Baseball Analyst Bill James Turns to Crime, Miniprisons


In “Popular Crime,” a book reviewed by Jeff Leen in the Washington Post, baseball analyst Bill James “turns his formidable but idiosyncratic critical apparatus on murder and mayhem.” The book is not original research, but a review of tabloid crime over the ages, such as JonBenet Ramsey, O.J. Simpson and the Lindbergh kidnapping.

Conceding that he is not a crime expert, James urges taking the 2.3 million people incarcerated in the U.S. and dispersing them into facilities with populations of no more than 24, the better to reintegrate them into society and segregate the bad from the very, very bad. That's nearly 100,000 miniprisons. James believes there would be a great savings because a single guard using electronic surveillance could watch several mini-prisons, which would be housed in strip malls and on the floors of office buildings.

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