I just read an informative article about the ideas of Irvin Waller, a criminologist who founded the International Centre for Crime Prevention in Montreal and who wrote the book Less Law, More Order: The Truth about Reducing Crime.
I have not read his book yet, but I can tell you that Irvin Waller basically contends that society can reduce crime and protect victims more effectively by tackling the root causes of crime rather than by hiring more police and making stricter laws with longer sentences. For example, he say funds will do more to prevent crime if we put them towards education, family assistance, and helping at-risk youth stay in school and get job training.
I agree. However, I think both can help. Police and long prison sentences do not do much until after an act of crime has occurred, but they do at least prevent the criminal from victimizing anyone else. Having stronger incarceration systems and increasing funds for law enforcement does not stop us from also increasing funding for crime prevention. We can do both.
Some may argue that limited funds would limit us greatly. However, I have already addressed the issue of funding in my previous blog post entitled Funding Security. In that post, I suggested that we fund law enforcement and incarceration by billing convicts. I also suggested that we stop wasting resources on victimless crimes, and instead use all of our crime-related resources to stop victimizers and prevent violent crime and victimization.
What do you think?