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A Little Honesty, Thank Goodness

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The movement to dramatically scale back incarceration almost always assures us that those to be released will be merely "low-level, non-violent" offenders.  This promise, much like, "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it, period," is necessary to any hope the movement has of succeeding:  If people were told up front that the release of relatively less dangerous criminals is merely the prelude to the release of thousands of thugs any sane person would fear, the movement would be stillborn.

It was thus refreshing to see the other day an op-ed by two of the movement's leaders, Prof. David Cole of Georgetown and Mr. Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project, that had the honesty to admit what most of their cohorts prefer to keep hushed up:  It's not about releasing just the supposedly harmless inmates.  It's about releasing the lot of them, including the most hardened, violent and sadistic.

Don't believe me?  I don't blame you, but read it for yourself.

P.S.  While the authors deserve credit for finally spilling the beans on what the agenda really is, they are not uniformly so forthcoming.  Thus, in the middle of their piece, they say, "As the prison population has expanded, however, whatever impact incarceration may have had on crime has confronted the law of diminishing returns." Conspicuously absent, of course, is any disclosure of what the impact of incarceration on crime actually is.  There might be a reason for that


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