Criminology and Economic Theory
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Crime Increases in Sacramento After Deep Cuts to Police Force - New York Times

Crime Increases in Sacramento After Deep Cuts to Police Force - New York Times | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
New York TimesCrime Increases in Sacramento After Deep Cuts to Police ForceNew York TimesBut each year brought more bad news for this city's Police Department.
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San Diego DA’s Prosecution of Pot Attorney Has Sent Chills Through the Legal Community - Voice of San Diego

San Diego DA’s Prosecution of Pot Attorney Has Sent Chills Through the Legal Community - Voice of San Diego | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Lawyers in San Diego and beyond worry the prosecution of a lawyer who represents a marijuana business could force a central tenet of practicing law – attorney-client privilege – to go up in smoke.
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Judges hear appeal of Fairbanks militia leader's conviction

Judges hear appeal of Fairbanks militia leader's conviction | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS—A panel of federal appeals court judges on Wednesday discussed what would happen if they threw out one of the two most serious convictions against former Fairbanks militia leader Schaeffer
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Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Firearms

Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Firearms | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A court upheld a ban that prevents medical marijuana card holders from purchasing guns.
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Kimber Elena Andruss's comment, August 16, 1:06 AM
The interesting thing about this is how far this particular ruling can reach. Do we venture into prescribed opiates? What about people with epilepsy or other illnesses that result in seizures? And how does this impact family members? If my husband has a medical marijuana card, he can't own a firearm, but can I? I don't have a MMC. As more and more states begin embracing legalized marijuana, our federal standards are going to have to adapt as well.
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Filmmaker Sues L.A. County and State Officials Claiming "False Imprisonment"

Filmmaker Sues L.A. County and State Officials Claiming "False Imprisonment" | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
'Not Forgotten' director Dror Soref — who had been accused of a Ponzi scheme before charges were dropped — filed a $40 million lawsuit claiming his initial $2.7 million bail was the result of bias.
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Skid Row Drug Kingpin, Found With $600,000 in $1 Bills, Is Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison

Skid Row Drug Kingpin, Found With $600,000 in $1 Bills, Is Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A Cerritos man whose Skid Row drug-selling operation with another dealer consisted of $1.6 million in cash and more than 15 pounds of cocaine was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Monday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.
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Now we know where most of that panhandling money goes....
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Volkswagen executive pleads guilty in U.S. emissions cheating case

Volkswagen executive pleads guilty in U.S. emissions cheating case | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) executive Oliver Schmidt pleaded guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit in connection with a massive diesel emissions scandal that has cost the German automaker as much as $25 billion.
Rob Duke's insight:
An unusual case where a WCC actually results in an executive being charged with a crime...
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Kimber Elena Andruss's comment, August 16, 1:09 AM
This has been a very interesting case to watch, especially for myself, as I actually owned one of the TDI scandal Jettas. I am fascinated by this exec actually going down for the crime, instead of the company essentially absorbing and moving past the scandal. There have been quite a few people involved that have lost their jobs and even faced criminal charges in this entire debacle. What will be interesting to see is how this impacts the rest of the industry, and how future car scandals or cheats are treated.
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Man charged with murdering brother of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 1981

Man charged with murdering brother of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in 1981 | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Authorities have arrested and charged a man accused of killing the brother of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas 36 years ago in South L.A., prosecutors confirmed Wednesday.
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Twin Peaks killing raises questions about algorithm that helped free suspect

Twin Peaks killing raises questions about algorithm that helped free suspect | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A computer program that assigns risk scores to San Francisco criminal defendants is itself under scrutiny after it helped free a 19-year-old man who, just days later, allegedly gunned down a 71-year-old stranger on Twin Peaks.

[...] in the aftermath of the slaying of Edward French, a photographer and film scout who was killed in a robbery, both the district attorney's office and the public defender's office are expressing caution - saying that while use of the tool may need to be studied and refined, one tragedy doesn't necessarily render it broken.

The city, since May 2016, has been experimenting with the algorithm, which was designed by a foundation in Texas fighting for criminal justice reform and seeks to predict whether a defendant awaiting trial can be released safely without reoffending or fleeing.

According to authorities, the new tool recommended that Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old former resident of Patterson in Stanislaus County, be released through a special pretrial diversion program when he appeared in court July 11 to face charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

[...] the algorithm determined he was a medium public safety and flight risk, officials said, and recommended he be released on condition that he check in routinely with the pretrial diversion unit.

