Criminology and Economic Theory
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How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico

How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs to Get Its Way in Mexico | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Wal-Mart de Mexico was an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering large payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited, an examination by The New York Times found.
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Mat-Su Borough emergency director resigns

Bill Gamble became director after a major shake-up at the borough emergency services department and now says he is leaving to pursue a family project in the private sector.
Rob Duke's insight:
Here's an example of a Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness job where you're not on the "pointy end".
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15 Insane Things That Correlate With Each Other

15 Insane Things That Correlate With Each Other | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Why do these things correlate? These 15 correlations will blow your mind. (Is this headline sensationalist enough for you to click on it yet?)
Rob Duke's insight:
Be careful with studies that mistake correlation for causation.
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Drug users stealing high-end grocery items such as meat and baby formula to fund addictions: Calgary police

Drug users stealing high-end grocery items such as meat and baby formula to fund addictions: Calgary police | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Calgary police say they are seeing an increase in food theft, including cases where thousands of dollars in grocery items are sold through organized crime rings
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Banyan: Asia is still just saying no to drugs | The Economist

Banyan: Asia is still just saying no to drugs | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
“FOR the first few days,” explains Aki, a young man who helps run a drug rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, in northern Myanmar, “some of them try to run away. So we have to keep them like this.” A young man, naked except for a tattered pair of shorts, lies prone on a filthy mattress, one leg locked in a wooden device resembling medieval stocks. He sweats and shakes, like many suffering heroin withdrawal. Dozens of other men mill around the clinic: a dimly lit, mattress-lined, hangar-like building reeking of sweat and foul breath. Beyond the back door is a much smaller, concrete-floored room with a wooden bath, a squat toilet and, next to it, a tiny padlocked cell crammed with four painfully skinny men: they, too, had tried to escape.

The men receive no medication; treatment consists solely of herbal baths and Bible study (many Kachin are Baptist). For the first 15 days of their three-month stay, they receive no counselling because, as Aki explains: “They never tell the truth, because they are addicts.” Aki’s boss, the Reverend Hsaw Lang Kaw Ye, takes an equally dim view of his region’s many opium farmers: he is part of a citizens’ group that cuts down their crop. Asked if he provides the farmers with any compensation, he scoffs: “We don’t give them anything. We just destroy opium fields.”

This attitude is typical of drug policy in much of Asia: needlessly severe and probably ineffective. According to Harm Reduction International, a pressure group, at least 33 countries have capital punishment on the books for drug offences, but only seven are known to have executed drug dealers since 2010. Five are in Asia (the other two are Iran and Saudi Arabia).

Off with their heads

In Singapore, capital punishment is mandatory for people caught with as little as 15 grams of pure heroin. The arrival cards foreign visitors must fill in at Singaporean immigration posts warn, in red block capitals: “DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS UNDER SINGAPORE LAW”. Singapore may kill fewer people than it used to—between 1994 and 1999 no country executed more people relative to its population—but its executioners are not idle: less than two months ago a Nigerian and a Malaysian were hanged for trafficking cannabis and heroin respectively.

Singapore’s neighbours, Malaysia and Indonesia, also execute drug offenders. Indonesia’s previous president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, reportedly disliked the death penalty, and imposed an unofficial moratorium on executions from 2008 to 2013. Joko Widodo, his successor, has no such qualms: since taking office in 2014 he has approved the execution of 18 drug traffickers, and has pledged to show “no mercy” to anyone in the business.

The Philippines ended capital punishment in 2006, but its new president, Rodrigo Duterte, has found a workaround: killing people without the bother of a trial. Since taking office six months ago, more than 6,200 suspected drug dealers or users have been killed in his anti-drug campaign. While his bloody drug war has drawn criticism from human-rights activists in the Philippines and abroad, it remains wildly popular among ordinary Filipinos. The ten-member Association of South-East Asian Nations is committed to eradicating drug use, processing and trafficking by 2020—an implausible goal, especially since the Golden Triangle, the region where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet, produces a hefty share of the world’s opium.

Harsh penalties for drug offences are common across Asia. The sorts of alternatives now favoured in the West, such as diverting addicts to effective treatment programmes instead of trying them and saddling them with criminal records, are virtually non-existent. Several countries require drug offenders to enter rehabilitation programmes, but these are often like prison. Staff at rehab centres in Vietnam have reportedly beaten inmates and forced them to toil in the fields; guards in Cambodia have reportedly raped female inmates.

