Sunday, April 15, 2007

April 15

WTF?! Someone poured sulfuric acid on the playground equipment at Victory Villa Elementary in Middle River, sending a two-year-old to the hospital.

Oh good, the Sun says our gang problem's hemorrhaging.
Actually, it sounds like the problem's doing pretty well for itself.
For would-be Blood teens, "you get a secret handshake, you get some special clothes, and automatically, you've got 300 friends" and may get to learn Swahili. As for cops, "having gang members openly wearing colors and identifying themselves publicly makes it easier to track criminal activity." And the neighbors get BBQs!
...though (in Part I) gang founders admit "we never fed the people like the Black Panthers did."

PdJ: Bethesda dentist David E. Fuster of MoCo, who fled to Mexico after being accused of drugging a 15-year-old with nitrous oxide and raping her.

Jemini Jones wants his job and reputation back.

BMore living tip: if you suspect someone's overdosed, give e'm mouth-to-mouth instead of trying to set their fingers on fire.


John Galt said...

Baltimore City: teaching criminals how to be better criminals.

John Galt said...

Time to de-bunk some, well, bunk from Dan Rodricks' column today. He says:

"It costs state taxpayers at least $24,000 per inmate per year. Every year, the state releases between 10,000 and 15,000 inmates, and about two-thirds of them return to live in Baltimore ZIP codes. Within three years, half of them commit new crimes - in the city and elsewhere -and return to our prisons."

Yep, and of those fewer than half were on drug charges. Of those, precious few were on simple possession, and of those very few were first-time simple possession. The District Court almost always refers small first time possession for drug diversion, rather than doing time. When ex-cons come out, they commonly swear they don't want to come back Some mean it. Others don't.

Three quarters of returnees had been imprisoned before the current sentence. Over 1,300 returnees a year make a bee line upon release for 6 tiny neighborhoods where they comprise a large share of the adult male population. Do these sound like the ones who mean it?

There's a difference between an ex-con and an ex-offender: the ex-con is just a hoodlum out between stints in lockup.

The reason incresed policing effectively decreases Part I crime by 24 per year per officer is because more officers incarcerate and thereby incapacitate Part I offenders. The incarceration elasticity of Part I crime has been estimated at -6.25, broken down as follows:

Homicide 7%
Rape 12%
Burglary 28%
Robbery 30%
Auto Theft 23%

Police Commr. Lenny Hamm has been proclaiming "You just can't arrest your way out of the problem."

Of course you can, Lenny. Ideally, lifestyle criminals should be rearrested ten minutes after release from prison. Of course, while they may be so inclined, they simply haven't had the time to reoffend, nor the police to establish probable cause once they have. So you wait. Not long. And when they reoffend, and they will, you send them back through that revolving door, no matter how fast the Department of Corrections turns it.

Lenny seems to have in mind to apply scarce manpower primarily at ultraviolent offenses, but as you can see, incarceration tends to incapacitate property criminals at the same time. That he apparently intends to turn a blind eye to ordinary crime in determining his resource requirements and 'focus' on gun violence cannot work, except in the instance of the very most rabid shooters on these streets, and they are just the tip of the iceberg. I'd like to see someone move the tip without moving the iceberg. No, it the whole job, Lenny. See your job description, to wit:

The purpose generally of the department shall be
to safeguard the lives and safety of all persons within the City of Baltimore,
09/30/05 -64-
to protect property therein, and
to assist in securing to all persons the equal protection of the laws.
The department shall have, within the boundaries of said City, the specific duty and
to preserve the public peace;
to detect and prevent the commission of crime;
to enforce the laws of this State, and of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore not
inconsistent with the provisions of this subtitle;
to apprehend and arrest criminals and persons who violate or are lawfully accused of
violating such laws and ordinances;
to preserve order at public places;
to maintain the orderly flow of traffic on public streets and highways;
to assist law enforcement agencies of this State, any municipality of the United States in
carrying out their respective duties; and
to discharge its duties and responsibilities with the dignity and manner which will inspire
public confidence and respect.

Where does it say To Pick and Choose ?

Indeed, when faced with truly rampant criminality, arresting your way out of the problem is exactly what you are expected to do. The only decision really left to you is 'How many officers do I need to make all the arrests which may be properly and justly charged?'

But please stop trying to figure out how many career criminals to leave undisturbed on the street because 'we have so and so many prisoners already'. That's irrelevant. As for the social cost of their incarcertation, I assure you the social burden of their liberty is higher.

Maurice Bradbury said...

A remodelling company that admits it's sending out ex-offenders is refreshing!