THREAD: You didn't hear about this. But last week, as every news outlet allowed police to use "rise in homicides" to argue for more punishment, the most robust criminological study in history was released. "Incarceration cannot be justified on grounds it affords public safety."
"Beginning in the 1970s, the US began an experiment in mass imprisonment. Supporters argued that harsh punishments such as imprisonment reduce crime by deterring inmates from reoffending. Skeptics argued that imprisonment may have a criminogenic effect. The skeptics were right."
Researchers & criminologists, including the research director for Harris County (Houston) Community Supervision & Corrections Department reviewed *116 studies.* Called a "meta-analysis," this format reviews a range of other studies across time, geographies, & methodologies.
"Previous narrative reviews & meta-analyses concluded that the overall effect of imprisonment is null. Based on a much larger meta-analysis of 116 studies, the current analysis shows that *custodial sanctions have no effect on reoffending or slightly increase it.*"
"All sophisticated assessments of the research have independently reached the same conclusion. The null effect of custodial compared w/ noncustodial sanctions is considered a “criminological fact.”

Translation: Prison does not make us safer. Indeed it makes society less safe.
This report just out from U. of Chicago tells us, w/o doubt, that incarceration, this "solution" we spend billions on, is not a solution. It is a failed experiment. And that if officials actually care about safety, they should not be supporting it.…
This report just out tells us, w/o doubt, that when police, prosecutors, & other pro-carceral forces try to terrify you into believing more prison is good policy, they're really just hungry to cage, torture, & brutalize more people on a massive scale.…
This study--the most robust study on the topic of incarceration in history--firmly debunking the myth that prison makes us safer, should be the biggest criminal justice news of the decade. The findings should be on the cover of every major newspaper. Top of every news show. Why?
This study debunks a half-century of failed, racist, historically costly policy that has become the status quo. Even though advocates & activists & true experts--not police, prosecutors, or their consultants--knew this, & have been shouting it for decades, there is now data.
I wrote here about how all major outlets spent a week searching for causation to a short term rise in homicides. And how trying to speculate about "short run" statistics is both impossible & dangerous. Long term data, however, should be reported on.…

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More from @ScottHech

13 Oct
I cannot believe the NYT published a front page story 2 days ago about how police were "defunded" when every police department everywhere got increases.
Not only did NYT publish a front page story 2 days ago about how police were "defunded" when every police department everywhere got increases -- they blamed rising crime (also a lie -- only homicides increased) on "defunding" of police!
NYPD got a nice $200 million raise despite brutal, widespread beatings of the people they claim they want to protect.…
Read 8 tweets
12 Oct
Current state of the Chesa Boudin recall effort in San Francisco: Desperate lies. Look far below. Claim "violent crime" up 15%. Total crime +18%.

Here is the SF PD's data. 1% increase in violent crimes (only 50 more). Rapes/robberies down 14% & 6%. Homicides up by total of 5. Image
If you want to see data -- and please keep in mind this is reported from the police so take it with all the disclaimers & remember they don't report their own crimes -- here's open data consistently updated from SF police.…
Residents don’t “feel” safe because you & others are spreading misinformation gleaned from far right websites & police talking points. “Feelings” about crime, as opposed to reason, are exactly how we became the world’s largest human caging force.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Thread: How copaganda works. A day after @nytimes dedicated their front page to allow police to *lie* they were defunded, I received an email from an influential progressive w/ a big mailing list. He shared the story. Subject: "Refund the police." I emailed him. What I wrote:
I write this bc I care about truth & want a future of policy that is smart, cost-effective, rational, & fair. That actually produces health & safety. I write this bc pro-carceral forces, enabled by media like NYT are doing everything they can to perpetuate a failed status quo.
Here is the problem with this "reporting" by the @nytimes & your distillation of it:

1. Not a single police force in the country was "defunded."

2. Therefore, "defunding the police" had no effect on anything, including the need to "refund them."
Read 16 tweets
12 Oct
12 years of marriage to @DigiAbby today! Was thinking of how many incredible opportunities I've had to work w/ & learn from her. I'll start here. In Eastern Cape, South Africa. Then 5 mos pregnant. Took vacation time to assist her on a doc for local partners on equal education. Image
Got to work w/ Abby when I was at Brooklyn Defender Services. W/ immigrant clients co-wrote, directed, & produced, a 4 part animated series on how to safely defend yourself in encounters with ICE. 7 languages. Powerful storytelling.
Once ICE started ramping up arrests after COVID first struck, I got to work w/ Abby again, @witnessorg, & Fiona Apple. Short film on documenting abuses by ICE. Again co-written w/ people w/ first hand experience. Who had witnessed loved ones arrested.
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct
Every day in NYC, undercover NYPD dress up in costumes & act like they struggle w/ substance use. Approach people outside treatment centers. Offer a tip or a hit if they help them find drugs. After directing them to dealer, they’re arrested. Charged w/ sale. Face 12 years.
When defenders see these cases, we argue there was no "agency" required for sale. "No cash, no stash." Judges claim it's "too soon" for legal arguments. Prosecutors mindlessly charge B-level felony. Max 12 years. Cases usually resolve w/ misdemeanors. Such a violent waste.
I once took a poll about what my followers would do if they were a prosecutor and say this fact pattern. 97% would decline to prosecute. The majority of the remainder said charge as simple possession. Unfortunately not close to reality.
Read 5 tweets
11 Oct
More harmful reporting from @nytimes. Headline alone: "Detainees in control." "Staffing emergency," "Disrupting basic functions of jail."

1. People not "detainees"
2. Mass caging not staffing is issue
3. 1000s painted w/ scariest of brushes
4. Presumes jail has valid "function"
The story opens with a scary scene out of an action movie. About a "bad guy." We dont learn who this person is. What horrors they had experienced/witnessed. Terrorism & violence they had experienced at hands of guards that made them this desperate. No. We have a "hijacker."
After 6 paragraphs of horror stories of people trapped & tortured inside Rikers (stolen keys, "slashings" "other acts of violence"), we get to a paragraph passively mentioning truly horrific acts of violence & indifference by guards including *purposefully letting people die.*
Read 6 tweets

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