As ideological leftists and misguided conservatives rush to have felons released from prison, the crime rate continues to soar. It’s certainly soaring in Baltimore, where the recently-fired police chief says that cops are “taking a knee” in response to lack of support from city officials. According to Fox News:
For September, homicides were up 39 percent and non-fatal shootings nearly doubled over the same month in 2014, continuing a disturbing trend that has gripped the Charm City since Gray’s death in April and the rioting that followed. For the year, murders are up 52 percent and non-fatal shootings 80 percent over last year.
But crime is also soaring in Washington, D.C. and rising in New York City. Fox News tells us:
Baltimore’s increase is comparable to that of Washington, D.C., which has seen a 48-percent increase. New York City has seen a 9.6-percent increase in homicides so far in 2015.
Yet Senators Grassley, Cornyn, Lee, Graham, and Flake are sponsoring legislation that will cause felons, including those who committed their crimes while carrying guns, to be released from jail.
Are they aware of the statistics on recidivism? The numbers tell us that within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners are rearrested. Within five years, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) are rearrested. And more than half (56.7 percent) are arrested by the end of the first year.
Let’s also remember that lots of crime goes unreported or does not result in an arrest. Thus, the recidivism rates understate the amount of crime committed by released prisoners.
Just what do Sens. Grassley, Cornyn, Lee, Graham, and Flake expect to happen when released prisoners return, say, to Baltimore and find what experts call “a less assertive police”? I expect many of them to join the ranks of what a police spokesman called “highly motivated bad guys.” The statistics back me up.
And what about the nation’s heroin epidemic? Presumably, Grassley and company know about this. Are they aware that 76.9 percent of drug offenders are rearrested within five year? Do they expect drug offenders who are released early to abstain from trying to cash in on the heroin trade? If so, what is the source of their confidence?
Finally, what about the connection between drug trafficking and terrorism?
In March, Sen. Grassley, quoting the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, warned that “there is a growing nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism, a threat that increasingly poses a clear and present danger to our national security.” It would be foolhardy, Grassley added, to meet the threat of narcoterrorism by cutting drug sentences.
What makes Grassley think it is any less foolhardy to do so now, with crime soaring and the heroin epidemic worsening?
Republicans are sometimes called “the stupid party.” What Sens. Grassley, Cornyn, Lee, Graham, and Flake are proposing — along, let’s not forget, with Sens. Leahy, Durbin, Schumer, Whitehouse, and Booker — justifies the slur.