Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crime blogging

I have just added to my imaginary "to read" list Mark Kleiman's When Brute Force Fails. Just read a great review from Reihan Salam, (h/t Matthew Yglesias):
For the last 20 years, Kleiman has been struggling to find the right approach for breaking out of this destructive trap. His solutions, which he outlines in his brilliant forthcoming book When Brute Force Fails, involve paying careful attention to the balance between deterrence and straightforwardly punitive measures. It turns out that less punitive measures applied more swiftly and more reliably can be more effective than more punitive measures applied slowly and unreliably, the latter being a pretty good description of the status quo in most of our criminal justice system.
My only complaint with Salam's review (and it may be a problem with the book as well) is that it focuses within a "crime is in the city" paradigm. While certainly crime is an issue within the City of Atlanta, I really don't think things are much better in Lawrenceville or Marietta. The 'burbs are dealing with their own crime issues, and it isn't so easy anymore to just "move away" from it.

It turns out the Kleiman is also a blogger, and I'll be killing time after finals catching up on his crime blogging. Fair warning to my more conservative readers: Kleiman is rather liberal. I'm not terribly familiar with his writing, having just discovered him tonight. I pass this along on the premise that more information is usually a good thing, especially when it comes to public policy that touches this close to home.

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