This week on She Thinks, Rafael Mangual joins to discuss the crime crisis in America. As violent crime continues to be a major concern for Americans, we delve into the data. We cover where crime has hit new highs, the policies that have helped and the policies that have hurt, and what we can expect as elected officials are now focused more on supporting police versus defunding them. In other words, are we headed in a better direction?
Rafael Mangual is a senior fellow and head of research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. His first book, Criminal (In)Justice, will be available in July 2022, and his work has been featured in a wide array of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, New York Post, and The New York Times. He’s currently serving a four-year term as a member of the New York State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
And welcome to She Thinks, a podcast where you’re allowed to think for yourself. I’m your host, Beverly Hallberg, and on today’s episode, we discuss the crime crisis in America. As violent crime continues to be a major concern, we’ll delve into the data. This includes where crime has hit new highs, the policies that have helped and the policies that have hurt, and what we can expect as elected officials are focused more on supporting police versus defunding them these days.
In other words, are we headed in a better direction? Well, we have the perfect person to break it all down for us. Rafael Mangual is joining us. He is a Senior Fellow and Head of Research for the Policing and Public Safety Initiative at the Manhattan Institute, and he’s a contributing editor of City Journal. His first book, Criminal (In)Justice, will be available in July — we’ll talk a little bit about that — and his work has been featured in a wide array of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, New York Post, and the New York Times. He’s currently serving a four-year term as a member of the New York State Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Rafael, it’s a pleasure to have you on She Thinks today.
I’m so glad to be here. Thank you.
Well, before we even get into information on the data, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about your book that is coming out in July. This is your first book. It is called Criminal (In)Justice. What is this book about?
So it’s really about two things. One is what the criminal justice reform debate has gotten wrong. I think there’s been a dominant narrative in the United States about criminal justice here in this country. That narrative goes something like this: that the U.S. is a carceral police state wherein people are regularly mistreated by the criminal justice enforcement apparatus that is there, often over-sentenced and over-policed, and that narrative has informed a lot of really significant policy changes over the last decade plus, and the end that is basically pursued by those policy changes is fewer incarcerations, less policing, ideally more freedom, but what that also seems to have meant is creating the conditions for more crime. And so what the second part of the book really talks about is what the downside risk is that’s associated with that policy direction that we’ve been moving in for the last decade plus and who really pays the price.
And ironically, it seems to be the least fortunate among us, particularly minorities living in and around America’s urban enclaves, that are suffering the brunt of the downside risk associated with this policy program. And I say that’s ironic because these are the people in whose names a lot of these policies have been enacted and have been pushed. The book is really an effort to push back on the dominant narrative in effort to ground the debate in data and a more centrist and moderate approach to the important task of reforming our criminal justice system and really more like refining it.
Well, let’s delve into some of that data. Of course, in order to have good policies, we need to know what the numbers really tell us. I bet it was interesting writing a book in the past year, couple years, because it’s an ever-changing environment. So much has happened on this front when it comes to crime and policing in this country. First of all, where are we when it comes to violent crime, maybe the comparison to pre-COVID to where we are today, but are we seeing crime continue to increase, or are we seeing that, now that things are opening up a little bit more in reference to COVID, that the policing, or at least the crime, has been at least staying put or maybe even decreasing some?
Well, of course, in 2020, we saw the single largest increase in year-over-year in homicides that this country’s ever had in its recorded history; I guess it’s possible that we might have seen a larger one at some point before we were really keeping good data. Homicides increased 30% in 2020. That is a huge, huge increase. What we have seen is that those elevated homicide and shooting numbers have stayed elevated over the last two years, so they’ve leveled off, but they haven’t gone back down. In fact, in 2021, we probably saw a slight increase in those categories. As things have opened up, though, we have not seen homicides sharply start to revert back to their pre-pandemic levels. What we have seen are other crime categories start to catch up. In a lot of cities, we’re starting to see increases in robberies, increases in burglaries, increases in car thefts, and in all sorts of other crimes where you might have seen a reduction in opportunities to commit those offenses during the pandemic because of the shutdowns. There were fewer pedestrians on the street, fewer businesses open, which meant fewer commercial robberies, et cetera.
