Safe Streets and High Criminal Incarceration Rates Go Hand In Hand — UPDATED

The New York Times doesn’t believe that safe streets and high criminal incarceration rates go hand in hand. See, Why Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay

The growth in the nation’s prison population has been nothing short of staggering. The United States’ incarceration rate is now more than four times the world average, with about 2.2 million people in prisons and jails. Of those, roughly 200,000 are federal inmates, double the number from 20 years ago. This substantial increase occurred even as violent crime was falling sharply. [Emphasis Added]

The New York Times has repeated this story line a lot in the last few years. It never seems to occur to their reporters and opinion writers that the decline in the crime rate and the increase of incarceration have a cause and effect relationship.  They see incarceration along with safer communities to be an aberration and an anomaly. It never seems to dawn on anyone at the Times that less crime is the direct result of incarceration of criminals who can no longer prey on citizens from behind bars.

The Times is not alone in this perverse point of view.  It’s liberal dogma that a falling crime rate justifies letting more criminals out of prison and sending fewer of them into prison. Of course, that perpetuates the cycle of more crime followed by more incarceration —  followed by liberal handwringing over mass incarceration — followed by soft on crime policies —  followed by more crime followed by a return to higher incarceration numbers. Rinse, repeat.

Right now we may be seeing a bi-partisan movement to the lower incarceration phase which will most assuredly be followed by more crime.  I say bi-partisan because it’s not just liberal Democrats and fat-cat donors like George Soros, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg behind it. Some Republicans thought to be conservative are on board. Charles Grassley of Iowa is apparently as gung-ho to throw open the prison doors as any liberal you’ll find. Even Newt Gingrich, and the Koch Brothers have been drinking the Kool Aid on decriminalization and de-incarceration! [What the devil has happened to these people?]  The U.S. Senate appears to have several Republicans behind what they call “sentencing reform” which is a euphemism for soft-on-crime policies. See, Heather MacDonald, The Decriminalization Delusion.

This is different from what was done in the past. This time there is big money from Soros, Steyer and others in the game. Much of the money is going to support candidates in local district attorney races. It’s an attempt to transform criminal justice in America one District Attorney at a time. Tough on crime incumbents are facing stiff opposition from Soros-funded candidates pledging to prosecute more cops and go easy on violent offenders.

Many violent offenders don’t go to prison with that mark on them because they have plea bargained down to a lesser crime, often some sort of drug offense. This enables liberal go-gooders to argue that too many are in prison for non-violent drug offenses.  In reality, they are in prison for a violent offense that was renamed to facilitate a plea bargain.

If the liberals get their way on this, if Soros and Steyer money can turn out career prosecutors and replace them with those whose heart bleeds for the criminal more than the victim, we are in for a massive crime wave. If the Left is successful in taking guns away from law-abiding citizens so they can’t defend themselves, there will be “blood in the streets” (to borrow a metaphor from liberals). There will be dreams shattered, lives upended, and families torn apart. Because liberals do what they do, and mostly that is to destroy the institutions that enable peaceful civilization among disparate and diverse people.

Most voters don’t know much about the candidates in DA races. Traditionally, big money was not involved. A race where no more than $30,000 was spent by a candidate was pretty much the norm. Most of the time the DA candidate is someone who has spent many years prosecuting criminal cases as an ADA. So what does a voter without more information than that do?

First of all, see if the candidate comes from the public defenders’ office. Never vote for that person. They come from a universe that is alien to the job of a District Attorney. They have spent years getting emotionally involved with some of the most vile human beings on the planet. Next, follow the money. The more money behind the candidate the less likely you should vote for them.  If you smell the stench of George Soros, Tom Steyer or Michael Bloomberg funding a candidate, consider that candidate toxic to your future health and welfare. If he or she wins, move somewhere else.  You and your family will be safer.

Criminals probably know more than voters about a district attorney, a district attorney candidate or the general milieu of their jurisdiction.

When I was in law school at the University of Denver 1974-1977 some of my fellow students who were doing an internship in the Denver DA’s office told me that many criminals prefer to commit their crimes in Denver instead of in the adjacent Arapahoe or Jefferson counties. The reason given was that they knew Denver juries were likely to be made up of soft-on-crime liberals while Arapahoe and Jefferson County juries were sure to be tough-on-crime conservatives. The DAs in those counties were elected by liberal or conservative voters, respectively.

One Denver DA who went on to be a governor of Colorado was, with the then mayor, the first to establish Denver as a sanctuary city.  Anyone who wants to live in a sanctuary city either is ignorant or doesn’t mind the increased level of crime that comes along with that status. A dedicated and honored Denver detective had to pay a very high price for Denver’s sanctuary city policy when he was fatality shot in the back ambush style by an illegal alien who quickly fled back to Mexico before he could be arrested.

I haven’t lived in Denver since 1985. I go into Denver almost everyday, but I’ll never live there again. This hurts some. I used to think there was no place on God’s green earth that could be better than Denver. At that time, it may have been true.

UPDATE: Oregon Deputy DA Defeats Outside Money Candidate

[The outside candidate, likely funded by George Soros, spent $541,832. The Deputy DA had $350,468 to spend on his campaign.]

Washington County voters on Tuesday elected a longtime child abuse prosecutor as district attorney, the culmination of a race that saw an unprecedented influx of cash, questions about outside funding, a proliferation of TV ads and a debate about criminal justice in Oregon.

Kevin Barton, 40, a chief deputy district attorney in the county, defeated former Polk County prosecutor and Beaverton criminal defense attorney Max Wall, 40, in a decisive vote. Barton captured 70 percent of the vote in early returns compared to Wall’s 30 percent.

*      *      *
Combined, the candidates raised about $892,300, according to the latest campaign finance filings. Wall has raised $541,832, with $375,000 from the Oregon Law and Justice political action committee run by a woman with ties to billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
Whether Soros or someone else funded the campaign remains unclear. A political consultant for Wall said she was told Soros is not behind the PAC but she did not know who was. Wall refused to answer questions from reporters about who provided the money.
*      *      *
The race was historic by Oregon standards. District attorney races are typically sleepy affairs often involving a candidate who has risen through the ranks of the office. But advocates eager to reshape Oregon’s approach to criminal justice saw the Washington County race as an opportunity to elect a prosecutor friendly to their agenda.

Friendly to their soft-on-crime agenda, that is. Ha! Good guys win one.

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