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by Peter Moskos

February 23, 2017

Reducing Crime: the White House has to be more than a pulpit for a bully

I wrote this article for the Washington Post:
President Trump declared in executive orders this month that the federal government would try to “reduce crime in America” and that the White House was opposed to violence against law enforcement officers.
Crime reduction does not happen through fearmongering or federal fiat. And violence against police is illegal. But although the substance of these orders is near zero, their very existence reveals a shift in focus under the Trump administration.

Reducing crime is a fabulous wish, and a federal focus on crime reduction was curiously absent in the previous administration.
Trump’s finger-pointing at immigrants — Mexicans and Muslims in particular — is particularly misguided, since these groups have little to do with crime or violence in America.
Any profession, law enforcement included, appreciates kind words from up top. But the White House has to be more than a pulpit for a bully. Ultimately Trump will be judged by deeds, not words. And the president’s actions are not promising.
Click through for the whole piece.


Concerned citizen said...

Thank you Prof. Moskos for a great article. You perform an invaluable service.

I do however have a question about your statement, "Immigrants commit violence at lower rates than native-born Americans."

Of course this is correct, keeping in mind that it compares rates of violence of ALL immigrant cohorts to that of ALL native-born Americans.

But, since illegal Latino immigration is such a highly charged issue, I believe what most people want to know is, Do Latinos commit serious crimes at a significantly higher rate than native-born "whites"?

Incarceration data suggests a MUCH higher rate of serious crime for Lationos compared to native-born whites.

"as of 2012, Latino men were incarcerated at a rate nearly 40% higher than whites....Latinos are four times as likely as whites to end up in prison"*

Furthermore, this data almost certainly UNDERSTATES the disproportionately high rate of Latino incarceration:

"It is commonly suspected that the actual number of Hispanics incarcerated is higher than what is accounted for by reporting agencies."**

Prof. Moskos, again, thank you for your incredible efforts. I'm neither left or right, GOP or Dem. I'm just trying to figure out "what the heck is goin' on?". (Btw, to disassociate myself from our current Pres., let me state that I voted for GWB twice, Obama twice, and Ms. Clinton most recently)

*Latinorebels.com, "Latinos and Mass Incarceration: The Rust Under the Rug."
**The Sentencing Project, "Hispanic Prisoners in the United States."

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