Asia’s harsh anti-drug policies are falling out of step with the rest of the world. Marijuana for recreational use is now legal in eight American states; 28 have legalised it for medical use. Dozens of countries have decriminalised marijuana consumption. Heroin is available on prescription in several European countries. The rich world increasingly treats addiction as an illness rather than a crime.

These trends have Asia’s drug warriors worried. Last April the UN General Assembly convened a special session on drugs. The previous time it did so, in 1998, it vowed to make the world drug-free by 2008. It later moved the target date back to 2019—the year by which Canada now wants to set up a legal market for cannabis for recreational use. At the UN meeting Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, urged the world to “move beyond prohibition”. Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, Singapore’s fearsome law and home-affairs minister, was unmoved: “Show us a model that works better,” he told the general assembly, “that delivers a better outcome for citizens, and we will consider changing. If that cannot be done, then don’t ask us to change.”

Mr Shanmugam has a point: in Singapore, drug consumption is admirably low. But Singapore is small, with secure borders, little corruption, effective anti-drug education and laws that allow warrantless searches and detention without trial. In poorer and less well-run countries the consequences of prohibition have been depressingly predictable: prisons packed with low-level offenders, corruption and thriving black markets. Demand remains strong: between 2008 and 2013 the amount of methamphetamine seized in East Asia, South-East Asia and Oceania quadrupled. Eventually, Asia may reach the same conclusion as much of America, Europe and Latin America: that the costs of prohibition outweigh the benefits. But for now, as Mr Duterte’s popularity attests, drug wars are good politics.
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How businesses are taking marijuana products mainstream

How businesses are taking marijuana products mainstream | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Companies are eschewing the head shop vibe and embracing retail principles to market marijuana products to consumers.
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Why the Problem with Learning Is Unlearning

The process of unlearning has three parts.

First, you have to recognize that the old mental model is no longer relevant or effective. This is a challenge because we are usually unconscious of our mental models. They are the proverbial water to the fish. In addition, we might be afraid to admit that the existing model is growing outdated. We have built our reputations and careers on the mastery of these old models. Letting go can seem like starting over and losing our status, authority, or sense of self.
Second, you need to find or create a new model that can better achieve your goals. At first, you will probably see this new model through the lens of the old. Many companies are ineffective in their use of social media because they still think of it as a channel for distributing a message. They haven’t made the mental shift from one-to-many to many-to-many. Social is best thought of as a context rather than a channel.
Third, you need to ingrain the new mental habits. This process is no different from creating a new behavioral habit, like your diet or golf swing. The tendency will be to fall back into the old way of thinking and therefore the old way of doing. It’s useful to create triggers that alert you to which model you are working from. For example, when you are talking about your customers, catch yourself when you call them “consumers” — this corresponds to a transactional mindset. Find a word that reflects a more collaborative relationship. The shift in language helps to reinforce the shift in mindset.
The good news is that practicing unlearning will make it easier and quicker to make the shifts as your brain adapts. (It’s a process called neuroplasticity.) You can see this process at work in an experiment by Destin Sandler and his “backwards bicycle.” Toward the end of the video you can see the unlearning process at work. One thing to look for is how the process itself is exponential. One moment he can’t ride the bike, and then the next moment he can. So as you begin unlearning, be patient with yourself — it’s not a linear process. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” In this time of transformative change, we need to be conscious of our mental models and ambidextrous in our thinking. Sometimes the incremental models of barriers to entry, linear campaigns, and hierarchical controls will be the right ones. But we need to unlearn these models and replace them with exponential models based on network effects, brand orbits, and distributed networks. The place to start is by unlearning how we think about learning.
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Ikea Is A Nonprofit, And Yes, That's Every Bit As Fishy As It Sounds

Ikea makes billions tax-free by operating the world's largest "charity." Here's how.
Rob Duke's insight:
Ikea is one of the best examples of institutions at work.  You'd think this is a furniture company, but no, it's a non-profit that is tax exempt, in part, because of its mission to promote art throughout the world.

Yes, really.  The family that owns IKEA created several such businesses to manage its trust assets (IKEA just happens to be the household name).

When I was a kid, I went to junior high and secondary school where you could work part-time.  I worked as a cabinet maker during some of this time.  At that time in America, there was a thriving furniture industry and you could purchase furniture secure in the knowledge that you'd pass it along to your children and grandchildren someday.  This is hardly the case now.  Due to tax law, IKEA has changed the way most of us buy furniture.  Flat boxes delivered by Fed Ex with infuriating instructions and a planned obsolescence measured in years not decades.  How pervasive is it?  Well, see the next article: IKEA alone accounts for 1% of all wood harvested in the world.