And what that tells us is that it likely wasn’t COVID that was driving the increase, which I know is still very much an ongoing debate, but it does indicate that what we saw in 2020 was, more likely than not, at least partially a function of a continuing trend that really started as far back as 2015. In 2015 and 2016, we saw homicides across the U.S. increase really significantly, I think by 13% at least in both years. Things kind of leveled off in 2017 and declined a little bit in 2018 and then went back up in 2019 and then up a lot in 2020. There are a couple different ways you can look at what’s going on, but ultimately it always depends on the city. The book gets into this a little bit, but a lot of people tend to talk about crime kind of as a national issue. That makes some sense as a convenient colloquialism, but the reality is, is that we don’t really have a national crime problem.
Crime is very hyper-concentrated, both geographically and demographically, so in any given city in the United States, right around 5% of street segments are going to see about 50% of all crime. This is very much a phenomenon that changes significantly with just very little movement, so your risk of criminal victimization can go down 50% simply by walking two or three blocks in one direction or another if you’re in an American city, and more than half of U.S. counties don’t even see a single murder in a given year, and about 50% of all murders are concentrated in about 2% of U.S. counties in a given year. While it’s convenient and understandable to want to talk about the issue of crime in national terms, the reality is, is that it’s a very idiosyncratic phenomenon, and it’s idiosyncratic to the particular place that you’re talking about and that’s something that I think is really important to remember.
Yeah. Well, I can even just say from personal experience that, during COVID and during the era of George Floyd’s tragic death and a lot of the protests that followed, I was living about a mile from the Capitol in Washington, DC. And prior to this time, felt pretty safe in the city, but my car kept getting broken into, people were coming to the door pretending to sell things, neighbors’ cars were getting broken into, and I just saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave the city and move elsewhere in order to be safe, living as a single woman alone. I think people do look at cities as being the epicenter of where this crime has increased. Is it mostly in what people would say was the blue cities, or do you find that even cities that are in red states, that even those cities are seeing an increase in crime as well?
Yeah, I do see that a lot of cities in red states are also seeing increases in crime, but that’s not entirely surprising. I mean, every city’s going to be very different, and not every city is as equally sensitive to policy changes as another. So, you know, in a city like New York, which had 25 plus straight years of declining crime, it would take a lot more in the way of policy changes to make New York vulnerable to the kinds of crime levels that it was seeing in the 1990s, which is why even though we have seen big increases in serious violent crime here, we’re still a ways off from where we were in the 1990s, which some people think is reason to take our foot off the gas on enforcement. I disagree with that, with that approach, but in another city, it may be the case that just a simple change in staffing levels in your local police department can be enough to create the conditions for increasing crime or the election of a so-called progressive prosecutor or some policy change with respect to criminal sentencing or bail.
There are a lot of things that go into why a city is more vulnerable than another. A lot of it is just physical environment. So if you have a high concentration of businesses, a lot of foot traffic, CCTV camera networks, all of that stuff can make crime more costly. There are some parts of some cities where you just don’t have a lot of that. You don’t have the same kind of traffic density, you don’t have the same kind of pedestrian density, which means fewer eyes on the street, more opportunities to commit crime and not be caught. So all of that goes into how sensitive a particular place is going to be to policy shifts. I think one of the problems that that creates is that you can have a situation where you have a jurisdiction that enacts policy X that makes the criminal justice system more lenient in one way or another, and then crime doesn’t change all that much and people say, “Well, this must mean that this policy is a good idea everywhere else,” and that it can be engaged in safely, it doesn’t have any public safety costs.
The reality could be that that particular place just isn’t as vulnerable to a crime increase as a different city might be. We’ve seen a lot of trends that have been national in nature in our country’s move toward decarceration. I mean, if you look at just 2009 to 2019, the prison population in this country’s gone down about 17%, the number of arrests affected by police has gone down by about 25%. Of course, after COVID, we saw even sharper decreases in both police activity and incarceration. A lot of that has to do with various policy changes that we’ve seen with respect to bail and pretrial detention, with respect to post-trial conviction. There’s been a big move away from the institutions that were really at the center of the crime decline and that achievement and what that achievement meant for American cities.
I think we’ve moved away from those institutions to our detriment and to the detriment of the people living in the most vulnerable neighborhoods within those cities. I mean, again, even within an American city, it’s probably wrong to talk about a citywide crime problem because, again, the reality is that, take a city like Chicago, for example, and there are neighborhoods on the south and west sides of that city whose homicide rate is probably 10, 12 times that of the national rate or triple that of the citywide rate, so it really is one of these issues that I think requires a lot more nuance than the public discourse has seen.
