided somewhat of an outlet (and time-occupier) for crime-aged men.  There's some evidence to back that up.  Isn't it convenient that the world wide web went active in 1989, 16 years after Roe?

I've heard it argued recently (by lefties, of course) that since crime rates are lower now than they've been in decades, we shouldn't be locking so many people up.  How can it not occur to them that part of the reason crime rates are down is that we're locking up bad guys for longer periods (thank you, 3 strikes law)?  Of course I know the answer to my question:  they feel, they don't think.  Anyway, crime rates may turn around here in California:
It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, was it? In 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Plata that California must reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons, overcrowding so severe that the Court — or five members of it, anyway — found that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment and thus violated the Eighth Amendment. The “Brown” of the case is California Governor Jerry Brown, who when faced with the predictably grim prospects demanded by the decision, saw through the legislation and implementation of what has been labeled “Public Safety Realignment.” This innocuous term is of course government-speak for “realigning” people out of prison where they belong and onto the streets of California’s cities, with the greatest share of them coming to roost in and around Los Angeles.

It’s impolite to say “I told you so,” but sometimes good manners must give way to good sense. I’ve visited this topic on three previous occasions here on PJ Media, in each case referring to the predictable consequences of failing to punish people for proscribed conduct. Today, fewer felons are in California’s prisons, perhaps making life a bit more tolerable for those who are so confined, but making life all the more intolerable for the rest of us. In 2011, 50,678 people were sent to state prison in California. The following year, after all that “realignment” started happening, the number fell to 33,990.

Though Governor Brown and the lesser lights of California politics have sought to put a glad face on what has happened since, the inescapable truth is that crime in California, after years of decline, is on the rise once again.


Jean said...

We have seen a real and alarming surge in violent crime in our NorCal town. Stabbings appear to be the favored method of attack. Stuff like that used to be big news, but since the state shoved all those "nonviolent offenders' out, it's no longer a surprise to hear about. And because our wonderful city council spent too much money and hates police anyway, we have fewer police than ever. I hate seeing my town decline like this.

Anonymous said...

If you care about the Freakonomics take on Roe vs. Wade and crime you should read this:

The Freakonomics folks are better at PR than many other people...

-Mark Roulo