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Criminal Law

After a While, the Evidence Is Too Much To Ignore

After a While, the Evidence Is Too Much To Ignore

When Vox and NYU, of all places, finally see that policing is the solution and not the problem, you know that our violent crime problem has gone over the cliff.

From this article in Vox:

Last year, the US’s murder rate spiked by almost 30 percent. So far in 2021, murders are up nearly 10 percent in major cities. The 2020 increase alone is the largest percentage increase ever recorded in America — and a reversal from overall declines in murder rates since the 1990s.

American policymakers now want answers on this surge. One approach has good evidence behind it: the police.

There is solid evidence that more police officers and certain policing strategies reduce crime and violence. In a recent survey of criminal justice experts, a majority said increasing police budgets would improve public safety. The evidence is especially strong for strategies that home in on very specific problems, individuals, or groups that are causing a lot of crime or violence — approaches that would require restructuring how many police departments work today.

I don’t agree with everything in the article  —  far from it  —  but it’s instructive that our national murder crisis has come to this point.  At some stage, reality does intrude, even in the citadels of liberalism.

The article continues:

That runs contrary to the push to “defund the police” in progressive circles, which tend to focus on cutting policing to boost alternatives. In the same survey of experts, most said that increasing social service budgets would improve public safety. But experts also say there’s no reason, if the goal is to fight crime, that communities shouldn’t expand both policing and social services — what University of Missouri St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld calls a “both-and” approach….

The impact of police, meanwhile, tends to happen quickly — almost immediately deterring and intercepting would-be criminals with the presence of officers. For policymakers looking for quick action, that’s an important distinction, suggesting that police have to play a role even if other social services are deployed for longer-term solutions.

“I know people don’t want to hear this, and I empathize with that,” Anna Harvey, a public safety expert at New York University, told me. “[But] as far as the research evidence goes, for short-term responses to increases in homicides, the evidence is strongest for the police-based solutions.”

Is that really an NYU professor speaking?  NYU, home of the Brennan Center?  Goodness gracious, I need my smelling salts.

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