And would you say that the general trend in any city is when crime does go up, you see the increase sharpest in low-income communities? They’re the ones who see the increase the most, that are impacted the most.
Yeah. Low-income, particularly heavily-minority neighborhoods do tend to see the brunt of any crime increase. I mean, take New York City, for example, my home city, every year going back at least a decade, a minimum of 95% of all shooting victims are either black or Hispanic. Sometimes it’s as high as 98%. At that point, it might as well be 100. If you look at a heat map of shootings and homicides in an American city, you’ll see that they’re just very hyper-concentrated in and around these neighborhoods. Yeah, it’s a very different picture. It’s very easy, I think, for a lot of progressive, elite activist types to push for these reforms that functionally do two things; one is that they lower the transaction costs of committing crime; the other is that they raise the transaction cost of enforcing our criminal laws.
I think one of the reasons it’s so easy for them to do that is because a lot of them are just far removed from the consequences of those policy decisions. And unfortunately, if you are not lucky enough to live in the safer, upper-west side type neighborhoods of American cities, it’s going to mean something very different for you than it will for a lot of other people. That’s one of the things that really informed the book that’s coming out in July, but has just informed my work in general. I mean, I’m a beneficiary of a decision much like the one you made to leave the city. I mean, in 1996, I was living in Brooklyn, New York, and even though things were getting better by that point, crime was still very much an issue on my family’s minds. As soon as they had the means, my parents moved our family out to Long Island, and I lived a suburban life from the age of 11, onward.
What I realized as I grew up was that not only was that decision totally understandable and completely rational, it was one that I think a lot of other families in our neighborhood would’ve loved to have been able to make but just didn’t have the means to do that, and that often gets forgotten and left out of the conversation.
And that’s why I think it’s interesting when you look at some of the numbers, the polling numbers, of minority Americans and how they felt about the defund the police movement. I believe the number was, in black communities, 80% did not support defunding the police, that they actually wanted increase of police support. Is that data point accurate? Do you get [crosstalk 00:13:58]?
Yeah. If you’re referring to the Gallup Poll, it was 81% of black Americans either wanted as much policing as they were currently getting or more. 81% were opposed to a cut, and the defund movement really just was somewhat astonishing. I mean, I think what happened was that, since 2010, really, as cell phones have become something that everyone has access to, everyone’s got a camera phone and social media networks that just exploded in terms of size, it’s become really easy to amplify a lot of these really terrible police actions that either are excessive force or look like excessive force. In a country of 330 plus million people, even really rare things are going to happen every day. When a lot of those things are getting caught on video, it becomes really easy to build out a narrative that gives people the impression that this is a much larger problem than it probably is.
I think after the death of George Floyd, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. You had Michael Brown and Fred Gray and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner and all these things just continuing to remain in the public psyche, and the Overton window just opened up, and everyone started to leap through it. And the criminal justice system has kind of been defanged in a lot of different ways. Defunding police departments was one of the more extreme measures that we saw in a lot of cities like Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles. I think the effects of that are going to be extremely detrimental. And even though we’ve seen some cities reverse course, I’m not sure that that’s going to be enough. I think one of the reasons that’s true is that policing is just one factor in a city’s public safety picture. As I mentioned, defunding the police was not anywhere close to the only lever pulled in the last just couple years.
I mean, the New York Times did an analysis last year, I think it was in April or May of last year, but what they found was that between George Floyd and the time that that piece had run, 30 states had enacted something like 140 police reform bills. Enacted, not just proposed and were still considering. And that’s just states, it doesn’t include local legislative bodies like city councils, and that’s just a less than two-year period. I mean, of course, we’ve had a movement toward decarceration that has lasted longer than that. We’ve seen the growth of the progressive prosecutor movement, which is a movement that describes reformer types being elected to DA’s offices in cities around the country where they are running on platforms of reform as opposed to law enforcement, so they are winning one election and get to essentially unilaterally aggregate entire bodies of dually enacted laws by adopting these really broad blanket, non-prosecution policies by changing practices with respect to charging, by changing practices with respect to the penalties being sought after conviction with respect to pretrial detention.
