Don’t miss this story from the Washington Post, which reports the conclusions of a new study on criminal justice reform by the White House Council on Economic Advisors (“Obama’s advisers just revealed an unconventional solution to mass incarceration“).
The report compares approaches to reducing the nation’s crime rate, and concludes that indirect solutions will result in greater crime reduction than simply spending more on prisons and incarceration.
According the Post:
They forecast that hiking the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $12 would reduce crime by 3 percent to 5 percent, as fewer people would be forced to turn to illegal activity to make ends meet.
That’s more than the 1 to 4 percent reduction projected to result from a $10 billion increase in spending on prisons.
Here’s another tidbit from the Post story:
The most effective way to reduce crime would be to spend more money on policing, the report projects. Research consistently shows that departments with more manpower and technology do a better job of protecting the public, and the United States has 35 percent fewer officers relative to the population than do other countries on average.
I’ve never seen that statistic before, and will have to check the report itself for additional information.
If it’s true, then we have substantially fewer police officers, but have far more people in prison than other countries.
In any case, the report itself can be found here.
Click here to view the highlights of the report in what appears to be a presentation about the report by the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.