What if you could reduce crime by 50% this year?

I woke up this morning intending to write about dealing with repeat criminals. While digging deeper into the stats I realized that the real opportunity for crime reduction is reconsidering what “crime” is.

Check out these numbers:

Specifically, I’m dubious of Drug and Public Order crimes. What are public order crimes? Mainly prostitution and drug use crimes (as opposed to drug distribution).

By reconsidering what “crime” is, we can greatly reduce crime. Taking away the black market distribution of drugs will eliminate 31%. Making drug use a non-issue and other consensual crimes non-issues, another 12%.

44%… gone! Hundreds of thousands of people not locked up. Not on track to be re-arrested five times within nine years of their release (from the larger report I linked).

How far would violent crime stats fall with the decrease of drug distribution territorial fights? Or from the drop of prisoner on prisoner crime embedded in these stats?

I can easily see this dropping crime by 50%.

Will we do it? Of course, we won’t.

Vested criminal justice interests, political interests on both sides of the spectrum, and also a willingness (eagerness?) of our citizenry to criminalize atypical behavior will keep the status quo, and likely double down on it.

It’s there for the taking, but we won’t take it.