Zach Weissmueller of ReasonTV interviewed UCLA's Mark Kleiman, author of When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment. He says the USA's current system of "randomized draconianism" doesn't reduce crime or rehabilitate prisoners. "Swiftness and certainty are more important than severity."
UCLA Professor of Public Affairs Mark Kleiman is "angry about having too much crime and an intolerable number of people behind bars." The United States is home to five percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners, yet, says Kleiman, our high incarceration rate isn't making us safer.
In his book, "When Brute Force Fails," Kleiman explains that, when it comes to punishment, there is a trade-off between severity and swiftness. For too long the U.S. has erred heavily on the side of severity, but if we concentrate enforcement and provide immediate consequences for law-breakers, Kleiman says we can both reduce the crime rate and put fewer people in prison.
Filling Up Prisons Without Fighting Crime: Mark Kleiman on America's Criminal Justice System