Ron Coase showed us that the ownership of institution rights didn't "matter" because the market always found the most efficient outcome given those institutional arrangements.  The Coase theorem, however, is about efficiency given certain institutions.  It is not about overall efficiency, effectiveness, or economy....nor is it about equity.

Kenneth Arrow also showed that in game theory (which is just a fancy way of describing how we all interact with society, culture, economics, and politics--which is, at its most basic level just a complicated game) where one began often dictated where one ended.  Thus, if two binary choices are given such as: do you prefer A or B.  We might choose B, but later if asked if we like B or C, we choose C.  The implication is that we prefer C over A, but that's just not true.  Consider the 2016 Presidential election.  How many of you voted for Hillary over Bernie?  Then, the choice becomes Hillary or Trump.  I wonder how many voters from the primary would have voted for Bernie if the choice had been Bernie or Trump in November?  So, the Arrow Theorem suggests that the order of institutional arrangements also matters.

The take away is be very careful with institutions and be very suspicious when someone claims "that's just the way it is".  You can have any institution you want and in any order you want, but you may (or may not) like the result.

In the study of criminology and ethics, institutions is one of the foundational issues that helps us understand everything that comes after.
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Gun Deaths In America

Gun Deaths In America | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The data in this interactive graphic comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Multiple Cause of Death database, which is derived from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is widely considered the most comprehensive estimate of firearm deaths.
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State sues to overturn federal restrictions on controversial hunting methods

Among the banned activities on national preserves or wildlife refuges: Taking wolves and coyotes during the animals' denning season; taking black bears with artificial light at den sites.
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Pasco, USF seek statewide forensics research lab

Pasco, USF seek statewide forensics research lab | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Pasco County is seeking to become home to a proposed statewide forensic anthropology research and training center.

The center, if legislators and Gov. Rick Scott agree to the $4.3 million price tag, would be built on 4 acres of county-owned land in Land O'Lakes near the Pasco County Detention Center and become the seventh such facility in the country.

The project is a proposed partnership among Pasco County, the Pasco Sheriff's Office, the University of South Florida and Pasco-Hernando State College. It calls for indoor and outdoor facilities, including research and service labs, classrooms, a morgue and evidence storage to serve the Florida Institute of Forensic Anthropology & Applied Sciences research center at USF, which started in 2014 and already serves law enforcement and medical examiners around Florida.

If approved, the center would be a working crime lab and also provide specialized hands-on training for professionals dealing with investigations into homicides, human trafficking and other violent crimes. USF's website characterizes the project as allowing law officers to work alongside researchers to better understand crime scenes and to apply the latest investigative techniques "to become highly skilled at collecting, processing and interpreting evidence in their cases.''
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Not Mayberry: Palmer looks to neighborhood watches to combat crime

The Palmer Police Department is urging residents to form local neighborhood watches, though the local crime rate is holding steady.
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FBI: Facial recognition software helps ID Indiana cold-case fugitive

An Indiana man who fled his home state after being suspected of molesting a 10 year old girl in 1999 has been arrested in Salem, Ore., according to the FBI.
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Spokane using risk assement tool to ease jail overcrowding

Spokane using risk assement tool to ease jail overcrowding | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Spokane is hoping it can cut down on the number of people of committing crimes over and over with several new restorative justice progams.
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Detectives arrest a Lucerne Valley man for the murder of his wife following a residential fire from SBSD - Headquarters : Nixle

Detectives arrest a Lucerne Valley man for the murder of his wife following a residential fire  from SBSD - Headquarters : Nixle | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
On April 19, 2016, at approximately 4:40 a.m., emergency personnel from the San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to a residence in the 9800 block of Mesa Road in Lucerne Valley for a structure fire. During fire suppression efforts, a body was discovered. Investigators from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Arson Detail were contacted and responded to the location. During the arson investigation, a gas supply line was found to be disconnected. Bomb Arson Investigators requested the assistance of investigators from Homicide Detail due to the suspicious nature of the fire. Investigators from Homicide Detail responded and assumed the investigation.

