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May 2008
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Crime and prisons

Matthew Yglesias, like so many others, sees the nasty over-incarceration problem we have in this country.
But then he take a turn into an alternative dimension

On the other hand, it’s also true that the crime rate in the United States remains at what I’d consider an unacceptably high level and there are some indications that it’s on the rise again.
Much better than simply letting people out of jail to save money would be a more focused effort to switch our anti-crime priorities away from such a heavy reliance on incarceration and toward more cost-effective methods. Drug treatment programs that work are great, but not just anything called a drug treatment program actually works. Coerced abstinence (PDF) seems promising, as does simply hiring more police officers.

Fortunately, his readers have a better idea…

On the other hand, it’s also true that the crime rate in the United States remains at what I’d consider an unacceptably high level and there are some indications that it’s on the rise again.
Surely this is a nonsequitur.
You could release every single nonviolent drug offender in the country and have zero effect whatsoever on the ‘crime rate’ (as defined in any meaningful way) and still save a tremendous amount of money.
Posted by moron

Coerced abstinence? This is tired old (alternative prohibition) nonsense that still imagines drug use as a problem that somehow must be corrected by force, rather than identifying actual problems (crimes of violence or property) and dealing with solutions tailored to those problems.

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