Media surprised that crime drops when more people are sent to prison?

NY Times:

Why Small Rural Counties Send More People to Prison

Prison admissions have risen in large parts of rural and suburban America even as crime has fallen, showing the limits of federal and state reforms.

The new boom in American prisons is happening in mostly white, rural and politically conservative areas.
A former reporter with the Times named Fox Butterfield became somewhat famous for making the same argument.  It is like it never occurs to folks at the Times that the reason crime is dropping is because the criminals have fewer opportunities because they are in prison.  In fact, it would not surprise me to see crime increase as a result of the "reforms" which will put more felons back on the streets.

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