The French Define Recidivism Down

Dalrymple reacts to the news that Christiane Taubira, the French minister of justice, is seeking a reduction in prison sentences:

My heart sank; we’ve tried all that in Britain, with results that only an intellectual with years of training to prevent him from being able to see what is in front of his nose would or could find surprising.

Christiane Taubira is a member of a socialist government, and socialists (especially when they are of the rent-seeking middle class variety) are ideologically opposed to the suppression of crime, supposedly out of sympathy for the criminal who usually emerges from an unfavorable social background. They see the criminal as the victim, [if] not quite of his own actions, at least of his own circumstances.

This disregards the fact that not all people in the same circumstances are criminal; but even more importantly that the victims of criminals are overwhelmingly not its richest members in society but the poorest. And since the class of perpetrators is much smaller than the class of victims, many criminals victimizing many people, it follows that willful failure to incapacitate criminals (by, for example, use of electronic bracelets known in advance not to work) is in effect willfully to create victims, principally among the poor.

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