All of these things have eroded the infrastructure around police to hold criminal actors accountable. When people say like, “Oh, well the defund the police movement didn’t really last very long because all of these cities are starting to put money back into these institutions,” my response is, is that you’re pretending that that’s the only thing that changed and, of course, it’s not. I mean, police can do their darndest to bring in the high-rate offenders and bring them into the system, but the system isn’t doing its part to hold those individuals accountable, then the impact that police are going to have on communities is going to be muted. And this is something that we see in almost every really egregious crime that we read a news story about. It’s almost always the case that the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator has 10, 15, 20 prior arrests, was out on probation, was out on parole, was out on pre-trial release. And it’s not just an impression, that’s what the data show. I mean, nationally —
Well, let me ask you a question on that, then, because I fully understand what you’re saying. I think the data is important. I’m going to think back to when criminal justice reform took place under President Trump. You had, I believe it was The First Step Act is what it was called, in changing sentencing laws. I think of Kim Kardashian coming to Washington, DC, and, of course, there is the one woman who she had helped who had been in jail for, I forget for how many years, and I think it was for drug possession. When we see these situations — where it is somebody possessed drugs and, due to the way that the sentencing laws are or had been, was in jail for X amount of years — when we see those types of cases, I think people reasonably say, “Well, we don’t want people to be locked away forever who present no harm to society.” So when we see those cases, first of all, how prevalent are those type of cases versus the cases you’re talking about, where we are letting violent offenders out who are then committing repeated crimes?
Yeah. I think one thing that the criminal justice reform movement has just been excellent at is using these one-off stories and presenting them as the norm. The kind of case that you mentioned is not at all the typical interaction that someone’s going to have with our criminal justice system. Long sentences are not the norm. They are rare. Long prison stays are rare. So just a few data points to back that up. Only 40% historically — this is going back about a decade — only 40% of state felony convictions result in a post-conviction prison sentence, which means a post-conviction prison sentence isn’t even the sanction handed down in a majority of state felony convictions. If you look at the prison population, drugs account for about 14% of all state prisoners. I’m using state prisoners here because that accounts for about 88 to 90% of the prison population; federal prisoners are only about 10 to 12%.
And The First Step Act, of course, focused only on federal prisoners, so it was relatively marginal in its impact because it, by definition, only referred to the population over which the federal government has jurisdiction, but, yeah I mean, so only 40% of state felony convictions are resulting in a post-conviction sentence. Then you look at who actually goes in. I mean, they’re there for… the majority are there primarily for a violent offense. I say primarily because the way the statistics work is that someone’s offense category is listed based on the offense that they were convicted of that has the highest sentence ceiling. Right? So if you were convicted of three or four different felonies, you’re going to be categorized under the one for which you are going to get the most time. So if you had an illegal firearm on you when you were arrested during a drug bust, the amount of drugs that you might have had on your person could result in a longer prison sentence than the gun possession charge would’ve carried, and so you’re going to be listed as a drug offender as opposed to a gun offender.
That’s a grain of salt that people have to take into consideration when they look at prison statistics, but the average amount of time served and the mean amount of time served in prison in the United States is only about 15 months. It’s not anywhere close to these long, multiyear sentences that end up making the stories that get told in order to inform different reform efforts. Those kinds of sentences are extremely rare. And when they’re handed down, you’re usually talking about people who have very extensive criminal histories that are informing the length of the sentence that they’re ultimately getting, or they were convicted of very serious crimes like murder or rape. And even when you’re talking about drugs, I mean, possession is just really a non-starter. I mean, almost no one is inside just on mere possession charges. It’s almost always trafficking, and even the people who are in just for possession, that usually reflects a plea-bargaining process in which charges were downgraded or dropped altogether, and a lot of those people tend to have pretty extensive criminal histories.
Well, let me ask you this, then. So I think one of the big questions people have is, of course, most Americans say — the vast majority of Americans — want to make sure that we have a criminal justice system that is fair to everyone, regardless of race, that the rules apply fairly to people. So when you have written this book, you obviously deal with this data, you deal with this issue. Would you say that our criminal justice system is racist, that there is systematic racism within our system?