The decedent was identified as Lynda Cestone. Lynda and her husband, Donald Jenman, lived alone in the residence. Investigators learned during their investigation that in 2010, Lynda suffered a stroke. As a result of the stroke, Lynda was paralyzed and bedridden. During the fire, Donald suffered minor burns and was transported by Mercy Air to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

On Friday, January 13, 2017, at the conclusion of the Death Investigation, Donald Wayne Jenman was arrested, transported and booked into the West Valley Detention Center for PC 187(a) Murder. Jenman is being held on $1,000.000.00 bail and is scheduled for court on January 18, 2017.
Rob Duke's insight:
I grabbed this for those who might be interested in being fire investigators....
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The Fine Art of Sniffing Out Crappy Science

The Fine Art of Sniffing Out Crappy Science | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Two professors at the University of Washington want to teach students how to survive the avalanche of false or misleading data shaken loose by shifts in media, technology, and politics.
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Rich Kids Stay Rich, Poor Kids Stay Poor

Rich Kids Stay Rich, Poor Kids Stay Poor | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
On Friday, a team of researchers led by Stanford economist Raj Chetty released a paper on how growing up in poverty affects boys and girls differently. Their co…
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How Alaska's equal rights law was first put to the test

A 1946 incident at a cocktail lounge in Fairbanks tested, for the first time, the state's Anti-Discrimination Act.
Rob Duke's insight:
Our own path to "Justice".  In honor of Dr. MLK.
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Was D.B. Cooper a Boeing worker?

Was D.B. Cooper a Boeing worker? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Leave it to a group that calls itself the Citizen Sleuths to uncover a new lead in the 45-year hunt for D.B. Cooper. The three amateur scientists have found rare-Earth elements on the JCPenney tie the infamous skyjacker left behind when he jumped out of a commercial airplane on a blistering night in
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It Took 20 Years For The Government To Pay For An Obvious Way To Prevent HIV

It Took 20 Years For The Government To Pay For An Obvious Way To Prevent HIV | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A few days ago, after I heard the news that Congress had lifted a federal ban on funding for needle exchange programs, I called Alisa Solberg. She runs the Poin…
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The Weird Economics Of Ikea

The Weird Economics Of Ikea | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Ikea is a behemoth. The home furnishing company uses 1 percent of the planet’s lumber, it says, and the 530 million cubic feet of wood used to make Ikea furnitu…
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See the other article above about IKEA.
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Should More Campus Security Officers Be Using Tablets?

Should More Campus Security Officers Be Using Tablets? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Here are some ways tablets might improve your campus security operations.
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Old Misogynist Hatreds Fuel a New Year’s Massacre in Brazil · Global Voices

Old Misogynist Hatreds Fuel a New Year’s Massacre in Brazil · Global Voices | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Brazil has a femicide rate of 4.8 per 100,000 women, according to the World Health Organization — that's the fifth highest femicide rate in the world. Black women are the main targets, according to the 2015 Violence Map, an independent annual research report on violence in Brazil. The murder of black women rose 54 percent between 2003 and 2013. At least 10 women were murdered in the country by their partners in the first six days of 2017.

Brazilian lawmakers have tried to address gender violence in the past. In 2003, the country created the Maria da Penha Law to protect women victims of domestic violence. The legislation bears the name of an activist who was rendered a paraplegic by her husband, after he tried to kill her, twice. In 2015, another law, classifying feminicide as a hate crime, was added to the Brazilian Penal Code.
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'Report crime to police rather than posting on social media'

'Report crime to police rather than posting on social media' | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Officers in Nuneaton say they cannot investigate crimes without an official report
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Toronto police solve 1983 murder, but won’t name killer | Toronto Star

Toronto police solve 1983 murder, but won’t name killer | Toronto Star | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Toronto police say they finally know who stabbed Peel schoolteacher Graham Hugh Pearce to death more than 30 years ago – but they won’t name the killer because he’s also dead.

Pearce, 36, was discovered dead on his bathroom floor of his High Park Ave. apartment on March 20, 1983 around 12:40 p.m.

Last April, Toronto police identified a person of interest in the investigation as Ronald Thomas Gale, who was 22 when Pearce was killed.

Gale died in 2001.

Det.-Sgt. Stacy Gallant of the cold case squad said Friday that police won’t identify the person they now believe to have been the killer on advice from the force’s legal department.

However, Gallant said police have not identified any other person of interest in the case since naming Gale.
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The good, bad, and unknown about marijuana's health effects

The good, bad, and unknown about marijuana's health effects | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Federal advisory panel releases report reviewing scientific evidence on health benefits and risks of marijuana
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