Some in the city's criminal justice system were shocked to see a defendant in Mims' predicament released, whether or not he received a favorable computer score.

The program's creator, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, said researchers developed the tool using data from the criminal case histories of more than 1.5 million people, with an eye on how they performed when released.

"Our country's pretrial justice system relies on judges to determine who stays in jail pending trial and who is released," David Hebert, a foundation spokesman, said in a statement.

The defendant in the New Jersey case had a lengthy criminal record, and like Mims, his latest charge was being a felon in possession of a weapon.

According to the lawsuit, New Jersey law enforcement officers had expressed concern that the algorithm undervalued the danger of cases involving guns.

"It is an objective recommendation, but it is not the final word," said Nancy Rubin, interim executive director of the Pretrial Diversion Project, a nonprofit group funded by the city Sheriff's Department and the mayor's office.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who is representing Mims' co-defendant in the Twin Peaks killing, said the concern is that clients be treated as individuals, not as pieces of a formula.
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Dutch arrest 2 suspects in investigation into tainted eggs

Dutch arrest 2 suspects in investigation into tainted eggs | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Dutch arrest 2 suspects in investigation into tainted eggs
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1 prisoner still loose after peanut butter escape

Sheriff James Underwood says prisoners used peanut butter to change the numbers above a door and trick a new employee into opening another door that led outside.

The prisoners then used their orange jail uniforms and blankets to climb over a fence topped with razor wire.
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Note to self: don't make the jail door numbering system the same color as peanut butter....
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Children can be taken if parents can’t control them, court rules

Children can be taken if parents can’t control them, court rules | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Juvenile courts in California can supervise children whose parents are no longer able to protect or control them, even if the parents have done nothing wrong, the state Supreme Court has ruled. Courts in the state had been divided over whether a parent must be abusive, neglectful or otherwise unfit to trigger a long-standing law declaring the parent’s minor child to be a “dependent” of the juvenile court. The law was intended to protect youths who are “at substantial risk of serious physical harm due to no fault of the parent,” Justice Ming Chin said in the 7-0 decision, issued Thursday. State law allows juvenile courts to supervise minors who are “dependents,” because of their parents’ failure or inability to take care of them, or “delinquents,” because of crime or other conduct such as running away from home or violating curfew. Orders in dependency cases are often directed at both parents and children, while judges in delinquency cases decide whether the youth should be counseled, sent to treatment programs or locked up. The girl in this case, identified as R.T., started running away from home at age 14 and gave birth to a daughter at 15, while falsely accusing her mother of abuse, the court said. In 2014, when R.T. was 17 and pregnant again, a juvenile court judge granted the county’s request to declare her a dependent, saying her mother’s inability to protect her placed her at risk of serious harm.
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Supervisor Tavaglione tells Sheriff Sniff to stop fighting Riverside County’s cost-cutting efforts

Supervisor Tavaglione tells Sheriff Sniff to stop fighting Riverside County’s cost-cutting efforts | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff is getting close to $18 million in extra funding after warning that his department needed as much as $50 million more to avoid deep cuts that could compromise public safety in unincorporated areas.

The money allocated by the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, July 25, came after a tense exchange between Sniff and Supervisor John Tavaglione, who accused Sniff of resisting an ongoing efficiency effort and publicly badmouthing supervisors.

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June 21, 2017 Riverside County’s sheriff wants $50 million more – or he may shut down patrol stations
At issue is how much Sniff’s department is getting in the county’s $5.5 billion budget. Currently, county supervisors are struggling with how to put the county’s finances on a sustainable path that doesn’t draw down savings.

Revenues are growing, but still haven’t matched what they were before the Great Recession of 2007-08. At the same time, the county faces with a mounting list of new, ongoing and inflexible expenses, from a lawsuit settlement requiring more spending on jail inmates’ health care to the potential of having to pay tens of millions more for in-home care for indigent adults.

Spending on public safety consumes roughly three out of every four discretionary dollars. County officials have said that non-public safety departments have been cut to the bone, and more must be done to control public safety costs. To that end, supervisors hired consulting firm KPMG to make county government more efficient and data-driven.

Much of KPMG’s work focuses on the Sheriff’s Department, and the firm has said Sniff can save money by shifting deputies’ schedules and using non-sworn personnel and a telephone system to handle minor, non-emergency calls. An experiment to test some of KPMG’s ideas is underway at the sheriff’s patrol station in Hemet. The Lake Elsinore station will soon be included.

