I'm sure my dad is going to have something to say about this post, but I found some interesting statistics while looking for something else this week. I was poking around, looking for county level statistics to create a Washington level "general happiness index." I wasn't planning on tracking it across time, just finding some quick list of the happiest of the counties.
So, crime rates in Thurston County, take a look:
What's going on here is while reported crimes grew at a slow rate between the early 1990 to a few years ago, the total number of criminal sentences by our county courts went way up. What explains this?
Stiffer mandatory sentences? This phenomena may have led to courts imposing stiffer criminal penalties over the last 20 years.