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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Shakespeare on Crime Prevention

     Taking inspiration from Shakespeare, a Boulder, Colorado city councilman has suggested "banishing" chronic scofflaws creating a nuisance in parks around the city's municipal buildings. Councilman Macon Cowles said in an email to his colleagues that the idea came to him while "my mind wandered," and he wondered what The Bard had to say about crime and social misbehavior.

     Quoting extensively from Romeo and Juliet, Cowles makes the argument that banishing people from Boulder for the same amount of time they might be incarcerated for minor crimes would not only save taxpayers money, but might be more effective at preventing future crimes. [With all due respect to Mr. Shakespeare and Councilman Cowles, crime isn't prevented, it's just moved from one place to another.]…

     Boulder police have issued 646 citations in the area in the past two years for infractions ranging from urinating in the bushes and brawling to failure to appear for court and contempt of court. According to a city staff memo, 11 percent of the defendants were responsible for 34 percent of the citations and arrests….

Greg Campbell, "Colorado City Consideres 'Banishing' People Who Make Trouble," The Daily Caller, February 11, 2014

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