Pubdate: Thu, 07 Feb 2013
Source: Grunion Gazette (Long Beach, CA)
Pubdate: 7 Feb 13
Author: Stephen Downing


To The Editor,

Regarding the crime stats story last week:

Mayor Bob Foster takes credit for the reduction in crimes of violence 
and in the same breath points to prison realignment as the cause for 
increases in property crime. Yet, he has nothing other than another 
grand bow to the city bureaucracy's conformity demands of groupthink 
to back either up.

Foster's supporting data is absent, just as it was absent when the 
city pointed to marijuana dispensaries in Long Beach as "magnets of crime."

It would be nice, for once, if the city produced evidence based on 
best practices to support both their claims of success and the 
defensive finger-pointing that always accompanies their failures.

There is an astonishing body of evidence, for example, that gasoline 
lead may explain as much as 90% of the rise and fall of violent crime 
over the past half century. Has the city ever considered this fact 
when budgeting to make the city safer?

Or, rather than pointing to prison realignment as the cause of 
property crime increases, why has the city not studied the impact on 
property crime occasioned by use of massive police resources last 
year to drive thousands of Long Beach medical marijuana patients back 
into the more expensive, criminally-controlled, black market?

Realignment legislation is finally forcing "Smart on Crime" solutions 
to the economic, social and human costs that the "Tough on Crime" 
extremists, like Mayor Foster, have shoved down our throats for the 
past 30 years.

It is time to stop listening to their zealotry and start listening to 
those who are working smart to save us from the mass imprisonment, 
social damage and economic plunder that has made our nation's 
incarceration rate the highest in the world.

If we work smart and make evidence-based decisions more prisons will 
be closed and more schools will be opened.

Stephen Downing

Long Beach
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom