Incarceration Prevents Crime
Of course, this attitude reflects the class interests of the sort of people who are liberals. Instead of punishment, liberals’ preferred anti-crime strategy has been a vast expansion of social programs (if we just spend enough money on social programs, crime will go away) and rehabilitation for criminals (administered, of course, by liberal professionals).
But in the real world, failure to keep criminals locked up has nasty consequences. One historic example is from Philadelphia, where a liberal judge imposed a “prison cap,” forcing the release of thousands of offenders based on the claim of prison overcrowding:
Mayor Edward Rendell, a former district attorney, has been battling for years to get the city out from under a devastating eight-year-old prison cap imposed by U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro. . .
Judge Shapiro is one of the worst offenders among that influential cadre of federal judges who have substituted the ACL’U’s prisoners’ rights wish list for the Bill of Rights and have trifled with public safety concerns. She has used complaints filed by individual inmates to gain control over the prison system and empowered a group of court-appointed prisoners’ rights lawyers to micromanage the jails.
In effect, Judge Shapiro has single-handedly decriminalized property and drug crimes in the City of Brotherly Love. Some 67 percent of all defendants released because of her prison cap simply fail to appear in court. The number of outstanding bench warrants for misdemeanor and felony cases has soared to 46,637 in March from 16,595 in 1987. And in the past 18 months alone, 9,732 arrestees, out on the streets on pre-trial release because of her prison cap, were arrested on second charges, including 79 murders, 90 rapes, 701 burglaries, 959 robberies, 1,113 assaults, 2,215 drug offenses and 2,748 thefts.