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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:36 AM   #1
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How to reduce crime

So, the Right Wing has long been pushing the model of reducing police forces, making them primarily reactive rather than pro-active, and sending repeat offenders to prison for ever longer sentences, even life sentences for some property crimes. "3 strikes and you're out!" and all that. Making the U.S. the world leader in incarceration, even though violent crime rates are mediocre.

The incarceration rate data is here for those who like to read sources:

http://www.idcr.org.uk/wp-content/up.../WPPL-9-22.pdf

What if a method exists that works better? The following article explains how crime and prison populations can fall at the same time:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/ny...general&src=me

Quote:
“The United States today is the only country I know of that spends more on prisons than police,” said Lawrence W. Sherman, an American criminologist on the faculties of the University of Maryland and Cambridge University in Britain. “In England and Wales, the spending on police is twice as high as on corrections. In Australia it’s more than three times higher. In Japan it’s seven times higher. Only in the United States is it lower, and only in our recent history.”
The quick summary is, take money, and prisoners, from the prison system, and, put policemen, visibly, on the street (some policies also known as community-based policing), and, adding to that, a focus on current "hot spots"-- something new that was hard to do before computerization.

Quote:
But New York diverged from the national trend in the early 1990s, when it began expanding its police force and introduced a computerized system to track crimes and complaints. Officers also aggressively enforced laws against guns, illegal drugs and petty crimes like turnstile jumping in the subways. Arrests for misdemeanors increased sharply.
Quote:
After more than two dozen experiments around the world, criminologists generally agree that hot-spot policing is “an effective crime prevention strategy,” in the words of Anthony Braga, a criminologist at Harvard and Rutgers who led a review of the research literature last year.

Many experts also see it as the best explanation for the crime drop in New York. Although the city’s police did not participate in randomized experiments, they did use computerized crime mapping to focus on hot spots in the 1990s.
Now, I am sure everyone is aware of the controversy regarding the stop-and-frisk aspect of the latest New York policy, but, even without it, the statistics show a reduction in cost and crime:

Quote:
Whether or not other cities adopt New York’s specific stop-and-frisk tactics, social scientists say the rest of the country could benefit by adding police officers and concentrating on hot spots.

Dr. Ludwig and Philip J. Cook, a Duke University economist, calculate that nationwide, money diverted from prison to policing would buy at least four times as much reduction in crime. They suggest shrinking the prison population by a quarter and using the savings to hire another 100,000 police officers.

Diverting that money to the police would be tricky politically, because corrections budgets are zealously defended in state capitals by prison administrators, unions and legislators.

But there is at least one prison administrator, Dr. Jacobson, the former correction commissioner in New York, who would send the money elsewhere.

“If you had a dollar to spend on reducing crime, and you looked at the science instead of the politics, you would never spend it on the prison system,” Dr. Jacobson said. “There is no better example of big government run amok.”
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Make people more wary of commiting crimes. Longer sentences are key to removing these options from people's thinking and making them more rational.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 03:22 AM   #3
Mord
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Easy, sort out the drug laws, treat it as a medical issue and see both crime and the prison population tumble.

I think you'll eventually get there, the DEA and assorted pro-prohibition lobbyists will just kick dragging and screaming all the way.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 04:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Mord View Post
Easy, sort out the drug laws, treat it as a medical issue and see both crime and the prison population tumble.

I think you'll eventually get there, the DEA and assorted pro-prohibition lobbyists will just kick dragging and screaming all the way.
I second that, the "War on Drugs" is not working.

I also think that a society were there is real hope to make a better future for yourself, will produce less crime. (That means to eliminate the causes of poverty)
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 04:19 AM   #5
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There is no drug crime in Singapore.

Dealers are executed.

Users are put thru mandatory rehab, unless they hold enough drugs to be considered a dealer, then see above...
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 04:58 AM   #6
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There is no drug crime in Singapore.

Dealers are executed.

Users are put thru mandatory rehab, unless they hold enough drugs to be considered a dealer, then see above...
Haha, given how much it costs to execute someone in the US you can't even afford such a draconian regime, not that any sane person would want it.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 05:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MICHAELSD View Post
Make people more wary of commiting crimes. Longer sentences are key to removing these options from people's thinking and making them more rational.
Not if they have little to no other options.

The wealth devide needs to start diminishing instead of ever increasing, criminals have to be prepared for re-entry into society and have to get another chance,...


Plenty of things to do that will actually help instead of ever incrasing prison sentences wich only wreate repeat offenders.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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Legalize all drugs, work on social safety nets, and educate people
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:40 AM   #9
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Legalize all drugs, work on social safety nets, and educate people
What do you mean by "work on" social safety nets?
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:47 AM   #10
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What do you mean by "work on" social safety nets?
Get rid of in efficiency , get rid of obamacare and institute an actual national health care, stop sending people to college with loads of debt, etc
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:28 AM   #11
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Get rid of in efficiency
How does one simply "get rid of" inefficiency?

