Mark Kleiman’s piece, “Smart on Crime,” in the spring Democracy issue is filled not just with information about crime but also solutions for enforcement. His primary argument:
He explains that crime tends to be geographically concentrated and that crime is very costly, not just to the victims but also to those who don’t feel safe and those who don’t have the financial means to relocate from unsafe places.
Kleiman then lays the groundwork for possible enforcement solutions, focusing first on the motivations of criminals:
Kleiman advocates swift and certain but reasonably mild punishment.
Kleiman applies the logic of “swift-and-certain sanctions” in outlining parole reforms. Most parolees are subject to a potentially confusing array of rules—rules that are loosely monitored and not necessarily useful in reducing recidivism. With loose monitoring, parolees amass violations until the system has no choice but to put them back behind bars.
Lastly, Kleiman suggests some additional measures to use in connection with “swift-and-certain sanctions.”
It is refreshing to read an argument that offers law enforcement solutions, which if done correctly, could provide many societal benefits at a lower financial cost (true equal protection under the law, improved public safety, effective rehabilitation of offenders, etc.).