Paul Mirengoff of Power Line reports:
Cathy Lanier is leaving her job as police chief of Washington, D.C. to become the NFL’s head of security. . . .
On her way out, Lanier had some harsh things to say about criminal justice in D.C. “The criminal justice system in this city is broken,” Lanier told the Washington Post. Indeed, “it is beyond broken.”
Often, it’s the left that calls the criminal justice system “broken.” But Lanier was not offering a leftist critique. Instead, she found the system broken primarily because it allows repeat violent offenders back on the street time after time.
Lanier cited the case of an 18 year-old man who last week was on home detention when his GPS tracking device became inoperable. The man then went on a crime rampage that started in Maryland and ended in the District. His crimes included a robbery, a shooting, and a car theft that resulted in a crash that left a bystander critically injured.
According to Lanier, this sort of thing is “happening over and over and over again.” She added:
Where the hell is the outrage? . . . People are being victimized who shouldn’t be. You can’t police the city if the rest of the justice system is not accountable.
Actually, there’s plenty of outrage. Unfortunately, much of it is directed towards the alleged over-incarceration of young black males.
I’ve argued that America has an under-incarceration problem. Criminals whose records clearly show they should be in jail have, instead, been released and are on the streets committing violent crimes, including some very bloody, high-profile ones.
Here’s another example. Samuel Harviley, paroled from prison less than three months ago, is being held without bond for shooting an off-duty Chicago police officer outside his home earlier this week. In withholding bond, the local judge said that Harviley “poses an extreme danger to the rest of us out in public.”
Indeed, he does. And he did three months ago when he was released early from jail. . . .
Sentencing reform is, indeed, called for. The system should be reformed so that criminals like Harviley don’t get out of prison after serving less than their half of their sentence. As Chicago Patrol Chief Eddie Johnson says, the Harviley shooting illustrates that the criminal justice system “is broken.” He added:
Until we get real criminal justice reform, the cycle will continue. We have the laws here. We just need to make sure that these criminals are held accountable for their actions.
What a quaint notion.
None of this is news to me. See, for example, “Crime Explained” (fifth item) at this post. The bottom line:
Incarceration has a strong, statistically significant, negative effect on the violent-property crime rate. In other words, more prisoners = less crime against persons and their property.
[See also Paul Mirengoff’s “Our Under-Incarceration Problem, Charlotte Edition.”)