The stories you’ve heard about cities and the drug crisis are wrong

when reporters The fashion industry takes conventional wisdom as fact, don’t look too closely at whether the trends they describe are true, and worst of all, unfashionable. When journalists covering addiction, homelessness, and mental illness do so, it can lead to policy doing great harm, especially when the mainstream media tacitly acknowledges that police and coercion are always the most effective ways to deal with these issues and refuses to take into account the vast amount of research show that this is not the case.

To promote effective policy, journalists and editors need to act more like science journalists than stenographers—whether implicit or explicit, accidental or intentional—support political campaigns that use ignorance to create fear.

Hard to find a better example than Nellie Bowles’ recent question prose exist atlantic organization, which considers San Francisco a “failed city,” largely because liberal policies fuel addiction and mental illness. These policies have persisted, she argues, because local politicians refuse to confront the utopian but well-meaning delusions of hippies and their descendants, who just want to go with the flow. She also claimed that the recall of progressive district attorney Chesa Boudin from the June 7 election was a sign that the city was finally waking up from that disorientation.

Bowers’ work is far from the only one that fails to see evidence of the effectiveness of various policies when they are discussed.In a 24-hour period in June, a columnist Washington post debate “Pudding’s recall proves Democrats have lost public trust in crime” — without mentioning data on which policies are most effective.a similar News Analysis from New York Times It is also mentioned that there is no actual data.one left New York Magazine prose The question of whose preferred approach is backed up by evidence and who isn’t on “Chesabudan and the collapse of urban left politics” likewise ignores.

Bowles wrote that her hometown “has become so dogmatically progressive that maintaining political purity requires accepting — or at least ignoring — devastating consequences.” She sees the city as de facto regulated The injection site in Tenderloin was described as a place that looked like “a young man was killed easily on the pavement, surrounded by half-eaten packed lunches”.

Her arguments fell apart in the face of scientific data. Hundreds of studies support the “harm reduction” approach used in clean-needle programs and supervised injection sites — but none suggest it makes drug use or civic life worse.

In fact, harm reduction was deliberately adopted based on research evidence, not a 1960s cliché. Further undermining her analysis, research overwhelmingly illustrates the counterproductive nature of the use of police and coercion in the first place.On the one hand, red states with old-school tough prosecutors actually have worse crime rate Than liberals like California.

However, since Powers apparently assumes harm reduction strategies because they look trendy, she ignores this research basis. (Ironically, this is the kind of blind method she allegedly used to criticize policymakers in San Francisco.) She and many other journalists argue that the failure to reduce harm was actually a failure to criminalize.

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