Thursday, May 03, 2007

Prisons Plus Asylums

I rarely pass on links to higher-traffic blogs unless I have commentary to add, because I figure most of my readers read those blogs as well. But this is an exception. I highly recommend all of the posts by Volokh Conspiracy guest-blogger Bernard Harcourt. Start here [link now corrected], then follow the links at the bottom to subsequent posts. To summarize briefly, Harcourt shows a strong inverse relationship between the prison population and the hospitalized mentally ill population. And then he shows that the total level of institutionalization -- prisons plus asylums -- is a better predictor of homicide rates than either one alone. This has potentially huge implications for both research (in his second post, Harcourt argues that many studies in criminology might need to be redone in light of his findings) and public policy.

1 comment:

Jim Lippard said...

The link is missing something...