Who wants to know? Not the Dane County Board
Chris Rickert has committed some real journalism. Demanding answers to tough questions. The tough question: All those jail diversion programs, are they actually, you know, working?
The answer: Who (the hell) knows?
But, by golly, diversion sure feels good, keepin’ folks out of jail. That’s the gist of Rickert’s findings reported in Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal, “Information limited on success of programs …”
“It’s hard to know how effective such well meaning efforts are, given that the largest and longest-running program … doesn’t track outcomes while others have kept only limited data,” Rickert reports. What records are kept “show mixed results.”
This is significant because our Dane County Board — now down to its last conservative — is spending $76 million to build a smaller jail on the premise that Wisconsin’s fastest-growing county can divert criminals like sea water from the Titanic through ever-more diversion programs. That’s the consequence of seeing everything “through the lens of racial equity.” (Official policy!) The motivation: “reduce the disproportionate number of black people who get caught up in the criminal justice system,” Rickert writes. The locution conveys extra meaning. They’re getting “caught up” in the criminal justice system.
Don’t you just hate it when you get caught up in the criminal justice system!
It’s another reason to get District Attorney Ismael Ozanne into another line of work. His Deferred Prosecution Unit has been deferring away for 30 years, enrolls 600 criminals, and it “doesn’t track outcomes.” And no one is studying recidivism, except for drug treatment program. Even that was “less effective” than such programs elsewhere. (Dane County’s recidivism rate of 62% was 20 points higher than Milwaukee’s. Without statistics to the contrary, one cannot conclude that recidivism would have been any different without diversion.)
Contrast the le-dee-dah approach to Madison alders’ obsessive demands that police produce ever-more reams of data. The Common Council spent $372,000 on a study of the cops, a study that wants beat cops to fill out more forms and their supervisors to compile more reports, as the Blaska Policy Werkes reported early this year.
By the bye, has that boondoggle of a report been shoved down the memory hole? Anything come of it? [UPDATE: The ad hoc committee on police policy and procures has been having difficulty making a quorum!]
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The Squire is not quoting enough idiots!
• Is anyone in California getting this? Governor Moonbeam signs into law a mandate that houses be built with solar, adding about $10,000 to the cost of each home. Meanwhile, the mayor of Los Angeles targets homelessness as his No. #1 issue.
• There goes Milwaukee. The herd of Democrats running for governor of Wisconsin have just ceded their electoral base to Republicans. The leading Democrats told the WI State Journal they would end school vouchers. That will be unwelcome news to the parents of the 26,000 low-income and largely minority students who use vouchers to escape the failed public school system. Rest assured, those parents will be advised of the government monopolists’ payoff to the teachers union. Dems say they’re going to “phase out” school choice. As if that makes any difference.
• Only in the New York Times: “Europe doesn’t have to be Trump’s doormat.” But it can if it chooses to be, right?
• Another guilty white liberal man, caught up in the snare of identity politics. That would be NY Times opinionator David Leonhardt. “I’m not quoting enough women!” he bleats. No doubt, quotas being devised as we write.