We Need To Stop Fighting Crime With More Crime

Alex Karakatsanis: “The two images that best describe the budget priorities of the U.S. police bureaucracy: Alabama cops celebrating a fun quilt they made from the signs of unhoused people begging for money and NYPD bragging about executing 23 warrants to seize shoplifted diapers.”

When Thatha was young, he hung his clothes out to dry. Someone jumped in, stole his clothes and ran off. Thatha chased the guy down and somehow got him to the police.

What did the police do?

The cops beat the guy to a pulp and took my father’s clothes as ‘evidence’. Thatha kept going to the station, but he never got his damn clothes back. That’s the criminal justice system for you. It’s just organized crime.

Billions For What?

The United States spends $300 billion a year policing and jailing people, ie beating and caging them. Cops are now the biggest robbers in America (they seize much more stuff than they ever return). The study I link here says all this and then misses the point. They say…

A criminal justice system is vital to ensuring laws are obeyed, the public is safe, and rights are protected. Key elements of such a system include incapacitating people who have broken the law, deterring others from doing the same, and rehabilitating offenders to prevent reoccurrence.

This is like saying unicorns are really good at flying and also poking stuff, and you need to feed them rainbow dust. OK, do we fucking have unicorns? Do they exist anywhere? What are we even talking about here?

The point they’re missing is that the system is working as intended. It delivers the appearance of vengeance and steady returns to an entire industry. Tweaking the system will not produce different results. You have to have a completely different model of justice, and luckily we already have one.

Just look at how justice works for the rich.

Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew was never even charged by his mom’s police service and instead just paid some money to a (then) child he raped. This is pretty normal for rich people. OJ Simpson, for example, got out of the criminal case and ended up losing the civil, ie paying blood money.

Rich people already have their own non-violent justice system where they pay blood money, if they’re ever charged at all. Hence the point is not inventing some brand new justice system here. It’s just treating everyone like they’re rich.

Billions For Other Things