A new trend in criminal-justice reform rationalizes stealing.

Crimes of Survival

The latest fad in criminal-justice activism is the concept of “survival crime.”

The theory holds that the homeless, the poor, and people of color commit property crimes and low-level infractions in order to secure their basic survival. Any enforcement of these laws is thus a violation of their basic human rights and should be relaxed—that is, local governments should stop enforcing any laws that “criminalize homelessness” and “criminalize poverty.”