More adventures in realignment success stories
Richard Krupp, PhD. | March 21, 2013
In my January 16, 2013 article, A Simple Concept: Experts confused and confounded, (inset below) I provided my opinions about “experts” and realignment. An article in the Sacramento Bee March 20, provided some excellent examples to further illustrate my observations. Here are some highlights from the news article and a reprise of my article.
Gov. Jerry Brown takes notice of realignment complaints, Sacramento Bee, March 20, 2013.
On Tuesday, Republican lawmakers brought to their news conference a 21-year-old woman who was brutally attacked last year by a former boyfriend. The man had been arrested for violating parole and failing to register as a sex offender the month before the attack, they said, but he was out of jail due to overcrowding.
As lawmakers stepped up pressure to modify California's historic prison realignment – most recently at a news conference Tuesday featuring a crime victim in a wheelchair – Gov. Jerry Brown is taking notice.
“This is a big, historic shift, and, you know, we need to do a better job of looking at what's happening and what's occurring,” Jeffrey Beard, secretary of the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, said after a meeting in Sacramento last week.
“We are witnessing calls to increase the number of people in prison, and we are under pressure to reduce the number of people in prison,” Brown told reporters in San Francisco last week. “Luckily, contradiction is one of my specialties, so I feel I can deal with it.”
Although some lawmakers have introduced bills to reverse some of the damage done by realignment, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg in a display of his ignorance and arrogance, does not support these changes. The true contradiction is that the Governor and Legislature are supposed to protect the citizens of California yet they are more interested in the comfort of the people who abuse the citizens of California. They should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.
A Simple Concept: Experts confused and confounded
Richard Krupp, PhD. | January 16, 2013
A Wall Street Journal article on January 5, 2012, California Law Blamed for Crime Rise, looked at our sentencing overhaul based on realignment. “California saw a year-over-year increase of 4.5% in property crime in the fourth quarter of 2011, immediately after the overhaul.” Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Lazzarini feels more criminals are in the community rather than incarcerated, and this is a “pretty good reason” for the rise in property crimes.
Governor Brown's spokesman feels, “Any respectable criminologist will tell you [they] don't determine overall trends in a year or two. Attempts to tie any increases to realignment are purely political.” Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center concedes that the link to higher property crime rates and the realignment sentencing overhaul “may well turn out to be right.” Is she back-peddling from her previous position?
Who should be believe? Who is the expert? The field level peace officer? The politician? The academician?
When California incarceration rates were higher the property crime rates were lower. Through some sort of pretzel logic political and academic experts complained about prior incarceration rates. What was the complain? Why lock up so many people when crime rates are low? What is the answer? Crimes rates were low because more people were locked up. Criminals commit crimes unless they are locked up. A simple concept unknown to many criminal justice experts.
Common sense tells us that redirecting criminals from the prison system to the community increases crime. It is not necessary to wait several years to figure this out. Whether they freely admit they made mistakes or not, the so called criminal justice experts, politicians and academicians are responsible for increases in crime. Some are trying to come up with novel ways of back-peddling.
What is an expert? As noted in the book, The Black Swan, Experts – “Based on their empirical record, they do not know more about their subject mater than the general population, but they are much better at narrating-or worse, at smoking you with complicated mathematical models.”
Now that media attention is being drawn to the failure of realignment, the experts will start offering excuses to shirk the blame. Typical excuses from experts include:
1) The program was not implemented as specified.
2) Not enough money was spent.
3) Not enough time has passed.
4) It is possible something not anticipated is affecting the results.
5) Some modifications to the program are required.
Keep in mind the crime rate increases the media is looking at now are from 2011. When 2012 data is released people will see a more dramatic uptick in crime rates. I suspect most cities and counties already know how dismal the situation is. Political influences corrupt any truthful disclosure.
Though they are not likely to claim to be criminal justice experts, police officers, parole agents, and correctional officers are the only honest voices in the crowd. Politicians and academicians with little field experience are dangerous. In my opinion, there are three cures for criminal behavior, death, incarceration, and old age. Lower on the list of cures would be job training and towards the bottom of the list would be talk therapy.
Richard Krupp, PhD. January 7, 2013