Pledge drive continues with Carousel’s split show, with guests Michael O’Hear, author of Wisconsin Sentencing in the Tough-On-Crime Era, and Alder Shiva Bidar-Sielaff.
Wisconsin Sentencing provides counterintuitive new findings about crime and punishment. The dramatic increase in U.S. prison populations since the 1970s is often blamed on the mandatory sentencing required by “three strikes” laws and other punitive crime bills. O’Hear shows that the blame is actually not so easy to assign. His meticulous analysis of incarceration in Wisconsin—a state where judges have considerable discretion in sentencing—shows that the prison population has ballooned anyway, increasing nearly tenfold over forty years.