Decay of Public Order

The Story

The state legislature is considering a slew of criminal-justice reform proposals that would change how the Empire State defines and punishes crime. Some of these reforms are well-intended, but history suggests that radical modifications to our criminal-justice system will have negative effects on public safety and quality of life.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Drug War: Many who support drug decriminalization see the cause as an instrument of racial justice, but they overlook how black politicians in Harlem were among the fiercest proponents of the war on drugs. Read more.

  2. Order: Decriminalizing “sex work” also enjoys substantial legislative support—even though street prostitution has always been associated with criminogenic and dysfunctional social environments. Read more.

  3. Parole: A proposal to let inmates over age 55—regardless of the severity of their offenses—qualify for parole hearings ignores the fact that half of the parolees in New York State will eventually be reincarcerated. Read more.

“A community characterized by street disorder is a magnet for violent street predation, since criminals rightly perceive that social controls there have broken down.”

Heather Mac Donald, Manhattan Institute senior fellow

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Welfare-to-Work’s New Thrust By Theodore Dalrymple (February 3, 2005)

“The idea of the state coercing its population into prostitution is, of course, repellent. Even the most liberal of liberals would probably agree with that.”

And in other news...

“ThriveNYC has spent $560 million in taxpayer funds since 2015 and expects to have a $250 million annual budget going forward. Yet critics have said the program is opaque and ineffective.”