Sunday, 12 December 2010

Nigh Incontrovertible?

Via ConservativeHome we learn of the Civitas Institute's latest press release on Britain's emerging prisons policy, issued in response to Kenneth Clarke's recent and oft repeated assertion that "crime fell throughout the Western world" from the mid-1990s onwards, as a result of increasing prosperity rather than increasing use of prison.

Civitas, referencing Eurostat-derived charts measuring the total number of crimes recorded by police against prison populations throughout the West, suggests that it is actually not true to say that crime fell across the board consistently in the period.  Moreover, they contend that there definitely is sufficient evidence to suggest both that falling crime rates usually corresponded with increasing use of incarceration and spikes in crime rates with decreasing use.

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation, of course, but evidence of an observable trend certainly looks compelling.

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