A member of the U.S Commission on Civil Rights sent a letter to Senators Thursday warning them of an increase in black-on-black crime due to sentencing reform.
“I live in a predominantly black area of inner-city Cleveland. For my neighbors and me, these concerns are not remote. When these men are released from prison earlier than they otherwise would have been, they are coming back to my neighborhood and neighborhoods like mine,” Peter Kirsanow wrote in the letter to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kirsanow's pretty concerned because the Judiciary Committee approved a "criminal justice reform" bill that reduces minimum sentences and allows retroactive sentence reductions. The problem here is that unlike the career politicians, Kirsanow actually knows what he's talking about:
Kirsanow in his letter wrote, “The Sentencing Reform Act is predicated on the belief that rehabilitation is not only possible, but likely. Yet scholarly literature indicates that a person who has been convicted of multiple offenses is always more likely to offend (again) than is a person who has never offended.”
“In a three-year study of prisoners who were released in 1994 conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, ‘67.5% of the prisoners were rearrested for a new offense (almost exclusively for a new felony or a serious misdemeanor), 46.9% were reconvicted for a new crime,’ and 25.4% were resentenced to prison for a new crime.” The member of the civil rights commission wrote.
And herein lies the problem: Disparate Impact Theory is really popular in the Obama administration right now, and in fact has taken root throughout the political class in Washington D.C. in recent years. DIT postulates that laws are discriminatory if members of certain classes or races of people are disproportionately impacted by them. It's a stupid idea, but there it is; laws aren't just rules that all people are expected to follow, they're inherently somehow discriminatory.
Orwell would be proud.