Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Progressive Fact: "America Sends Too Many People to Prison"

 At Liberty Unyielding:

It’s common for progressives who hate the police to claim that America is guilty of “overpolicing” and “mass incarceration.” But as criminology professor Justin Nix notes, “Given its level of serious crime, America has ordinary levels of incarceration but extraordinary levels of under-policing.”

America has fewer police compared to its population than most developed countries. And as the above graph shows, it has far fewer police per homicide than most developed countries. America has less than a tenth as many police per homicide as Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Greece, Portugal, Austria, and the Netherlands.

America incarcerates fewer people per homicide than countries like Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and Australia, as you can see from the graph above.

Europe spends more of its economy on its police than the U.S. does. As a result, Europe has both a lower murder rate, and a lower rate of killings by the police. More cops on the beat means they can solve more murders, and catching murderers deters murders from being committed. If a murderer doesn’t think he will be caught, he may commit murder even if there are strict penalties for the few murderers who are caught. Nothing is more important in deterring crime than the rate at which criminals are caught.

Okay, America's lower police per homicide may reflect that America has a higher homicide rate (although only among blacks; our white murder rate compares favorably to any European country), but perhaps more police is part of why they have a lower murder rate.

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