In Tried and Convicted I wrote about how Wisconsin’s criminal injustice industrial complex spends staggering sums of money to arrest, charge, prosecute, convict, lockup, and then supervise its citizens—often for the better part of their lives. Our state’s love of punishment and perpetual monitoring is well-known, and stands in stark contrast to other states like our neighbor to the west,
Minnesota. Even conservative states like Idaho
are coming to terms with the “evils of big government” associated with such
irrational policies; the Red States appear downright progressive when compared to Wisconsin. But what crimes, exactly, are Wisconsinites
committing? What justifies such massive expenditures,
year after year, that could otherwise be put to better use?
In an excellent law review article titled The Use of Wisconsin’s Bail Jumping Statute: A Legal and Quantitative Analysis, 2018 Wis. L. Rev. 619, 636, Amy Johnson includes a table listing the “top ten charged offenses in 2016.” I’ve combined a couple of categories to list the top five, below.