Boston Columnist Critical Of Sentencing Project Report


Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby takes on The Sentencing Project for its recent report, “No Exit: The Expanding Use of Life Sentences in America,'' which was sharply critical of the nation’s incarceration trends. Jacoby writes, “‘No Exit’ brims over with information and statistics, but only those that reinforce its sponsor's preconceived views.”

Jacoby says the organization glosses over the decline in crime that has been concurrent with the increase in incarceration in America. And he says the report “devotes almost obsessive attention” to racial disparities among lifers. He writes, “Nearly 97 percent of inmates serving life terms are men. If it is noteworthy that blacks, who account for 12 percent of the general population, make up 48 percent of lifers, shouldn't it be even more significant that men, who comprise less than half the population at large, represent nearly all those sentenced to life? The explanation, of course, is that men commit the vast majority of serious crime; that fact, not sexism, explains the disproportionate incarceration rate.”

Comments are closed.