11/17/2007

Looking to Live in a Community with Low Murder Rates? Try Committing a Crime

Many people are concerned about living in some areas of the United States because of the high level of homicide rates that occur in these areas. If you are one of these people, this article offers a really simple solution to this issue, commit a crime and get yourself sent to prison. Yes, that is right prison. Per capita, the levels of homicide rates in the United States’ prisons are much lower than they are in most large cities across the nation. As for me, I will take my chances against the odds in order to not live in prison.

5 comments:

Logan said...

This one made me laugh. Of course the homicide rates are lower in prison, there is less opportunity and fewer tools to assist in a homicide in prison.

I do enjoy the playful contrast however since the purpose of prisons is to get rid of all the people that do such things so that we have safer streets. What this article should focus on is the fact that the justice system is inefficient at stopping such crimes from happening in the first place. If it were, you would see the statistics reversed because the only people dumb enough to commit such crimes would all be living together in prison attacking each other instead of you and I.

Dr. Tufte said...

I think we laugh to hard at this and miss the big picture(s).

1) Presumably we want to put people who might commit murders where they can't do that any more. This seems to be working just fine.

2) Comparing the murder rate in prison to that in broader society is the wrong comparison to make. What we should really look at is murder rates in a society that locks bad guys up versus one that doesn't. The problem with this is that it isn't socially acceptable to perform this sort of experiment. If it were, I'd recommend having the reporter that tossed off this idea be the one unlocking the doors of the jail cells.

Gavin said...

Extra Credit - Dr. Tufte
Dr. Tufte you are correct, "Comparing the murder rate in prison to that in broader society is the wrong comparison to make". Prison creates an environment with a fictional level of equality that is not found in unsupervised society. Clearly an uncompatible apples and oranges type of argument.

Trinity said...

Dr. Tufte is right about the comparison but Sophie's point is a very good one. People that are very concerned about being murdered should probably move to a different country like Switzerland or Singapore where rates are low but standards of living can be very high.

Dr. Tufte said...

Trinity has a good point: the U.S. has a had a higher murder rate than many countries for centuries.