Thursday, September 25, 2008

Canada Needs a Guiliani

One of the most astonishing things we hear these days is that punishment does not deter crime. Astonishing because there is overwhelming evidence proving that punishment is a major deterrent to crime.

Listen, I am the co-founder of Big Brothers of Ottawa. I understand very well the importance of a strong male role model for boys.

I was very much involved in the formation of Big Sisters, so I understand very well the importance of a strong female role model for girls.

I have been a member of the John Howard Society so I understand very well that some people can be successfully rehabilitated away from a life of crime.

All of those organizations and others devoted to provide assistance and guidance to young people play an important role in crime prevention. But I know something else. It is this:

What keeps many people away from a life of crime is plain and simple fear.
Fear of getting caught.
Fear of severe consequences.
Fear of the shame involved.
Common sense tells us so. More importantly, so do the facts.
Yes the facts.
For just some of those facts, turn to page 40 of “How The Granola Crunching, Tree Hugging Thug Huggers are Wrecking our Country."
Here is some of what you will read:
In 1993 after more than 100 years of left wing, soft on crime administration, New York City had 1,946 homicides. By 2001, after eight years of Rudy Giuliani’s right wing-tough on crime administration, the number of homicides in New York City dropped to 642. A reduction of an astonishing 67 per cent!
During that same eight years of getting tough on crime, overall crime in New York was reduced 57 per cent.
And do you hear this Toronto Mayor Miller? During the eight years of get tough on criminals legislation, shootings dropped an astonishing 75 per cent!
Robberies in New York City declined from more than 85,000 to just under 36,000. Burglary dropped from nearly 101,000 to just over 38,000.

But listen to this:

One of the most dramatic declines was in the number of violent assaults at the City’s Rikers Island Prision. Until Rudy came along, those who committed violent offence at Rikers, even those who caused serious injury or death, were hardly ever charged.
Rudy said that’s crazy! Under my administration, prisioners at Rikers will be charged just like everyone else. Sentences will be tacked onto the ones already being served.

Are you ready for this?

Here are the facts:

In 1993, after more than 100 years of liberal, soft on crime administration, Rikers Prison Experienced 2,500 violent incidents. Let me repeat. In 1993, Rikers Island recorded 2,500 violent incidents.

Eight years later, after police clamped down and charges began to be laid, that figure dropped to, ready for this, just 70!

From 2,500 violent incidents to just 70!

Why? Because Rudy Giuliani, good friend of right wing conservative Ronald Regan, got tough on crime.
Think of it. Even hardened criminals already serving time in jail stop committing more crimes when they know they will be severely punished if caught.
In other words, even hardened cons fear tough penalities.

Alright. Let’s examine another example of how getting tough on crime stops crime. Turn to page 47 of the Thug Huggers book.

In 1994 California passed into law proposition 184, widely known as the three strikes you are out law. Just as here in Canada, the left wingers screamed bloody murder! It won’t work, they said. Our prisons will be full etc. etc.
Well what happened?
Eight years after the three strikes you are out law was passed, total crimes in California dropped 45.9 per cent. Total violent crime dropped 46.6 per cent! Murder was reduced 45.6 per cent. Robbery fell 56.1 per cent, rape fell 29.2 per cent, burglary dropped 50.7 per cent, and auto theft was reduced 38.5 per cent.

All figures are from the California Department of Justice and are available to everyone, including criminologists, University professors and you.

Here’s something else you might think about:

Once again, according to the California Department of Justice, the three strikes you are out legislation saved California taxpayers $28.5 billion in just eight years. Only New York and Massachusetts have better records of fighting crime during that period. In both of those cases it was accomplished by getting tough on crime.

The facts are there, but then, why would anyone on the left let facts get in the way of ideology?


deneb said...

There is no crime -- from the vantage point of an Ivory Tower.

Show me the evidence said...

But here's what I don't understand... crime went down across North America in the 90s, not just New York. It even went down in "soft on crime" Canada (at a similar rate to New York) despite the much despised Young Offenders Act being in place then, reputed to be the ultimate "soft on crime" legislation. So to suggest that Giuliani was responsible for the decline doesn't really make sense. To make that claim, only tough on crime jurisdictions should have seen a crime decline... or the decline should have been significantly more than other jurisdictions.

And if the "tough on crime" approach works... why doesn't New York have lower violent crime rates than Toronto? All right, I get that New York is much bigger... but Florida, Texas and California all have "tough on crime" reputations and comparably sized cities all have higher violent crime rates than Toronto (not that Toronto's angelic but...).

And the Scandinavians are famously "soft on crime" compared to North America and they have much lower crime rates.

I just don't see that "tough on crime" has any evidence to back up its claim. If it did, the United States should be the safest county in the western world. I think few would argue that it is.

xiz said...

showme : Beautiful rebuttal! Let's see if Mr Green has any response ..