More Criminals In Prison=Fewer Homicides

By | September 18, 2021 | 0 Comments

“Defund the police”? Stop “mass incarceration”? Let more criminals out of prison? Ban more types of guns? Leftists tell us that these steps will reduce violent crime, especially homicide. Yet as they put these policies into effect, violent crime including homicide actually increases.

This is hardly a surprise. One does not need a PhD in criminology to understand that people locked up cannot be a threat to the community.

So why would anyone want to release criminals early, before their sentences are up? Why would anyone have more sympathy for violent criminals than for their future victims? I don’t know why. I have suspicions, none of which are pleasant to contemplate.

But what are the facts? What is the relation between incarceration rates and homicide rates? As anyone with a shred of common sense would predict, the relation is inverse: more criminals in prison, fewer homicides. And what is the relation between handgun ownership and homicide rates? There is none. Handgun ownership has risen steadily, while the homicide rate fell for years, and is now rising again.

Look at this graph, taken from After states passed “habitual offender” or “three strikes” laws, the homicide rate fell sharply. Now that felons are being released early, the homicide rate is rising. What could be clearer?

Only the willfully ignorant pretend not to see it. Only fanatic ideologues insist on denying the obvious. But most of the homicides don’t occur in their upscale neighborhoods. No, most homicides occur in less affluent areas where the poor and minorities live and work. As usual, they pay the price for leftist illusions. Sometimes they pay it in blood.

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