Note to the MK Fan Club

I’m on FM 89.3 in LA tonight at 9 p.m., as part of a panel discussion of crime control.

I will be on KPCC (FM 89.3 in Los Angeles) tonight at 9 p.m. discussing the unlikely topic “Is This the End of Crime as We Know it?”

I haven’t heard the program, which is an edited autiotape of a public forum from about a month ago. My fellow panellists were George Kelling of Rutgers and Erin Aubry Kaplan and Robert Greene of the LA Times editorial page. Andrés Martinez, LA Times Editorial Page Editor, moderated.

Since I managed to sound less incoherent than I normally do, and got off what seemed at the time like a pretty good riff on what it would mean to provide “equal protection of the laws” in high-crime neighborhoods, I expect all my loyal fans (i.e., both of them) to listen in.

Update If you had better things to do last evening, as I hope you did, a podcast is now available.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

7 thoughts on “Note to the MK Fan Club”

  1. Well the podcast may one day be available, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The podcasts provided by the radio station, both those routing through iTunes and those not, appear not to be hooked up to anything useful.
    (Which allows me to rant a little about why is it that old-style leftist organizations are quite so clueless about technology.
    There is, thankfully, a new left like Kos, or MK, that know what they are doing. But in my dealings with right wing organizations like the Hoover Institute, their web sites work, their audio downloads properly and so on. When you deal with the old style left either, like Pacifica, most of their content is not available for download and you're told to send $10 somewhere for a casette tape, or like we have here, the links don't work.
    Damn guys, way to sell the concept that you are competent to offer advice on running the world, or to compete in the marketplace of ideas.)

  2. Well, the MP3 for last week is available and seems to work fine, so I don't see where your pessimism about this week's comes from. This is a holiday weekend, so perhaps it's been delayed by that.

  3. Spoke too soon.
    Go to and scroll down the page to Zocalo.
    Click on or drag-and-drop or whatever you prefer to do with either of the two provided Podcast feeds and you will have something that iTunes refuses to deal with.
    Oddly enough Safari shows it as an RSS feed with enclosures OK, so knows wtf is going on here.

  4. Prof. Kleiman has some sharp rebukes for complacency in that podcast: that some significant portion of the drop in crime rates reflects (costly) crime avoidance–including the abandonment of relatively high crime areas by those able to leave such areas; that we tolerate a level of inequality in the protection from violent crime that we have at least learned to be ashamed of when it comes to, say, the provision of educational opportunity; and that (reformed) police departments are virtually alone among elements of the criminal justice system in being held accountable for social outcomes (i.e., less crime).
    It all makes me wonder about the politics: Here we have some glaring inequities. The populations and areas under- or poorly served by the present arrangements would, it seems, be very easy to mobilize around these issues. And yet that mobilization doesn't seem to happen.
    Why? Are "law and order" concerns still too tainted by association with official repression of poor and minority communities to be credible as aspects of the demand for full equality? And if so, is it a failure of political leadership to imagine otherwise? Or does the leaderhip correctly surmise that that the constituency is lacking that would strongly support the requisite policies? Or is it just a case of relative powerlessness, because the inequities, while very real, are so disproportionately confined to constituencies safely ignorable?

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