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‘Woketopia recipe’: AOC’s solution for surging violence is to STOP BUILDING JAILS, but crime-wary critics aren’t buying it

“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Thursday at a press conference in New York.

The congresswoman’s comments came amid surging violent crime in many of the largest US cities, including her native New York. Ironically, she also was speaking just a few days after a man who had been arrested eight times in the past year – and yet still was allowed to roam free on the streets – sucker-punched an Asian woman as she walked down the sidewalk in New York City’s Chinatown neighborhood. The woman was knocked out and hospitalized with facial injuries.

The suspect’s recent arrests involved similarly random and violent attacks on strangers, as well as arson. Not to be outdone, a man busted last Friday for pushing a 65-year-old Asian woman down the stairs of a New York subway station had an even more stunning rap sheet, with 67 past arrests. The city has seen a 353% jump in hate crimes against people of Asian descent so far this year.

Twitter users panned Ocasio-Cortez’s argument, comparing her logic to stopping car accidents by not building cars or improving people’s health by refraining from building  hospitals. One commenter called reducing jail capacity part of a “woketopia recipe to reduce crime,” also including fewer police officers, open borders, elimination of gun rights for law-abiding citizens, and decriminalizing criminal behaviors.

“That’s right, if we had fewer jails, we’d have less crime because the existence of jails literally creates crime out of the ether,” conservative radio host Dana Loesch tweeted.

Comedian Kenny Webster argued that having fewer jails wouldn’t reduce the number of criminals. “It would simply mean the jails we still have would be overcrowded and less safe,” he said. “AOC is advocating for more prison violence and rape.”

Ocasio-Cortez said an absence of mental health services is contributing to violent crime, and jails are being used as “garbage bins for human beings.”

“The answer is to make sure that we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care and overall health care, employment, etc.,” she said. “It’s to support communities, not throw them away.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s anti-jail strategy is at odds with the views of New York City Police commissioner Dermot Shea, who pointed out that the repeat offender who pushed a woman down the stairs was let back out on the streets. “We cannot be chasing our tail, catch and release, catch and release,” he said.

Pointing to the suspect who allegedly knocked out a woman in Chinatown, the New York police union said, “Whether this individual needs mental health services, jail time or both, the answer cannot be to put him right back on the street.”

Part of the problem, according to Shea and other law enforcement advocates, is that bail reforms enacted in New York last year make it tougher for judges to have suspects held in jail while awaiting trial.

“What’s the common denominator – people that are arrested, multiple, multiple, multiple times and released,” Shea said. “Mental illness is woven into this, potentially. We have to do better.”

 

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