*When Brute Force Fails*

That is the new and excellent book by Mark Kleiman and the subtitle is How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment.

The reader learns many interesting facts.  In 1974 the average burglary resulted in about four days behind bars (that's the average sentence adjusted by the chance of being caught).  The average 1974 burglary yielded about $320 (in today's dollars), which amounts to about $80 a day payment for time behind bars.  Even forgetting about the fixed costs of getting a criminal record, or a longer criminal record, that screams out to me: "It isn't worth it!"

Today, for burglary, the average return per day in jail is $22.  That is one reason why crime has gone down but the real question is why crime has not fallen even more.

Many burglars are not risk-averse or they underestimate their chances of being caught.

There are many excellent bits and segments in this book.


Comments for this post are closed