Statistical nonsense?

  Oct. 27, 2013

 CTV News
A Visual Breakdown of Crimes Committed in Canada 

Here are a few stats on crime and on the crime severity index in Canada.  So you thought the big cities lead the way?  This sort of reporting will certainly make you wonder how and why.  Ten worst ranked and the ten best ranked, and by the way, the crime rate continues to fall.  

 Winnipeg Free Press – James Jewell
A leopard can change its spots: An eye-opening encounter with a former gang banger 

“I know you,” he said. “Did you ever work homicide?”  Words a cop hates to hear in his front yard – the gang banger knows where he lives and where his family is.  “Truth is,” says this cop, kids join gangs because they have few options and little hope of having their basic human needs met elsewhere.”  

 The News-Messenger (OHIO) – Chike Erokwu 
Mental health levy gaining support 

Sandusky County has repeatedly put a .8 mil levy on the ballot box in municipal elections and has scored pretty close to the required 50% to pass.  The property levy, over 5 five years and at a cost of $2.32 per tax payer per month would generate $4.5 million and would be entirely dedicated to preventative mental health and addiction services in an effort to end putting mentally ill people in jail.   Related article:  Deseret News – Marjorie Cortez    Utah earns A+ grade for interventions that divert mental health clients from criminal justice system    Related article:  Star Tribune (MN) – Brad Schrade and Glenn Howatt    Breakdown: In rural Minnesota, mental health safety net is in limbo  Related article:  Post-Gazette (PA) –  Matt Mangino    The Cautionary Instruction: Supreme Court to revisit the death penalty and mental disability

 Chicago Tribune – Kim Palmer, Reuters
Another Ohio prisoner found dead, ninth suicide this year 

The death of inmates is always troubling because their safety is a legal obligation of those who run the prisons.  But when there are incidents it is equally troubling not to get some clear review of how a suicide has happened and what needs to be done to prevent more.  This report is suggesting a national average of 5.5% in the US.,0,956692.story 

 Des Moines Register – William Petroski 
New $68 million Mitchellville women’s prison to offer ‘softer, gentler’ environment for inmates 

Mitchellville, Iowa, is boasting a new medium security prison designed with the best practices for rehabilitation.  Able to house 888 inmates, the site now has about 640.  But over the last 15 years the incarceration rate for women has been climbing (191%) and there are already 38 lifers in the population.  

FBI data shows marijuana arrest rates remain high

This article, from a Wisconsin law firm, brings some distressing news about the failure of the recent announcements by Eric Holder, the US Attorney General to impact the practices around jailing people for marijuana offenses.  In 2012, seven of 10 arrests around marijuana continue to be simple possession.  There are still more arrests for marijuana possession than for violent crimes.   

 L.A. Times – Editorial
Crime and punishment in America: What Illinois can learn from California, and vice versa, about an overreliance on prisons. 

Chicago, says this L.A. editorial, is now where California was in the 80’s when gun crime was rampant and knee jerk reactions brought one law after another pinning the solution in longer and tougher jail.  Chicago is looking for three year minimum on unlawful possession of a loaded gun.,0,3243577.story#axzz2iwZxmmpf     Related article:  Gainesville Times (Georgia) – Emma Witman    Study: Aging prison population is costly – State officials hope sentencing reform lessens taxpayers’ burden – Sandy Fitzgerald 
Atheists: Clergy at Crime Scenes Unconstitutional 

 The atheists in Alabama want the government to prove that sending clergy to counsel victims of crime is reducing crime.  If not, then we have confusion of church and state, don’t we?  Maybe all the clergy are doing is spreading the word of God at crime scenes?