Stop prison rape!

Rich Lowry of Townhall has some sensible thoughts, and even a tiny bit of good news, about the prison-rape problem. Ever since I heard an otherwise-decent Federal prosecutor remark of a defendant he disliked who had just been sentenced to prison, “Well, at least he’s going to have an interesting sex life for the next few years,” I’ve wondered the same thing Lowry wonders: why is this particular act of violent sexual predation regarded as a fit matter for joking? Thanks to Glenn Reynolds, who adds some thoughts of his own, for the pointer. As for whoever in the Justice Department is opposing the very mild reforms now being proposed in Congress (on grounds, naturally, of federalism): let’s hope Dante was wrong, and that there’s actually a Tenth Circle.

Update Glen Whitman turns out to have gotten there ahead of me, and Alex Knapp ahead of him.

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: