The OC Register recently reported that Orange County has seen an increase in crime of 23 percent over the past year. Recently, President Obama has called on law enforcement officials and politicians to consider investing more aggressively in rehabilitation rather than simple incarceration. Perhaps it is time that Orange County follows the president’s suggestion. Whether the County does or not, it needs to do something different; nearly 65% of California inmates who are released, including many in Orange County, end up right back in jail in less than 3 years, according to the California Innocence Project.    

With so many reforms to the law in recent years, there has not been enough attention paid to rehabilitation. Some legislation has been extremely smart but some has not been far reaching enough. Though many citizens, politicians, and law enforcement officials advocate a “get tough on crime” stance, we need to get smart on crime. This may include a massive investment in rehabilitation and crime prevention.