The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

Ignore Rolling Stone’s Dangerously Naive Ideas About ‘A Cop-Free World’

| January 8, 2015

In The Federalist yesterday, Right on Crime policy analyst Derek Cohen tackles Rolling Stone’s unsurprisingly uninformed and overheated argument against police officers.

Few individuals outside of the music editorial realm consider Rolling Stone a reliable source of journalistic content. In recent years the publication’s rank amateurism has been made patently evident in its coverage of the nation’s criminal justice system. Whether a quixotic exercise in the apologetics of a butcher or whole-cloth fabrication of a serious crime, the magazine has managed to persistently reestablish “rock bottom.”

There was little surprise, then, when a piece entitled “Policing is a Dirty Job, But Nobody’s Gotta Do It: 6 Ideas for a Cop-Free World” appeared in mid-December. Author José Martín, the writer who brought you an impassioned defense of arson and destruction, suggests six policies and programs that would eliminate the need for law officers.

Superficially, a few of these suggestions have merit. Some are even empirically supported and actively advocated by conservative reform efforts. However, it takes little more than a cursory glance to see that Martín’s advocacy for these reforms is based more on their view through a filter—one established by clinging to a pre-established narrative—than upon any critical reading.

Continue reading at The Federalist.


DEREK M. COHEN is Director of Right on Crime and the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Cohen graduated with a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University. He went on to complete an M.S. degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati, where he also recently completed his Ph.D. dissertation on the long-term costs and outcomes associated with correctional programming. His academic work can be found in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management and the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology and The Oxford Handbook on Police and Policing, and has scholarly articles currently under review. He has presented several papers to the American Society of Criminology, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the American Evaluation Association on the implementation and outcomes of various criminal justice policy issues. Prior to joining the Foundation, Cohen was a research associate with University of Cincinnati’s Institute of Crime Science. He also taught classes in statistics, research methods, criminal procedure, and corrections.