San Francisco Fights Crime with Euphemisms: Convicted Felons Are Now 'Justice-Involved Persons'

A used syringe is shown on a sidewalk in San Francisco, Thursday, May 10, 2018. The city of San Francisco hands out millions of syringes a year to drug users but has little control over how they are later discarded and that's contributing to dirty streets and hundreds of complaints. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Politics is all about solving problems. For example, let’s say your city has a high rate of crime. As an elected official, you could take steps to lower the crime rate — put more police on the street, build more prisons, etc. — but that’s just a temporary measure. It won’t solve the problem. You’ll never get rid of it entirely. See, the problem isn’t crime, or criminals. The problem is “crime.” The problem is “criminals.” The very words themselves!


And now, the wokest city on Earth is doing something about it. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News:

Crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language for criminals, getting rid of words such as “offender” and “addict” while changing “convicted felon” to “justice-involved person…”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, from now on a convicted felon or an offender released from custody will be known as a “formerly incarcerated person,” or a “justice-involved” person or just a “returning resident.”

A juvenile “delinquent” will now be called a “young person with justice system involvement,” or a “young person impacted by the juvenile justice system.”

And drug addicts or substance abusers, meanwhile, will become “a person with a history of substance use.”

Doesn’t that sound so much better? If you feel more comfortable saying it, if euphemistic language makes the bad thoughts go away, then it’s even better than dealing with the underlying problems. Why bother changing reality when you can just deny it?

George Carlin explained this phenomenon decades ago:

That was almost 30 years ago, and it’s only gotten worse.

Presumably, this comforting, cushioning language will extend to victims of crime as well. You’re not a murder victim, you’re a “previously living person.” You didn’t get mugged, you’re the “involuntary subject of an alternative banking system.” Those aren’t dirty heroin needles and piles of human excrement all over the sidewalk, it’s an “urban obstacle course.”


Congratulations, San Francisco. You’re no longer a dangerous, filth-ridden hellhole. You’re just differently livable!



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