I wouldn’t, no. I think the systemic racism charge is a really unfortunate one, and it suffers from a few different flaws. One is that it really heavily relies on these top-line disparities in the statistics. You’ll see numbers like, for example, black Americans only make up 13% of the population but constitute 24% of people shot and killed by police, or that black Americans only constitute 13% of the population, but, whatever, 28% of people incarcerated, and then that is held up as prima facie evidence of discrimination on the part of the system. That kind of analysis really fails to control for really relevant factors that are actually informing these disparities, and once you control for those factors, the disparities shrink significantly, in some cases down to zero. As I mentioned earlier, crime is very hyper-concentrated, both geographically and demographically. What that means is that if you assume, and you would assume correctly if you did so, that police departments are deploying resources in response to these kinds of crime trends, well then that means that the number of interactions they’re going to have with the people living in the places to which they’re deployed, i.e., in the places with the highest crime rates, that that’s going to be skewed, and so you have to control for that when you’re looking at these data. And once you do, again, the disparity starts to shrink. If you look at sentencing, for example, once you control for the severity of the crime, the criminal history of the offender, again, the disparities start to shrink, and what you see is that white Americans are sentenced not substantially less harshly than black Americans, and black Americans are sentenced basically on par with white Americans. That’s something that I think comes as a shock to a lot of people who just consume the mainstream media narrative, so that’s one flaw.
Another really important flaw is that it only looks at one side of the ledger; it’s only looking at the cost associated with enforcement. Whenever you talk about systemic racism in criminal justice, all you hear about is disparities in arrest, disparities in use of force, disparities in incarceration, and that pretends that those things are the only outputs of the criminal justice system, and that’s not the case. We know that the criminal justice system can provide measures of public safety, and it’s done that in the past. We know that incarceration, for example, was responsible for at least 25% of the crime decline over the course of the 1990s. If you look at the homicide victimization rates from 1990 to 2014, we saw a huge decline, right, but it wasn’t equal across races in the United States. If you look at the homicide decline in that time period, it added about 0.14 years to the life expectancy of white men. It added 1.0 years to the life expectancy of black men.
So once you start accounting for the benefits associated with criminal enforcement, with policing, with incarceration, you start to see that it’s actually these very same groups that people claim are singled out by the criminal justice system that are actually benefiting and bearing almost the entirety of the benefit. I mean, again, 95 plus percent of all shooting victims in New York City are either black or Hispanic. If you can cut shootings in half, it’s not rich white Americans that are going to benefit from that. Once you start to take account of that other side of the ledger, I think you start to see disparities that are just as prominent, but these are disparities in the distribution of the benefits, and that’s something that I don’t think people take enough account of.
It’s really easy to make our criminal justice system out to be unfair when you consider how the public debate has been conducted over the last 20 years, but I mean, if you just look at the harshest critiques and evaluate them soberly and with an eye toward really digging into the data, what you start to see is that those arguments are either shallow or they’re wrong or they’re under-nuanced. I mean, take the whole second chance idea. You constantly hear this phrase, second chances. We have a whole Second Chance Month in the United States now, and what this does is it creates the impression in the mind of the American voting public that people are just systematically being denied “second chances.” Well, let’s look at the prison data, right? The average released state prisoner in the United States has more than 10 prior arrests and about five prior convictions. It doesn’t sound to me like we’re systematically denying people their second chances, it sounds to me like we’re giving people many, many more.
Well, let me ask you this final question, then, in reference to all of this. So obviously, we have a narrative out there that doesn’t match the data; your book goes into that if people want more information. This is the question I have: what do we do from here? Because obviously, with incorrect information and incorrect perception, it leads to a lot of problems. We have policies that you have laid out that have led to an increase in crime. How do we put the genie back in the bottle?
Slowly. Unfortunately, one of the analogies I like to use is working out. It’s really difficult to get into good shape, to get that six-pack. It takes months, if not a year plus of really hard work, going to the gym every day, eating right. Then the pandemic hit. And in about two months, people reverted back to their pre-gym selves. It’s really easy to lose progress, and it’s much easier to do that, to destroy something than it is to build something. The answer is that it’s going to be slowly, and there are a lot of steps that need to be taken. I mean, certainly policing is one of them. We’ve seen a sharp decline in the number of police enforcing the law in American cities. A lot of police officers have either left the force altogether or are leaving urban forces for suburban forces, basically trying to minimize their risk in becoming the next viral sensation.
