Talking to the Seattle City Council about crime and punishment

The Seattle Channel has a video of my talk.

Thanks to Councilmember Tim Burgess, I had the opportunity to address the Public Safety Committee of the Seattle City Council. The Seattle Channel put up the video. (Action starts about 55 seconds into the tape, which runs just over an hour all told.)

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: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

2 thoughts on “Talking to the Seattle City Council about crime and punishment”

  1. Only downside to the presentation is that Mark will entertain the Seattle City Council with Tea Party jokes, but his students only get references to J. Wellington Wimpy when discussing discounting. Students want updated jokes too.

  2. You ended stating the goal of receiving identical sentences for burglaries of homes in different neighborhoods. Is one cause of the current disparity just the disparity in value of goods stolen? I.e. would it be desirable to have a fixed sentence for burglary regardless of value stolen? Would such a fixed sentence overwhelm the system in high crime neighborhoods or would you think of this as a way of selectively targeting burglars?

    I guess what I'm getting at: If you could wave a wand and set a fixed sentence tomorrow, all other things the same would it help?

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