US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson is flat out wrong.
There is a study that proves it.
Call me a techie. It’s factual. Tech is fascinating. My bent toward tech, science and math has gotten me into much trouble in this life, but also placed me in very interesting situations at times. Even the early tech, when phone PBX & other switches could be tricked with correctly pitched tones, was fascinating. Tech is my groove.
In the early 1970s, I worked as a section supervisor for a ‘coding group’ for the Washington State contribution to the US Federal Base Expectancy Study. This was a study of prison records of all states to establish a ‘base expectancy level’ for prison ‘success’.
As a coding group, we worked at the Parole Board offices in Olympia, the state capitol. We were threatened, and bombed for this work. Prisoners and their supporters did not want this work to be completed. They feared it, IMO, for all the wrong reasons.
As a coding group, we were tasked to read (for content) the files for every prisoner in the state going back to 1912. We had to extract answers to 325 questions. Much of this was just biographical. We need to code all the elements of their life, their crime and their trials and subsequent prison life.
The idea, as presented to us ‘coders’ doing the work, was to find out what crimes, and what life experience, contributed to a ‘prison success’, which itself was basically defined as not going back.
As supervisor for our state’s effort at the coding level, I had to read through all the coders’ work & cross check against a sample of their records. So each of 20 coders would go though hundreds of records in depth, and each week I had to read through thousands.
The results of the study, when tabulated, provided the ‘base expectancy’ of the ‘prison sentence guidelines’ now at issue in the SCOTUS hearings.
There were all kinds of useful things determined by this study.
A few stuck with me.
Never get into Car Theft for money. The category of crime is like a sucking vacuum leading to greater offenses & a bad life. It starts people on a bad path. Note how common a cliché it is that is used extensively in the movies…. Young kid takes one wrong step stealing a car, and it leads to a bad end.
Other kinds of theft, not the same path.
Murder for passion rarely repeats. Mostly they will live clean thereafter.
For some crimes, there is no redemption. Not that there is no hope for redemption, but rather in our examination of the records of Washington State prisons going back to 1912, there were no, to very few, cases of redemption for the people who committed these categories of crimes. That is, they were recidivists, for life, even absent a life sentence. Many did not get life sentences, but died in prison nonetheless.
These categories of crimes included Murder for Money, unlike those who killed from emotion, the calculating killer does not do well in prison, yet, constantly does something to get sent back.
The absolute worst category for ‘success’ in prison was pedophilia.
Child molesters were never shown in the study to have achieved rehabilitation. The most common pattern was incarceration in another state for a new offense usually with in 5 months of release from custody in this state without regard to parole restrictions. Not all were repeat offenders that quickly, but a majority were to the extent that it was a clearly established component of the guidelines derived from the study.
Child molesters are repeat offenders. Always.
Without regard to how you think about the causes, child molesters are driven. Hormonal or demons, they are driven to offend, and judges’ opinions are not based on data, nor are they able to see patterns going back decades. Their job is to find fact in law and adjudicate based on those facts in appropriate law, not to second guess statisticians and hundreds of people working over several years to compile the study across all 50 states.
The guidelines that the SCOTUS candidate so blithely dismisses as ‘out of date’ proved conclusively that categories of crimes transit over generations. That is, the same outcome of pattern existed for criminals in WA state who stole horses for money, as it expressed in those who stole cars for money. The nature of the crime of ‘transportation theft’ in 1912, led to the same predictable outcome as in 1934, or in 1947, or 1965. Presumably it will also be the same when the transportation theft involves anti-gravity vehicles.
Human nature, and karma, don’t change that much over generations.
Child molesters will always repeat, and always escalate. Studies prove it. I know, I worked on one.