From the October 8th Economist, the piece “From prison to jail”, which begins:

MIRED in fiscal crisis and usually deemed dysfunctional, California under Governor Jerry Brown has nonetheless surprised itself this year with one big reform. Starting this month, it has begun to send people newly convicted of crimes that are non-violent, non-sexual and non-serious, or “non3” in the jargon, to jails, which are run by county sheriffs (and are normally used as pre-sentencing holding pens), instead of prisons, run by the state.

The innovation here is the abbreviation non3 (non3 in the print version).

A little while back the Economist picked up the label biggish non-oil-producing poor countries (from Arvind Subramanian), which cries out for an abbreviation. This time they’ve hit on an abbreviation, though from what source I don’t know; the article says it’s “in the jargon” (of penology, presumably), but all the hits I’ve found for non3 either are irrelevant or have their source in this very Economist piece. Clearly it’s useful to have a brief way of referring to the conjunction of three negative properties.


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