I’m squarely against crime. Yes. If you are too, I have good news. Crime rates in the U.S. have been dropping. Not for all crimes and not everywhere. But the drops have been large enough and consistent enough to add up to a significant trend.
A trend that reporters and professors of criminology have taken note of. And would like to explain. But can’t. That’s the gist of a recent story in Christian Science Monitor . The most the experts can come up with is a “911 effect.” According to this theory, violent felons reverted to hand-holding mode in the wake of the terrorist attacks that shocked and then united all Americans. Yet crime was already declining by then.
I’m no expert, but in my spare five minutes a day I do surf the web, and came across the blog of journalist Robert Bidinotto. Bidinotto has written about crime for Reader’s Digest, and is editor of an anthology, called Criminal Justice . He observes the obvious: crime is down because we’re locking up violent felons longer. If you’re in jail you can’t rob a liquor store and you can’t kill the clerk behind the counter. “In other words,” writes Bidinotto, “so-called ‘get tough’ sentencing laws of recent years much maligned by ‘progressive’ criminologists and criminal apologists have been working exactly as anyone but an academic could have predicted.”
We could test Bidinotto’s theory by letting all the murderers loose. But that might not be such a good idea. And besides, the professors still wouldn’t get it.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.