There was a recruitment and retention crisis in policing long before the whole George Floyd fiasco, and Floyd’s murder really just created circumstances that just increased the vitriol with which we spoke about American police and I think really pushed a lot of people out of law enforcement or diverted them away from careers in law enforcement in a way that I think is going to be felt for quite a long time. So we have to figure out how to increase the number of police officers on the beat and how to increase the number of really high-end candidates to make that choice to become police officers. What we don’t want to see is a systematic decline in the quality of the American police officer because then what’s going to happen is the delta between the average cop and the average perp is going to shrink, and that’s just going to lead to even worse outcomes, so we have to figure out a way to make that job more attractive again and make it the noble profession that I know it is and find a way to get the public to see that.
We really need to invest in incarceration. I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people who have been convinced that the United States suffers from a mass incarceration epidemic, but that’s just not true. Incarceration can provide real benefits and relief to communities that have high concentrations of criminal actors. For every year that the average prisoner in the United States is incarcerated, we are abating about eight to 10 index felonies. These are just the eight felonies tracked by the FBI. That’s a lot, especially if one of those felonies is going to be murder. I mean, the impact, the toll that that kind of violence takes on communities is enormous. It takes many forms. A lot of people hear about a homicide, and they think just the context of the victim and maybe the victim’s family, but the ripple effects go far beyond that. I mean, there are studies showing, for example, students who live within a certain radius of a shooting will perform statistically worse on standardized tests than kids in their own class who live in the same neighborhood but outside the radius of that shooting.
I mean, there’s a lot of work to do there, and when you just look at the repeat offender problem in the United States, you look at cities like Chicago and see that the average shooting or homicide suspect has 12 prior arrests, what that tells us is that we’re not doing enough to hold repeat, high-rate offenders accountable, and that’s going to mean building out our capacity to incarcerate these individuals in places that are going to be more conducive to their rehabilitation. I mean, I am somewhat skeptical of a lot of rehabilitation efforts because I just don’t think that we have figured out how to rehabilitate people at scale. I mean, we have a prison population of almost two million people… or an incarcerated population of almost two million people, almost all of whom are repeat offenders who have been entrenched in the criminal underworld for a really long time. The idea that we can get them back on track through a handful of counseling sessions, I think is wrong.
Even if you look at the programs that do show promise, they require a lot of time, a lot of one-on-one counseling, a lot of small group therapy, things that we just can’t scale up across a population that big. And so I think we need to figure out ways to make prisons less criminogenic. I think that means making them less crowded by building more and thinning out the population, building out the kinds of activities that they can do, educational programs, vocational programs. And also, I think we need to really just rethink this whole progressive prosecutor project. It’s been really just fascinating to watch this political snowball just grow in size over such a short period of time. I mean, 2010, this was almost unheard of, and now we’re at a point in which almost 50 million Americans are living in jurisdictions with self-identified progressive prosecutors. These are people who are, again, choosing not to enforce whole categories of crime, usually crimes related to public disorder, quality of life offenses, which I think is really important because I’m a huge believer in the broken windows theory.
I think that if you let cities go by refusing to enforce these public order offenses, you immediately start to diminish the quality of life, which really pushes a lot of people away from the public spaces that need prosocial forces to meet just to have a presence there, to maintain a presence there. And as that presence starts to erode, all of those places become increasingly vulnerable to more serious types of crime. And I think what we’re learning, especially with the sort of remote work revolution that the pandemic brought on, is that cities are much more vulnerable now than they used to be, and it is possible for cities to die. I mean, we’ve seen that in Detroit. It’s just an exponentially more vibrant city than it is now, just 30 years ago, 40 years ago. And as crime got out of control, we saw suburbanization, and it really spelled the death of that city in a lot of ways.
I think a lot of cities are going to find themselves at similar risk, and one way to speed that process up is to let the quality of life diminish rapidly by not enforcing public order offenses. I mean, that’s just a small handful of really broad proposals, but I do think it’s a very complicated and long conversation that the public needs to have —
— but it’s not going to happen if we just continue down this road of hyperbole and overstating the evidence and not telling the truth about what the data say.
And it’s a lot of cherry-picking information as well, and that’s why looking at all the data, how it relates to each other, I think, is so important. So for people who want to know about this, your book is called Criminal (In)Justice. You go in-depth into all of this. Rafael Mangual with the Manhattan Institute, thank you so much for joining us today.
Thank you so much for having me. Real pleasure.
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