Social Question

stanleybmanly's avatar

What will happen to the crime rate when the homeless realize they are guaranteed a better standard of living in jail than out on the streets?

Asked by stanleybmanly (23836points) 1 month ago

After all, the Constitution forbids cruel and usual punishment.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

37 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Getting three meals a day in jail is not a new thing. Jail has a lot of downsides.

stanleybmanly's avatar

But considering the variability of the weather, the primary disincetive to living in jail is probably the lack of “affordable” access to drugs.

JLeslie's avatar

What?! How about rape, violence, hardly any time outside, and someone else controlling your entire day? Or, are your criminals going to white collar prisons?

stanleybmanly's avatar

So you are arguing that the jails are in direct and open violation of the Constitution? Or are rape and violence no longer “cruel or unusual”?

kneesox's avatar

Nobody wants to be locked up where you have no power over what happens to you and you can’t touch the grass or see the sky and anytime they want, three big guys can come in your cell and beat you up while everybody listens to you scream and they do nothing.

You can get drugs though.

And better standard of living, say that again after you sample the food.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@stanleybmanly Isn’t talking about your average citizen but broke homeless people that have no shelter and very little to eat,and to them jail might be better than what they are living right now.

filmfann's avatar

They will lose their cell phone, and the freedom to go where they want.

cheebdragon's avatar

Your question is a few decades late.

janbb's avatar

It isn’t happening now so what makes you suppose it will happen? This question seems like a solution in search of a problem.

JLeslie's avatar

A very close friend of mine called her ex-husband to warn him the police were going to arrest him if he didn’t pay the child support he owed. His answer was, “I’ll get three squares a day.” He got put in jail, and 48 hours later he made a payment to her. Wasn’t as fun as he thought I guess.

zenvelo's avatar

“3 hots and a cot” is not a better standard of living. Jail food is pretty damn awful, and so are the steel bunks. And in jail you can’t go to the bathroom in the bushes or behind a car, but right out in the open.

Also, this question categorizes “the homeless” as a homogenous group, but many homeless do not want to live indoors or in group settings.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It happens here all the time, since we only have a few overnight shelters and warming stations in winter. They’ll get arrested for fighting or some misdemeanor. Sometimes they just want a rest, three hots and a cot.

rebbel's avatar

Do you how much it costs to put, and keep, a criminal in prison, per day?
Me neither, but it’s much money (I’ve read several times (but my memory is like a sieve)).
Better to build a few hundred thousand housrs/apartments for that money and house (most of) them that way.
That way they’re off the streets, they have a house, and freedom, and society see some of them make a new chapter in their life and contribute to the economy (and that of themselves).

janbb's avatar

@rebbel In some (few) places here they are building tiny house communities for the homeless. As you say, a much better and cheaper idea.

JLeslie's avatar

@rebbel Absolutely. Although, that doesn’t necessarily help feeding the homeless. We also need free or subsidized housing in moderately affluent neighborhoods or the free housing tends to become slums in the US, an unfortunate reality that does not have to be the case. We could put more attention into maintaining the neighborhoods and supporting the community in a way that keeps it safer, good schools for the children, and treatment for mental health problems. We need much much better options for people with mental health issues where they don’t feel confined and are safer.

kritiper's avatar

There isn’t enough room in the jails for all of the homeless, and the homeless that are yet to be.

Inspired_2write's avatar

One city tried and housed quite a few homeless in a large closed down indoor sports arena
recently and now that the weather is much warmer and more are vaccinated they were

released only a few left behind enormous damages that cost the city a thousand per window to fix.

Graffiti everywhere, modern toilets plugged, damaged badly.

This was the thank you from some ungrateful people.

link to that article:
https://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/convention-centre-sees-little-damage-after-acting-as-homeless-shelter-for-5-months-1.5419763

zenvelo's avatar

@Inspired_2write “Ungrateful” for being warehoused in an abandoned sports arena, yet the link in your reply says there was only very minor damage needing repair. Maybe you could be a little less judgmental about people who need shelter.

janbb's avatar

^^ Yes, the article says there wasn’t much damage at all.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@zenvelo @janbb
Wasn’t much damage!
Damage under $200,000 was stated and it was deliberate by some, not all that were housed .
Judgmental? and YOU aren’t judgmental in reply?

What did you think that article was stating in the first place?
It was stating in clear language that a better way needs to be figured out.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I don’t believe we are actually aware of the true extent of the problem. The visibly homeless are of course concentrated in the major LIBERAL cities, particularly those noted for moderate weather. But the visibly homeless everywhere almost certainly comprise the population responsible for the epidemic of petty crimes like shoplifting and auto break ins and auto thefts. Out here, the theft of cars and particularly vans both personal and commercial by people seeking to live in them is forcing insurance rates toward the moon. I believe most of those who are visibly homeless on the sidewalks or in tents are almost invariably druggies, chronic alcoholics, or mentally impaired. But I also believe that across this country the numbers of homeless among us that we DON’T see probably exceed to a considerable extent those who comprise the visible blight. Prior to the pandemic, when I was really getting around the city, I was constantly surprised by the ingenuity and adaptation of people in both coping with and concealing their homelessness. There are tents hidden on the roofs obscured from view on both empty and sometimes occupied commercial properties. Any vacant property, anywhere not physically monitored nor inspected—unguarded supposedly empty shipping containers, unused municipal properties. I have a friend who allows his former boss to sleep on a cot in his detached tool shed. There are lots parking lots throughout the city where Uber and Lyft drivers sleep and live in their vehicles off duty. Minivans and SUVs are apparently useful for this. For some revelation of the true extent of homelessness, you need only park near one of the missions or shelters providing meals for the down and out and just observe the parade of the lunchtime clients obviously dressed for work. But the long and the short of it is that those of the homeless with the substance abuse issues are fully aware that the city has neither the jail cells nor cops enough to arrest them all for such crimes as shoplifting, loitering, public urination,etc. But I can promise the rest of you wherever you live and whether you know it or not, as with everything else in this country, whatever appears to plague us in this town will be visiting you sooner than you think.

