MaterialAndrea Sullivan: The costs of Draconian anti-crime policies overwhelm the benefits
(A) I'm old enough to remember New York in the 1980s. It was violent, exhilarating and sometimes desolate. As the crack epidemic laid waste to African-American neighbourhoods, in particular, the city felt like it must have in the gang-ridden New York of the 19th century. The number of murders in the city kept rising until, in 1990, a modern record of 2254 victims was marked. The city was ungovernable, we were told. And then
Rudy Giuliani governed it.
(B) New police tactics, attention to the small things in urban life that can entrench crime, such as vandalism and graffiti, and a draconian emphasis on mandatory minimum sentences made a big difference. By 2005, as the prison population soared, the number of murders was just 539. And the murder and crime rates kept going down. Even when the recession hit, crime did not revive. Now, there are more than 100 US cities with
a crime rate higher than the Big Apple's.
(C) That is the critical context for what's happening now. Last week, a federal judge declared a key police tactic called "stop and frisk" - the searching of young men in high-crime areas for guns and drugs - unconstitutional.
(D) Who lives in those areas? Mainly black and Hispanic New Yorkers. And that meant, eventually, that black
and Hispanic young men were all too easily the main target for the policy. The statistics tell the tale. One way to see whether race, rather than genuine suspicion of illegality, was the criterion for stopping someone is to see how many of those stopped were in fact carrying a gun or drugs. Between 2004 and last year, New York police stopped and frisked black New Yorkers 2.3 million times and white New Yorkers 435,000 times. the black suspects were found to be carrying drugs or guns or other weapons about 16,000 times. In other
words, 143 innocent black New Yorkers were stopped and frisked for every 27 innocent white New Yorkers. This huge discrepancy can only be interpreted as racial profiling.
(E) More to the point, the number of people stopped and frisked rose by a staggering 600 per cent in the past decade although the crime rate was reaching record lows. If black citizens are targeted disproportionately, they understandably feel singled out only because of their race. White youngsters in the
hip nightclubs of lower Manhattan routinely have ecstasy or a cannabis joint in their pockets and are almost never stopped. But a young black kid with a joint in his pocket in the Bronx is a sitting duck. If he is found guilty, his future is ruined by drug laws that give him a jail sentence and a criminal record. This unfairness causes resentment, even if it can reduce crime rates even more.
(F) My diagnosis: the anti-crime pendulum has clearly swung too far. The goal in a free society is not to get
rid of crime without creating a police state. So it's good news that the turning of the tide in New York has been matched by a similar broad backtrack across the country. Many Republican southern states with very high incarceration rates have begun to cut costs by jailing fewer non-violent drug offenders. And last week the federal government announced that there would no longer be minimum sentences for first-time non-violent drug offenders in federal jails.
(G) OF course, generally, the US is still another universe when it comes to incarceration rates. There are about 720 people in jail per 100,000 Americans. But even in this hard-on-crime country there comes a point at which the soial and financial costs of draconian anti-crime policies overwhelm the benefits. To be in favor of the crackdowns that the mayor of New York City ordered in the 80s and 90s does not mean you have to support them long after they have resolved the problems of their time. In that chaotic crime-ridden era,
Giuliani was right. But today the cost of mass incarceration, the toll of lives ruined and the dangers of racial profiling loom larger.
Aus: Andrew Sullivan: The costs of Draconian anti-crime policies overwhelm the benefits, https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-costs-of-draconian-anti-crime-policies-overwhelm-the-benefits/news-story/4b848cfaee7359b3b48c9d1b4ec48b45?sv=454ed2c5ae6e166fef673981f2a8531f, 19.08.2013
Task III: Mixed Reading
Fill in the gaps with words from the corresponding passages from paragraphs A, B and G of the text - only one word per line.
Note: The summary does not always follow the order of the text. Please aösp provide the number of the line in which you have found the word/expression.
Throughout the 1980s, the murder rate in New York City increased, mainly due to a (l. $\qquad$). It peaked on 1990, when more than 2000 murders were counted. to solve the crime problem, the (l. $\qquad$) of the city took harsh measures. For example, very strict (l. $\qquad$) prison terms were introduced. The consequence: rates (l. $\qquad$) while the number of crimes, including murders, went down. And the figures stayed low. Even during the economic downturn after 2007 crime did not increase again.
Therefore, in his conclusion, the author says that the crime problem has been (l. $\qquad$). That is why he calls for a return to less draconian crime prevention policies. He says that nowadays the disadvantages of those policies are much greater than the (l. $\qquad$).
Short-Answer Questions and Sentence Completion
Answer the following questions with words from paragraphs D-F only.
How does the writer support his argument that "stop and frisk" is unfair?
with the help of
When people are stopped and frisked because they are black, it is called .
Which expression does the author use to describe a person who is very likely to be picked on by the police?
Name one of the expressions the writer uses in paragraph F to describe the radical change in anti-crime policy.
Which group of people benefits from the new ideas concerning incarceration?
Throughout the 1980s, the murder rate in New York City increased, mainly due to a crack epidemic (l. 2). It peaked on 1990, when more than 2000 murders were counted. to solve the crime problem, the mayor (l. 5) of the city took harsh measures. For example, very strict minimum (l. 7) prison terms were introduced. The consequence: rates soared (l. 8) while the number of crimes, including murders, went down. And the figures stayed low. Even during the economic downturn after 2007 crime did not increase again.
Therefore, in his conclusion, the author says that the crime problem has been resolved (l. 39). That is why he calls for a return to less draconian crime prevention policies. He says that nowadays the disadvantages of those policies are much greater than the benefits (l. 37).