Friday, 29 February 2008

Getting tough on crime.

Via Dana, this report.

The scariest paragraph that puts it in perspective:

The report said the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which round out the Top 10.The U.S. also is among the world leaders in capital punishment. According to Amnesty International, its 53 executions in 2006 were exceeded only by China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan.

Tough on crime indeed. So tough that they have to put more people behind bars every year. I think its a fair conclusion that tougher punishment ain't providing the necessary incentive for citizens to be law abiding.

2 comments:

Ken Breadner said...

Fair enough, but consider a place like Singapore, which is considerably tougher on crime. Not much crime, there, for some reason. Is criminality then a cultural thing? That opens up entire grocery stores full of cans of worms.

Catelli said...

It might open up cans of worms all over the place, but it could lead us to a better system.

Its hard finding statistics to compare many nations on, the next best chart I could find was here:
2006_incaration

It does illustrate that imprisoning people doesn't discourage criminal activity. It shows crime is a complex (and cultural/poverty/education) issue, and that the notion of "just build more prisons to make society safe" is wrong-headed.