As an elected official, Sniff can’t be fired. While KPMG has praised the sheriff and his staff for their cooperation, Sniff has been skeptical about whether KPMG’s efforts will yield substantial savings.

On Tuesday, KPMG reported that the Hemet station showed improved response times for high-priority calls, although there was a slight lag in the overall wait time for lower-level calls.

Sniff produced his own figures showing wait times for low-level calls – those make up the bulk of calls, he said – increasing from May to July. He also played a voicemail from an unidentified caller who complained about multiple robberies in his neighborhood in recent weeks and having to wait hours for a deputy to respond.
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Real life woes in the continuing recovery from the Great Recession...
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Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail - The New Yorker

Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail - The New Yorker | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
” In 2011, Ray Brescia, a professor at Albany Law School who had studied foreclosure procedures, told Reuters, “I think it’s difficult to find a fraud of this size . . . in U.S. history.” Yet federal prosecutors filed no criminal indictments against major banks or senior bankers related to the mortgage crisis.
Via #OpDejaVu
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#OpDejaVu's curator insight, July 30, 9:50 AM
The moral of this story: If no one prosecutes criminals, they won't go to jail.
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Program: San Diego (Calif.) Prisoner Reentry Program - CrimeSolutions.gov

The program, established by Senate Bill 618, was designed to educate and rehabilitate incarcerated nonviolent felons in an effort to reduce recidivism and revocations to prison. The program is rated No Effects. There was a small but statistically significant impact on program participants’ rates of rearrest. But there was no statistically significant differences on reconviction and return to prison rates between program participants and those who were not in the program.
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Bad news for program funding...
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Does Legal Marijuana Mean More Impaired Drivers? - Times of San Diego

Does Legal Marijuana Mean More Impaired Drivers? - Times of San Diego | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
As more states legalize marijuana, there is a growing concern that more people will drive while high. Experts, however, say it’s too early to tell.
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Drivers hit by big traffic fines get a break under legal settlement

Drivers hit by big traffic fines get a break under legal settlement | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Advocates for California motorists who face mounting fees for traffic tickets have reached a legal settlement under which those who can't pay their fines will be offered alternatives.

The settlement with Solano County Superior Court, which advocacy groups described as a model for other counties, requires the court to notify drivers of affordable alternatives to traffic fines.

"Now we'd like to see counties across California follow Solano County's example and address the exorbitant traffic fines and fees structure that plunges people into a cycle of poverty," said Christine Sun, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which took part in Tuesday's settlement.

Courts across the state have turned to traffic fines and surcharges to fill budget gaps caused by shortages in state funding.

A report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco found that 4.2 million Californians had their licenses suspended between 2006 and 2013 for failing to pay traffic fines, and that poor people were hit the hardest.

Another option was proposed in May by California's chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye: ending criminal punishment for traffic infractions, such as speeding, running a red light or changing lanes without signaling, and moving those cases to the civil court system.
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COC chef instructor charged with embezzlement – Santa Clarita Valley Signal

COC chef instructor charged with embezzlement – Santa Clarita Valley Signal | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
    A chef instructor at College of the Canyons charged with more than a dozen counts including misappropriation of funds, embezzlement of public funds and conflict of interest, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges on which he was arraigned. David Glenn Binkle, 55, identified by prosecutors as the former director of food services …
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'Grizzly,' Mexican Mafia shot caller, gets 13 years: Ramona Gardens terrorized - MyNewsLA.com

'Grizzly,' Mexican Mafia shot caller, gets 13 years: Ramona Gardens terrorized - MyNewsLA.com | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The second-in-command of a Mexican Mafia-linked East L.A. gang that terrorized the Ramona Gardens housing complex has been sentenced to nearly 13 years.
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Prosecutors Accuse Suge Knight, Lawyer of Witness Bribery

Prosecutors Accuse Suge Knight, Lawyer of Witness Bribery | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Suge Knight and his attorney Matthew Fletcher are accused of attempting to orchestrate witness bribery ahead of the rap mogul's murder trial.
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FRIGHTENING: Violent Repeat Offenders Released To Streets Without Posting Bond In New Mexico

FRIGHTENING: Violent Repeat Offenders Released To Streets Without Posting Bond In New Mexico | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Recently-implemented bail reform policies in New Mexico have resulted in violent, repeat offenders returning to the streets to await trial without any requirement to post a bond.
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Suspect in Twin Peaks killing released from jail days earlier

Suspect in Twin Peaks killing released from jail days earlier | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
City officials are now questioning the release of Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old former resident of Patterson (Stanislaus County), who was on probation for burglarizing cars on Twin Peaks.

