It doesn’t happen very often that I find redeeming social value in a column by Nicholas Kristof, but today is one of those days.
Recently, Kristof travelled to Oklahoma to research the mass incarceration of females. Of course, he begins by inveighing against all mass incarceration, but since everyone knows that young males commit far more crimes than do young females, we can easily defend the mass incarceration of males in terms of the concomitant reduction in crime. With female prisoners, the same is probably not the case.
If we decide to release more male criminals from prison we are very likely to see an increase in the crime rate. If we decide to release more female criminals from prison the chances are good that we will not. Besides, if we do the latter, more children will have mothers present in the home.
Of course, a television series called Orange is the New Black has glamorized and even eroticized life in a woman’s prison. The show makes prison life seem cool and hot, though with an occasional instance of violence.
Inexplicably, Kristof does not mention the television show. But, he also does not mention the fact that his argument rests on a yawning division of the sexes.