January 11, 2017

STOP CRIMINALS, STOP CRIME:

The Big Apple's big drop in crime (Harry Bruinius, Jan. 5th, 2017, CS Monitor)

Police Commissioner James O'Neill accounts for this success by simply saying New York is becoming better at "deeper problem-solving." The city has indeed tried many criminal-justice reforms in recent decades. And better economic conditions have also helped cut crime. But what is sure is that police are now more engaged with their communities, explaining their work, listening to feedback, and winning allies. Clergy, for example, are enlisted to calm gang behavior. In Brooklyn, anti-violence groups often hold vigils in rough neighborhoods.

This community-focused approach allows police to more easily pinpoint the most habitual lawbreakers and then confront them with a choice: Either be arrested or seek help for their problems, such as job training, counseling, or mentoring.

The key is choice. If police view gang leaders, for example, as capable of a life without crime, then the gang leaders might not see themselves as criminals. Police, in other words, separate the crime from "the criminal."

The buzzword for this approach is "focused deterrence." It relies on a view of individuals as potentially open to reform and as separate from their past acts of crime. Police offer dignity and respect to a targeted person, and then hope to see those qualities reflected back.

Posted by at January 11, 2017 6:07 PM

  

« ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE: | Main | AS IF WE NEEDED MORE REASON TO LOVE TRAINS: »