Mims was booked Monday and appeared in Superior Court on Tuesday to face charges including murder in the July 16 shooting of the film scout, Edward French, which occurred in the early morning during an apparent robbery attempt.

Swart said there is video evidence that Decuir pulled the trigger and that Mims, who had been barred from Twin Peaks by a court order, "made admissions of robbing French of his belongings" to police.

The district attorney's office moved to revoke his probation July 11, but a judge ruled he should be released on what is known as assertive case management, a pretrial program that requires routine check-ins.

The judge had followed a recommendation by the San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project, a nonprofit group funded by the sheriff's department and the mayor's office.

In May 2016, San Francisco began experimenting with a computer algorithm that seeks to improve on the system of setting bail based on alleged crimes, taking into consideration whether a defendant might pose a public safety or flight risk.

The risk-assessment tool, developed by the Texas-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation, weighs a number of factors including the pending charges, the person's age and rap sheet, and their record of showing up to court.

Though District Attorney George Gascón was a proponent of the tool, prosecutors and defense attorneys said they have seen assessments with which they did not agree.

San Francisco police said they linked Decuir and Mims to French's killing while investigating a separate armed robbery that occurred near the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption at Geary and Gough streets on the morning of July 28.
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A Collaborative Vision for Reforming Criminal Justice

A Collaborative Vision for Reforming Criminal Justice | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Recognizing that our local governments can no longer afford to continue performing services that are duplicative or fail to deliver desired outcomes, Spokane County and the city of Spokane have jointly committed to a regional partnership to find a better way. Our mission is to effectively change our predominantly offense-based, punishment-focused criminal-justice system into one that is offender-based and rehabilitation-focused.
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Trevor Norris's comment, August 10, 3:08 AM
I have a lot of family in the Spokane area, so it will be interesting to see if this does happen, and how it happens. Again and again, it seems as though rehabilitation of offenders results in much better long-term effects on the offender. I personally believe that a lot of people know this, however swaying public sentiment from the idea of just locking people up and convincing legislators it is worth the investment presents the biggest challenge. Implementing rehabilitation facilities, programs, staffing, etc. is not cheap by any means, but if you continually have a rising number of people in jails and prisons that almost always will come back, the costs associated in the long run are far greater than the initial investment in a restorative or rehabilitative justice plan.
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Ex-SoCalGas employee warned regulators of ‘potential catastrophic loss of life’ at Aliso Canyon

Ex-SoCalGas employee warned regulators of ‘potential catastrophic loss of life’ at Aliso Canyon | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
State oil and gas regulators approved resuming injections at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility despite a warning by a former Southern California Gas Co. manager over potential “catastrophic loss of life” in the event of a major earthquake, Los Angles County court documents reveal.

The state Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) and the California Public Utilities Commission announced Wednesday that SoCalGas’ underground storage facility is safe to resume limited gas injections to avoid energy shortages in Los Angeles. The decision followed more than a year of inspection and analysis prompted by the largest atmospheric release of natural gas in U.S. history and a subsequent moratorium.
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Harvard Opioid Study Calls for Crackdown on Big Pharma

Harvard Opioid Study Calls for Crackdown on Big Pharma | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
"Weak patenting standards and ineffectual policing" have helped turn the pharmaceutical industry into a key driver of the opioid epidemic, according to a study published in the Harvard Law & Policy Review.
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CSI Lizzie: How Fall River police would handle the Borden case in 2017

CSI Lizzie: How Fall River police would handle the Borden case in 2017 | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FALL RIVER — If Andrew and Abby Borden’s blood were spilled today in the same hatchet-to-head gruesome manner, it would be a very different investigation.
Fall River Police, lights flashing and sirens singing, would descend on the Second Street house with evidence kits and yellow crime scene tape.
Detectives in Tyvek protective suits would dust for fingerprints, collect DNA, and reveal invisible blood spatters under the warm blue glow of Luminol.
There would be search warrants,
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No longer must we be there to have a good chance of catching the perpetrator....
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Trevor Norris's comment, August 10, 3:01 AM
That's for sure. I like how this article compares the old way of doing things with the new way of doing things. Today, as well noted in the article, preserving Crime Scene Integrity is so important. Also, that first 48 is critical when it comes to murders. Even though the police and crime investigators have more technology and knowledge to catch murderers, murderers themselves also have technology and knowledge at their disposal. Anymore, any crimes that involve investigation almost always involve a good ol' cell phone seizure.