To solve a problem, one must first diagnose its cause. This rings true in all walks of life. Yet this fundamental principle seems to be ignored when the problems of inner-city crime and poverty are considered.
Six days ago, in Poland, the President reacted to two fatal shootings of young black men by police, one in Louisiana and another in Minnesota, by saying, “these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents.” The message was clear enough. Two days later, an African American took revenge on a police force in Texas that, the way he saw things, was part of a system of law enforcement that was murdering young black men.
In this episode of the weekly Budget & Tax News podcast, managing editor and research fellow Jesse Hathaway talks with Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions criminal justice fellow Daniel Dye about criminal justice reform, debunking some of the myths around this new idea.
Despite its reputation for freedom, the U.S. has the world’s highest prison population rate, 716 inmates per 100,000 people. More than half the countries of the world have rates less than one-fifth of that. The United States’ rate is six times that of Canada and six to nine times greater than the rates of Western European nations, with whom we have the most cultural and historical ties. Why is criminality so much higher here than in those countries? The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but 22 percent of its prison population.