President Obama has decided to release 6,000 Federal prisoners early this year as part of his Criminal Justice Reform as per the Washington Post, but does that make it a good idea? There are only two types of people in the world: Civil Libertarians and Crime Control Advocates. Civil Libertarians are loving this idea since most of the felons being released are drug offenders and not “violent.” Crime Control Advocates have often said, where there are drugs, violence follows – whether it’s addicts robbing people or burglarizing homes to get money for their habit. Since these crimes had a federal nexus, where they part of organized crime? If so, that puts a different spin on ‘not violent” drug offenders.

So how will this play out in the communities that get these inmates back?

Here is why this is not a good idea at this time:

  • The decision is being made to save money, which it won’t
  • Historically, prisoners get sent back to the zip codes they were arrested in. Many of these areas are already seeing a spike in violent crime.
  • The job economy is still on shaky ground. People have been unemployed for years or have given up, where are these convicts going to find jobs?
  • No jobs, no support system, these convicts will turn to what they now best – crime
  • This move won’t save money. It will cost the taxpayers more with increase crime rates and the hiring of police officers, overtime, healthcare and pensions

There is strong evidence that incapacitation worked: crime rates have dropped nearly 50% since the proactive policing strategies of the early 90s started, but the Crime Control Advocates are no longer in charge.

What do you think is going to happen? One thing that I want to see is who, if anyone, will keep track of recidivism rates on these new parolees.