Category: Rehabilitation

What Do Inmates Do After They’re Released?

That’s one of the most important questions any sensible person would ask in considering whether criminals are sentenced too harshly, or (relatedly) whether their existing sentences should be shortened by mass clemency or other expedients such as First Step Act re-sentencing.  After all, we should be guided by “facts” and “data,” not emotion, right?  Emotion is, after all, the province of revenge-driven right-wing kooks, while reliance on criminal justice “data” is the specialty of the more tempered among us.

Well OK then, let’s look at the data.  What do they tell us?

In brief, they tell us that, in overwhelming numbers, after they’re released, criminals get back in the crime business.  Most of them return fast, and over time, close to all of them return to harming us, our property, and our right to live in peace and safety.

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Governor Newsom Releases More Violent Criminals

Katy Grimes from The California Globe has this story covering Newsom’s announcement on May 28th, “[He} granted 14 pardons, 13 commutations and 8 medical reprieves – for murderers, bank robbers, armed robbers, kidnappers, killers for hire, drivers of get-away-cars for murderers, and assaulters with firearms.” Yet again we are looking at the release of criminals who have been convicted of heinous, violent crimes that would lead any reasonable person to believe pose a threat to the safety and security of the community in which they are released into. 

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The Lethal and Racist Dishonesty of the Defense Bar

In the post immediately preceding this one, Amber Westbrook wrote of “Another Violent Felon Released from Prison Early to Commit More Crimes.”  The piece I bring you now is in the same vein but much worse.  It’s from the pro-criminal justice “reform” Washington Post.  Its title is, “Released early after a murder conviction, D.C. man is charged in new homicide.”  It’s yet another story of dishonest lawyers, both white, one an advocate and one a judge, who worked hand-in-hand to secure the early release of a violent thug in the prime of his criminal life.  The released convict, Darrell Moore, went on to commit another murder a scant nine months later, by shooting his victim six times in the chest.  The evidence suggests that the victim was black, as Moore’s first victim was.

What we have here is the nauseating combination of the poisons that have been taking over our criminal justice system  —  strutting elitist attitudes and shameless lying masquerading as compassion.  But it’s not compassion.  It’s the opposite.  It starts with self-congratulatory virtue-signalling by elite-type lawyers (the great majority of whom are, as in this case, white).  The next step is pro bono representation of a violent hooligan to obtain early release, thus to shortcut his supposed accountability for an earlier brutal crime.  It proceeds by patently false representations about his New Life and Now Peaceable Character.  The final chapter is another black man in the morgue.  The white lawyers who made it all possible have  —  you guessed it  —  no comment.

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A Second Chance……………To Do What? Part I

Hey everyone!  It’s “Second Chance Month.”  President Biden has said so himself (see this piece at SL&P).  The President is a bit short on specifics, but assures us that, “During Second Chance Month, we lift up all those who, having made mistakes, are committed to rejoining society and making meaningful contributions.”

“Mistakes,” got that?  Fleecing grandma out of her life savings, selling smack to an addicted 16 year-old, raping a first grader  —  look people, don’t be so judgmental.  They’re just “mistakes.”

I’ll be saying more in future posts about the Happy Face, if fact-free, yammering about second chances.  For now, I just want to focus on the one question that cries out to be asked but never is:  A second chance to do what?

Today’s Washington Post, of all things, provides a glimpse of the answer.

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“Ban the Box” Backfire

Ryan Sherrard of UC Santa Barbara has a draft study on SSRN titled “Ban the Box” Policies and Criminal Recidivism. Here is the abstract:

Employment has long been seen as a mechanism for reducing criminal recidivism. As such, many states and municipalities have tried to increase the employment prospects of ex-offenders through “Ban the Box” (BTB) policies, making it illegal to ask about an individual’s criminal history on a job application. There are, however, questions as to how effective these policies are at helping ex-offenders successfully stay out of prison. In addition, recent research has shown that BTB policies may lead employers to racially discriminate in hiring. Using administrative prison data, this paper examines the direct effect of BTB policies on rates of criminal recidivism. I find that while BTB policies don’t appear to reduce criminal recidivism overall, these policies may be exacerbating racial disparities. In particular, I show that being released into a labor market with a BTB policy is associated with higher rates of recidivism for black ex-offenders, with little to no eff ect for white ex-offenders. This result is robust to a number of specifications and sub-samples.

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