Crime report statement baffling

The Oregonian ran this front page article on Sunday relating to an Oregon Criminal Justice Commission Report.

“Experts suggest that Measure 11 has reached the point of diminishing returns. A recent study by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, a state agency, concluded that the number of crimes prevented each year by adding one inmate to the Oregon prison system has declined from nearly 30 per new inmate in 1994 to slightly more than 10 crimes in 2005. “

Am I missing something here? It seems like they are saying we ought to let criminals go free earlier because it will only prevent 10 crimes. Isn’t that worth locking someone up, so they don’t victimize 10 more people? 10 may be less than 30, but that number is still horrible. Someone please help me understand that the Commission is not saying what I think they are saying.

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Posted by at 08:15 | Posted in Measure 37 | 436 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • eagle eye

    What they’re saying is that crime rates have decreased dramatically in Oregon and are leveling off. Spending more on locking people up won’t decrease crime that much more. A point of diminishing returns.

    The Oregonian had an article Sunday in which they contrasted Oregon’s exploding prison budget, in the aftermath of Measure 11, with its poor support of higher education, and its mediocre state universities. Many people think the tradeoff of further cuts in higher education to lock more people up isn’t worth it.

  • Steve Plunk

    Eagle’s point about diminishing returns is something we should all keep in mind. Whether it’s additional money for law enforcement or additional money for public welfare programs there is a point where more is not necessarily better.

    The particular issue here requires some sort of cost figure to be associated with those ten crimes we could prevent (I don’t even know if this number of crimes is accurate) and compare that to the cost of incarceration. It’s kind of a guessing game.

    Each and every government program needs to be looked at for diminishing returns like this. Prisons, higher education, k-12, health care, they all fall under this principal.

  • Jerry

    Guess what eagle – higher ed in Oregon is a joke not because of lack of funding but because the programs in Oregon for the most part are soft, useless stuff that business doesn’t want or need. Get real. More money for higher ed by allowing more criminals to go free? You must have gone to college in Oregon!
    We could fund the jails if we weren’t so busy with the cultural trust, OPB, reduced tuition to illegal aliens, free healthcare to anyone, etc., etc.

    • eagle eye

      Jerry, get the facts on higher education funding in Oregon, it is near the bottom in the U.S. for the Oregon universities, especially outfits like OSU and UO. Those places used to have very reputable science programs. They used to talk about a “top-tier” engineering program at OSU. The amount of money the state is willing to spend on it is what makes that a joke.

      Spending on jails in Oregon is near the top, however. There is no reason it has to be that high, even with all the extra prisoners from Measure 11 (which I favored).

      Get the facts about budgets and then you can talk about them.

      By the way, I went to school outside of Oregon. I know the score on how mediocre Oregon has become.

  • CRAWDUDE

    If locking them up will decease crime even slightly, then continue to do it! Only bleeding heart liberal elites could possibly suggest that since the crime rate is going down (not a proven fact if it was reported by the Oregonian) that not locking up criminals will have no effect on it……….huh?

    These are of course the same people who through political correctness try to pick a turd up by the clean end. What a joke!

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