aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Grits trashes Wilson’s Pew criticism
Well yesterday Grits for Breakfast gave Wilson’s piece a thorough thrashing that was too good to pass up:
For starters, his comment about incarceration vs. safety results in states ["states that sent a higher fraction of convicts to prison had lower rates of crime"] cannot survive a comparison between Texas and New York, for example, so I’d like to see the research backing up that statement. By relying on Mr. Levitt’s often controversial work, he’s identified a scholar whose estimates of the effectiveness of imprisonment fall on the high end of those produced in the last decade. Levitt thinks that imprisonment accounted for as much as 32% of the reduction in crime in the 1990s (See ”Understanding why crime fell in the 1990s”).
Other econometric estimates - including one by UT-Austin’s Bill Spelman - found that expanding the prison population accounted for about a quarter of the crime reduction in the ‘90s. (Bill and I have enjoyed a friendly dispute about this in the past, because I think some of his assumptions overstate incarceration’s effectiveness and understate its harms). Overall, according to a recent paper by the Vera Institute, Levitt and Spelman “produced a fairly consistent finding, associating a 10 percent higher incarceration rate with a 2 to 4 percent lower crime rate.”
But if we are to be honest about the state of empirical research on the topic, one cannot declare emphatically, as Wilson does, that “deterrence works” or that expanded incarceration “reduces crime.” According to the Vera Institute, “One could use available research to argue that a 10 percent increase in incarceration is associated with no difference in crime rates, a 22 percent lower index crime rate, or a decrease only in the rate of property crime.”
What’s more, even the highest estimates, like Mr. Levitt’s, still contend that 2/3 of the crime 0reduction had nothing to do with incarceration. So the decline in crime, according to these sources, mostly wasn’t because of putting more people in prison.
Remember, that’s just for starters… READ ON!
Women in military more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire
Jane Harman has an OpEd in the LATimes today:
Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported—73% more than in 2004. [...]
At the heart of this crisis is an apparent inability or unwillingness to prosecute rapists in the ranks. According to DOD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial, the equivalent of a criminal prosecution in the military. Another 218 were handled via nonpunitive administrative action or discharge, and 201 subjects were disciplined through “nonjudicial punishment,” which means they may have been confined to quarters, assigned extra duty or received a similar slap on the wrist. In nearly half of the cases investigated, the chain of command took no action; more than a third of the time, that was because of “insufficient evidence.”
Via Think Progress.
Jessica at Feministing points to more information and resources on sexual assault in the military —the Veterans for America and their list of rape crisis centers near military bases; the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence also has a long list of resources for military women; and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has statistics. For those who are looking for more theory-based info, check out just about anything by Cynthia Enloe.
GMail: on time, every time, any time.
Introducing, Gmail custom time:
Funny, I can’t find that feature… maybe it was only available today?
This & That
Giant dome made of hula hoops & cable-ties
CGI girl follows your mouse
Make visits Mad Magazine
Snake made from keyboard keys.
Despite economic slump, gay retirement community moves forward
Marigold Creek, a resort-style retirement community marketed toward gays and lesbians might face more trouble developing the property in Surprise because of the economic climate than from opposition because of the community’s clientele.
On Saturday, representatives from Out Properties Development hosted a buyer’s event at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park. About 46 potential purchasers had registered for the sales event.
Deborah Purvis of Out Properties said she has heard more people say the company is crazy for moving forward in the current economic climate than for building a community for gays and lesbians in Arizona.
“We’re hopeful that when all is said and done that the economy will have (righted itself),” she said. “My partner asked me if I was crazy doing this.”
Purvis said the community has received support not only from the city but from potential buyers.
She said Surprise officials seemed pleased that anyone is building and that initial reaction from buyers also has been uplifting.
The project still has to wend its way through the Surprise planning and zoning process and, should it remain on schedule, Marigold Creek should open the first units late next year.
Many of the 46 people who registered for the event traveled to Arizona from out of state.
The first phase consists of more than 80 total units and will include single-family homes and condominiums.
Twelve of the 17 single family homes in Marigold Creek have been reserved.
For more info visit their website.