In a large and complex society of competing needs and desires it would seem to me that inefficiency is to a degree "baked into the cake".

I will agree that one always needs to keep an eye on reforming programs to be as efficient as reasonably plausible, but getting rid of it is simply not a realistic goal.

But I quibble.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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How does one simply "get rid of" inefficiency?

In a large and complex society of competing needs and desires it would seem to me that inefficiency is to a degree "baked into the cake".

I will agree that one always needs to keep an eye on reforming programs to be as efficient as reasonably plausible, but getting rid of it is simply not a realistic goal.

But I quibble.
Totally removing it yeah not possible with humans involved, but we can definitely do things to reduce it. I can tell you from my dealings with the VA even, that there is a lot of red tape and other problems that could be removed if somebody just did it. It's part of the solution, though, and that's what is important
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 06:46 PM   #13
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Haha, given how much it costs to execute someone in the US you can't even afford such a draconian regime, not that any sane person would want it.
Justice is very swift in this part of the world. Trials are within weeks of arrests. Sentences are immediate.

There is very little crime other than petty street crime.

The US could learn a great deal about reducing crime by studying how Singapore and Malaysia deal with it,

Nothing draconian about it. Many millions of people live here quite happily and safely.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:09 PM   #14
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The US could learn a great deal about reducing crime by studying how Singapore and Malaysia deal with it,
Like sentencing people to death for just possessing firearms in "gun free zones"?

Now there's an idea the U.S. should adopt.

Too bad I don't support capital punishment.

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Old Jan 27, 2013, 07:45 PM   #15
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Get rid of in efficiency , get rid of obamacare and institute an actual national health care, stop sending people to college with loads of debt, etc
Good luck getting an actual national health care. Obama care was put in place more to try to get some GOP on board and it was originally a GOP idea.

We need all that but sadly I do not see the GOP letting any of it happen.
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Old Jan 27, 2013, 08:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by MICHAELSD View Post
Make people more wary of commiting crimes. Longer sentences are key to removing these options from people's thinking and making them more rational.
this is exactly the opposite of what the article suggests.

the key would be a preventive approach rather that a punitive one
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 10:15 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
There is no drug crime in Singapore.

Dealers are executed.

Users are put thru mandatory rehab, unless they hold enough drugs to be considered a dealer, then see above...
Unfortunately for proponents of such neat schemes, the Singaporean justice system is just as capable of wrongful conviction, corruption, venality and nepotism as any other. Besides, the arbitrary nature of drug classification becomes an obscenity if it capriciously deprives someone of their life.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 10:40 AM   #18
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There is no drug crime in Singapore.

Dealers are executed.

Users are put thru mandatory rehab, unless they hold enough drugs to be considered a dealer, then see above...
Great idea, because capital punishment has put a stop to murders in the US
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:12 AM   #19
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How about the government doesn't kill anyone no matter how right or fair it seems.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:17 AM   #20
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How about the government doesn't kill anyone no matter how right or fair it seems.
That would be nice.
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 11:34 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by MICHAELSD View Post
Make people more wary of commiting crimes. Longer sentences are key to removing these options from people's thinking and making them more rational.
I wonder how many people stopped to read and understand the article. There have been many empirical studies since about 1995 that show the effectiveness of the "hot spot policing" strategy.

The executive summary is that community-based, crime-prevention-oriented policing, with the added new strategy of "hot spot policing", results in both lower cost and lower crime than the "longer sentences" strategy that has been fashionable during the last 30 years.

"Longer sentences" might deter you, but, the average criminal is at best thinking about the odds of getting caught. If the odds appear low, then the outcome is assumed to be not getting caught, not a long sentence.

To respond directly to your point, this question seems to be answered by the fact that most crime is not committed by rational long-term thinkers, but, by impulsive short-term thinkers who have the opportunity. Hot-spot policing puts cops on the beat, near the housing and the accessible crime locations of the criminals, and, it turns out, this has a major impact on the number of crimes committed.

The bottom line is that with the right policing strategy, hiring more police is a more cost-effective strategy than hiring more prison guards.

Last edited by jnpy!$4g3cwk; Jan 28, 2013 at 11:35 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Jan 28, 2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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Justice is very swift in this part of the world. Trials are within weeks of arrests. Sentences are immediate.

There is very little crime other than petty street crime.

The US could learn a great deal about reducing crime by studying how Singapore and Malaysia deal with it,

Nothing draconian about it. Many millions of people live here quite happily and safely.
No thanks. I like my due process just fine, Judge Dredd.
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