Crime And Punishment

Real quick posting today. There’s an editorial in the NYTimes today lamenting the increase in the prison population.

“Federal, state and local governments have been putting more people behind bars even though crime, including violent crime, is down sharply. The driving force has been an array of get-tough policies, many adopted in another era, when fear of crime was greater.” [emphasis mine]

In case you’re not following the logic, the Times is suggesting that since crime is down, we don’t need to be so aggressive in inaceration. The Times avoids making the correlation that perhaps crime is down because of the very policies it decries.

An alternative the Times suggests:

“And special attention should be given to releasing older inmates, a fast-growing part of the prisoner population.”

Perhaps the reason the older inmates are a fast growing part of the population is because they commited heinous crimes in their youth and consequently received lenthy prison terms. After all, isn’t prison more humane than the dealth penalty?

One would think with the way physics work these days that all inmates get older over time, thus increasing the population, and perhaps they actually deserve to be locked up – or we deserve not to have lunatics running around on the streets.

Update: This link was accepted to OpinionJournal’s Best of the Web.