Progressives have interesting ideas about crime, including that maybe there isn’t any such thing. The public begs to disagree. Thanks to George Soros, who most people don’t understand has an interest in screwing up the US so he can make money shorting US stocks, a number of truly frightening, if you are a citizen, prosecuting attorneys have been elected in major cities. These geniuses decided that not prosecuting criminals, including violent criminals, was a good idea and that, for example, repeat violent offenders should not have to put up cash bail, ensuring that they can get right back on the street to continue killing, robbing, assaulting, raping and otherwise committing mayhem in their neighborhoods.
The results have been so horrifying that even uber-progressive San Francisco had enough and bounced its prosecuting attorney, Chelsea Boudin, a moron for the ages, out of office. One of his progressive predecessor’s innovations was that instead of incarcerating violent criminals, we should make them apologize to their victims and try to repair the damage they did. This is called by the usual progressive euphemism of “restorative justice”. It is neither. But in San Francisco you can always find some academic ideologue to get you any research result you desire, so a study was done of the program. The study claimed that being in the restorative justice program, called “Make it Right”, led to a big reduction in the risk of a participant being rearrested. But both participants and control group members had very high re-arrest rates.
The research is a pathetic joke, with small comparison groups. The first thing you would notice is that the study purports to be a randomized trial. It isn’t. The young crooks, aged 13-17, were randomized to have the opportunity to participate in the program. A large number declined to participate and only about half of the small group in this arm to begin with even completed the program, creating selection bias, because the criminals in the usual approach arm of the study had no choice, and because of those in the arm which could participate in the program, it is pretty obvious that those who wanted to keep committing crimes and who felt no regret for their sins would choose not to participate and those who initially opted to participate but dropped out probably intended to go back to their risk-free life of crime. Another selection issue is that far more of those who elected to participate had committed felonies, so they had a greater motivation to find a way out of any punishment.
But here is the biggest and kind of most hilarious problem with the study. During the time period of the study, what else was happening in our beloved San Francisco? You guessed it, Chelsea Boudin was working his magic and refusing to prosecute any crime and police were being demeaned and demoralized and overall arrests plummeted. No policeperson in San Fran in their right mind would even attempt to do the job they were hired to do–why bother arresting anyone, Chelsea wasn’t going to charge them anyway. And if the police encountered someone in this program, they probably figured they would let the person go more often than they would someone who wasn’t in the program. What we don’t know, weren’t told, and data probably wasn’t collected on; is how often these people committed a crime, which is a lot more important than whether they were arrested. (RJ Study)
While the ideologues writing the paper spew all kinds of blather about restorative justice, the plain and simple fact is that it has done zero to reduce crime anyplace it has been tried. I think it sounds great, but it ignores a brutal truth about most criminals–they don’t want to and have no intention of changing their behavior, but they will say and do just about anything to avoid punishment. The bigger lesson to be learned here is that while progressives have stupid policies that never work and instead wreak havoc on the public, their wellspring is the academic university community and they can always find people to do terribly designed research, or indeed to just make up research findings, that appear to support the policies. You can’t trust anything that comes from these people and you have to question it all.