Jacob responds to John Martin Op-Ed

John Martin, a self-described criminologist, wrote in the Vancouver Sun that credible criminologists “refuse to concede that locking up criminals for lengthy periods of time had anything whatsoever to do with the plummeting crime rate south of the border”.

Plummeting crime rate? From 1980 until 2007 the US violent crime rate remained mostly steady, increasing for a period from 1988 to 1998, then returning to the levels seen throughout the 1980s. Overall from 1980 to 2007, the US violent crime rate actually increased by 5%.

The US Prison population has increased an astounding 398% from 1980 to 2007. The United States now imprisons more people than any other country, at a cost of $60 Billion dollars per year.

A 398% increase in prisoners resulted in a 5% increase in crime. Clearly simply increasing penalties, even drastically, does not lower crime. This is a fact observed around the world, which is why credible criminologists oppose simply increasing penalties.

Mr Martin works for an RCMP funded institution. The RCMP support increasing penalties and have a history of paying for pseudo-scientific studies to support their positions.

Why would Mr Martin so blatantly misrepresent the facts? You’ll have to ask the RCMP.