Thursday, November 15, 2018

Here's how it's not done

ProPublica generates an interesting article noting that many police departments are "clearing" cases of reported sexual assault where they have sufficient evidence to make an arrest or more.  What's really troubling is the rationale; federal guidelines allow police to use "cleared" to describe many cases where they know who and where a suspect is, but can't make an arrest for reasons "outside their control".

With all due respect, are all of these suspects really going to third world countries without an extradition treaty with the U.S.?  The article makes clear that's not the case.  What is the case?  Well, the judgmental side of me has to suggest it might have something to do that you don't get $120 a pop for arresting rapists like you get for writing speeding tickets.

Probably not all of these cases fall into the "we need to take Officer Friendly off traffic patrol and task him with arresting rapists", but the article mentions precisely such cases.  In reality, if this were done to any significant degree--say if a "mere" 50,000 out of the nations ~800,000 police officers were to take a week each year away from writing speeding tickets to make an arrest for sexual assault--we might roughly double incarceration rates for sexual assault.  Given that most who commit sexual assault do it far more than once, it's entirely possible that a ~10% ease of traffic patrol could lead to a huge drop in sexual assault.

Cost: a few billion bucks.  Maybe we can take it out of the money we're currently giving Planned Parenthood and Tesla, as well as corn subsidies.

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