Yahoo News carries this story about the continuing drop in violent crime. It seems that such crime is now at levels not seen "since before the days of color TV."
Now why would that be? "Experts cite a number of possible reasons for the prolonged drop in crime, including better policing techniques, an aging population, and, somewhat counterintuitively, the unifying effects of the recession."
The "experts" seem to have missed the one thing they otherwise spend a good deal of their time yelping about, to wit, "mass incarceration," which is their term for the fact that the country got serious about its exploding crime rate 40 years ago and started actually putting, and keeping, the people who do it in the slammer. "Experts" are nonetheless continually baffled about why the crime rate has fallen.
One reason I started teaching at Georgetown Law was so that there would be at least one person in the faculty lounge who suspects there is a relationship between the fact that (1) we are putting more of the people who commit crime in prison, and (2) we are getting less crime.
Some genuine authorities, including Prof. Doug Berman of the ever-provocative Sentencing Law and Policy, have pointed out that expanded early release programs or laws over the last two or three years have started to slightly reduce the prison population, while the crime rate has continued to decline. This is true, but omits a key fact (a fact liberals otherwise loudly advertise): Those released under these new arrangements are low-level, non-violent offenders. So far as I know, or liberals have claimed, we are continuing the "mass incarceration" of violent criminals. And -- guess what -- violent crime continues to go down!
Must be the (undocumented and previously undiscovered) "unifying effects of the recession." Indeed, it must be anything, anything, but prison.