In this year's Book Review issue, Jeffrey Bellin reviews my book, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform, and he finds much to disagree with. I appreciate the editors of the Law Review providing me with the opportunity to correct a significant error he makes when discussing some of my data. In the book, I use data from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to show that prosecutors filed increasingly more felony cases over the 1990s and 2000s, even as crime fell. Bellin makes two primary claims about how I used this data. The first critique is that I overlooked a fundamental change in how the data was gathered starting in 2003, and the second is that I ignore small, on-going changes in the data over the whole sample period. I can summarize my reply succinctly: the first claim is simply wrong, and while the second concern raises a point worth considering, its impact is far more minor than Bellin's Review suggests.
John P. Pfaff,
Prosecutors Matter: A Response to Bellin’s Review of Locked In,
Mich. L. Rev. Online
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr_online/vol116/iss1/11