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by Peter Moskos

November 1, 2010

Gang membership

Do you ever see a headline that says "Gang Membership Down"?
I'm suspicious. Gang membership did not increase 25% in one year. That I can guarantee.


Dana King said...

I'm thinking "gang membership" is kind of an amorphous stat, not unlike counts of homeless people. You have to wonder about the methods of researchers who see their stat fly in the face of everything that is normally associated with it. What they ought to be looking at closely is their methods of counting gang members.

I hate to be too cynical--and please set me right if I'm wrong--but wouldn't it be in the best funding interest of the National Gang Center for gang membership to perpetually increase, especially in the face of potentially contradictory evidence?

PCM said...

That was kind of what I was thinking. I just wasn't bold enough to say it.

And by the way, have you heard that the DEA says drugs are worse than ever and we're winning the war on drugs?

Dana King said...

Ah, but think how bad things would be if we weren't winning.

The worst thing that can happen to any problem in this country is for us to declare war on it. From that point forward, the strategy is set. The only adjustments we ever make are to do more of the same thing.

"We doubled enforcement."
"More drugs came in than before."
"We need to spend more money of enforcement."

Makes my head hurt.