Jaxk's avatar

We can’t afford to waste our jail cells on petty crimes like theft, assault, Property damage, etc. we need them for the more egregious crimes like not wearing a mask.

ragingloli's avatar

Genius! How did no one come up with this in the thousands of years that homelessness existed?

@Jaxk
Nah, antimaskers go straight to the firing squad.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Source link to a better way to combat homelessness.
https://www.washingtonpolicy.org/library/doclib/Stark-How-to-solve-the-homeless-problem-in-Seattle-.pdf

“What other communities have done to successfully solve the
homeless problem.
Elected officials in other cities have been successful in getting homeless people
off the streets and delivering the public housing, health, and counseling services
they need.
Leaders in San Diego, in a joint public and private effort, built barracksstyle shelters on government property. At a relatively low cost of $4.5 million,
the shelters could house 1,000 individuals. The city then set up bus services to
transport the residents to downtown treatment facilities and jobs. The shelters
initially got 700 homeless individuals off the San Diego streets.
Officials in Houston combined increasing services for the homeless with a
zero-tolerance policy toward camping in public spaces, drug use, petty crime,
and panhandling. Through these actions, the city was able to reduce its homeless
population by 60 percent.
A mix of COMMENSENCE law enforcement, securing public spaces for safe use by
the community, protecting victims of theft, property crimes, and domestic violence
and providing public health and housing services to those who need them led to a
more caring and humane response to homelessness in these cities”

zenvelo's avatar

@Inspired_2write A direct quote from your own link:

“He estimated repairs to the centre – consisting of due renovations, and “cosmetic work” like replacing glass or other fixtures – would cost fewer than six figures and had been budgeted for.”

“Fewer than six figures…” means less than 100,000. In your own labeling of the homeless as “ungrateful” you inflate that to near 200,000. The homeless don’t owe you any thanks.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ragingloli rather than the firing squad, they have shown through example the fast track to an early grave. Which is fine by me. It’s only their propensity to drag the rest of us in with them that I find annoying

stanleybmanly's avatar

@janbb If it isn’t happening now, the idea that you can now be detained repeatedly for repeated misdemeanors without fear of prosecution has certainly taken hold.

Jaxk's avatar

@stanleybmanly – While shooting people that annoy you certainly seems like a reasonable response, it is a bit difficult to codify into law.

Smashley's avatar

Drug abuse, mental disorder and alcoholism are much more often caused by homelessness than the other way around. Nothing makes you want to drink like a night on yhe street. If a middle class person slips into addiction, there are systems of support, family, and rehab, suspended sentences etc, to get back on track. A person experiencing homelessness, is where they are because they are poor and something has pushed them off the knife’s edge and into the abyss. Poverty leads to interactions with police leads to convictions leads to lifelong poverty leads to generational poverty.

And as bad as homelessness is, in 150+ years of the prison industrial complex in America, people still only choose jail when it’s a choice between that or literal death.

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^^^ @Smashley In my 35+ years around people in recovery, I have never once heard a person attribute their drinking or drug use to being homeless.

But I have heard countless stories of people finding themselves homeless because of their drinking or drug use.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Jaxk There’s no need to shoot them since they’re apparently hell bent on suicide.

Smashley's avatar

@zenvelo – whatever your interpretation of your own subjective experience, what are you saying? That the root of homlessness is moral failure, and not poverty?

zenvelo's avatar

@Smashley No, because alcoholism and addiction are not moral failures.

jca2's avatar

Life on the street has its own problems, and life in jail has its problems too. I think some may struggle to maintain their independence and live life in the streets, and others may find that gets very tiring and look for a break by a stint in jail. It’s almost impossible to lump everyone together, by saying “this is easier than that and that’s what they’re going to choose.”

Smashley's avatar

@zenvelo – ok. Agreed. But you are saying that addiction and mental illness are the better indicators than poverty of likelihood to experience homelessness, which is some objective bs.

zenvelo's avatar

@Smashley Quit putting words in my mouth. I did not say that. I said “never once heard a person attribute their drinking or drug use to being homeless.”

But part of the unmanageability of an alcoholic/addict’s life and hitting bottom may be losing shelter. And don’t give me any claptrap about “middle class alcoholics having support”. That support evaporates as the alcoholic spins out of control.

Homelessness is not strictly an issue of poverty as you state. it is cause by a number of factors, each needing to be addressed on their own terms.

Inspired_2write's avatar

@zenvelo
I inflated it in calculation error, not to prove a point.
I am not against homeless people .
It is rather people that would destroy property on purpose that is unreasonable.

Its like “biting the hand that feeds you” of which this situation brings up.

By destroying any assistance that is given to help they in fact waste the very resource that could help them?

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