In reality, it appears Mayor Stodola has at least a partial grasp on the situation. Prison studies such as the Wright Rossi REport,criminal psychologists, criminologists, and penologists have all urged governments to “give those contemplating a criminal lifestyle something to lose.” That is, penalties harsh enough to deter crime.
In Arkansas case, in 1962 a University of Arkansas found the recidivism rate among those who served a term in an Arkansas penal institution was 14.8 percent.
Ten years later, the recidivism rate had risen to 52 percent, a result of “more humane” prison conditions and lighter sentences. Currently, slightly more than 63 percent of Arkansas’ released prisoners reoffend within five years, and the ultimate recidivism rate is greater than 70 percent.
I would support an effort to suppress crime and criminal lifestyles with tough penalties with enough time behind bars to hurt.
But at the same time, the laws that have led to the Wonder States very high violent cirme rates, such as the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968, must be relaxed or repealed before any program can be effective at cutting violence.
Because here is what those laws have done to Arkansas: