Criminology and Economic Theory
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Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea: "Gang Leader for a Day" by Sudhir Venkatesh

Curled Up With a Good Book and a Cup of Tea: "Gang Leader for a Day" by Sudhir Venkatesh | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
My review of "Gang Leader For a Day." Sudhir Venkatesh embedded himself in a gang for 7 years, this book is fascinating http://t.co/WjiLIMAy
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Criminology and Economic Theory
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Data On Drug Use Is Disappearing Just When We Need It Most

Data On Drug Use Is Disappearing Just When We Need It Most | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Is the recent spike in deaths primarily the result of increased heroin use, or is it also due to the increased potency of the drug?
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Finland, Home of the $103,000 Speeding Ticket

Finland, Home of the $103,000 Speeding Ticket | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Most of Scandinavia determines fines based on income. Could such a system work in the U.S.?
Rob Duke's insight:
So, tickets and suspended licenses hit the poor particularly hard while the rich guy merely pays the ticket out of petty cash and goes right back out and speeds away from court.  Is it fair to charge each violator according to what they make in an average day?
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Barclays charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over Qatar fundraising

Barclays charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over Qatar fundraising | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has charged Barclays and four former executives with conspiracy to commit fraud relating to the lender's dealings with Qatar during its £11.8bn fundraising in the financial crisis.
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Former Edwardsville cop going to prison for up to 40 years

Former Edwardsville cop going to prison for up to 40 years | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Cynthia Van Patten said her life changed forever two days before Christmas in 2014, when she looked at her phone and saw that her hidden camera had finally caught the burglar who had repeatedly stolen from her beauty salon.

Van Patten owned Reality Salon and Spa, and had suffered numerous burglaries in defiance of her alarm system. At one point she was advised that it must be an employee, because the burglar never set off the alarm — she actually accused a former employee at one point, she said.

But when she checked the image that December night, she saw then-Edwardsville Police Officer Brian Barker, armed and in uniform, cleaning out her cash register.
Rob Duke's insight:
Here's an example of a White Collar Crime (today's definition), but it's not that much different than any other crime.
Should it be defined differently?  Is it significant that he's a respected member of society with everything to lose and little to gain?  Sutherland thought so, at least for the mega-rich, but does it hold for a fairly blue collar worker...
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Pharma Executive to Be Sentenced Over 2012 Meningitis Deaths

Pharma Executive to Be Sentenced Over 2012 Meningitis Deaths | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A former New England pharma exec convicted over dozens of 2012 meningitis deaths will be sentenced today. Dozens died in the debacle.
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Can Bitcoin's First Felon Help Make Cryptocurrency a Trillion-Dollar Market?

After spending a year in prison, Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem has a new job and a new mission: helping build the future of the Internet.
Rob Duke's insight:
Combine Bitcoin with TOR (the dark web) and we've seen a glimpse of how a "black market" can run in a fairly regular and (mostly) non-violent manner.
A person contracts anonymously for a delivery of something illegal, say Cuban cigars, for instance, and pays with Bitcoin.  The seller then delivers the product via one of the parcel carriers or messenger services.  This removes the need for cartels, which lowers costs and increases profits for the provider.
It lowers transaction costs for the buyer too, who no longer must travel to a "bad" neighborhood or deal with potentially untrustworthy dealers.
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Why Life for ‘Snitches’ Has Never Been More Dangerous

Why Life for ‘Snitches’ Has Never Been More Dangerous | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Deadly attacks on confidential informants are prompting the federal courts to consider injecting more secrecy into the court system, drawing the concern of defense lawyers about due-process rights.
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Yoga helping inmates transcend jail cells

Yoga helping inmates transcend jail cells | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
 An ancient spiritual practice is helping rehabilitate men and women at the Santa Barbara County Jail.
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LADWP employee gets 5 years in prison for embezzling $4.4 million

LADWP employee gets 5 years in prison for embezzling $4.4 million | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES — A former audio-visual technician for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was sentenced today to five years in state prison for embezzling more than $4 million in public funds.Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James
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Stanislaus jails pick on inmates of only one race, lawsuit says

Stanislaus jails pick on inmates of only one race, lawsuit says | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Latino inmates sue Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and his Sheriff's Department, claiming racial bias, excessive force in jails.
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Inside look at Sac PD's real-time, high-tech crime center

Inside look at Sac PD's real-time, high-tech crime center | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
After launching in June, SPD shows off its $500K operation
Rob Duke's insight:
Dispatchers, crime analysts, criminologists, Community Service Officers, and non-sworn investigators....all kinds of new jobs that don't require carrying a gun...
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DA starts new 
justice program aimed at adults | Aspen Daily News Online

Contending it would be a valuable tool for the criminal justice system, District Attorney Jeff Cheney is implementing a restorative justice program that aims to help people accused of crimes avoid conviction while simultaneously providing victims a chance to confront offenders about the impact of their actions.
Rob Duke's insight:
This sounds similar to the one UAF Justice and our partners in the Psych, Social Work, Comm Departments have started with the District Attorney, Public Defender, Defense Bar, Corrections, Juvenile Justice & the Superior Courts have started in Fairbanks.
Working with the Fairbanks Community Restorative Justice Initiative (FCRJI) make a great internship and introduces you to so many possible post-graduation jobs.  See Prof. Daku if you're interested in earning 6 units and satisfying your capstone requirement (this requirement only applies to those who started in 2016-2017 and later--all years are still eligible for elective credit--we even supply stipends when funding allows).
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Anchorage marijuana sales tax revenue continues steady climb

Anchorage collected around $70,000 in marijuana sales taxes in April, according to a city official. Nine cannabis shops were open during the month.
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California to stop suspending licenses for traffic fines

California to stop suspending licenses for traffic fines | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Californians will no longer face losing their driver's licenses because of unpaid traffic fines starting next month.

Gov. Jerry Brown said the punishment doesn't help the state collect unpaid fines and can send low-income people into a cycle of job losses and more poverty.

The policy will help ensure people's lives are not derailed by traffic tickets, said Sen. Bob Hertzberg, a Van Nuys Democrat who has championed the issue in the Legislature.

Brown, a Democrat, approved the provision as part of a series of bills he signed Tuesday to enact the state budget. It will prevent courts from suspending someone's driver's license simply because of unpaid fines.

Brown called for ending the practice in his January budget proposal, saying "there does not appear to be a strong connection" between the license suspensions and collecting.
Rob Duke's insight:
...and, here's another way you can go.

I think you'll see folks just stop paying their tickets--a certain element, anyway.
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Fairbanks man charged with car flipping, parts theft

Fairbanks man charged with car flipping, parts theft | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
According to a criminal complaint, the owner of the Ford Escort appeared at the Alaska State Trooper post on Peger Road at 4 p.m. June 20 to report his vehicle had been flipped in the driveway of his City Lights Boulevard home. The man said he thought someone had tried to turn his vehicle with a tow strap but had flipped it instead.

Troopers tried calling the man but were unsuccessful. They responded to the man’s address and found a green Ford Escort upside down in the driveway. Elliptical skid marks showed the Escort had been pulled sideways and then onto its side. Troopers took photographs and left. 

The man and his mother contacted troopers later that evening and said they had just viewed surveillance footage at the home that recorded a black Chevrolet truck driving into their driveway. They said a man, later identified as Zachary Hockersmith, 34, exited the truck, attached a tow strap to the Escort and pulled it parallel to the road. Hockersmith then ran the tow strap over the top of the Escort and hooked it to the open window on the driver’s side, according to the complaint. Hockersmith used his truck to slowly pull the Escort until it flipped upside down, then retrieved a tool out of his truck and removed something from the bottom of the car,  the man and his mother said.  

It later was determined the catalytic converter had been cut from the car with a saw, according to the complaint.
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Blood, fingernail found at home of Texas man link him to 1988 slayings of 2 teens, authorities say | Crime | Dallas News

Blood, fingernail found at home of Texas man link him to 1988 slayings of 2 teens, authorities say | Crime | Dallas News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Shane Stewart gave his father a hug before heading out to watch Fourth of July fireworks with his girlfriend, Sally McNelly. His father told him to be home by 11 p.m.
The next day, Shane's copper-colored Camaro was found near a lake in San Angelo. Marshall Stewart paced the rugged terrain for months, looking for his 16-year-old son and his date. He knocked on doors, cried, prayed.
"No answers came," Stewart said in a YouTube video on the 25th anniversary of Shane and Sally's disappearance in 1988.

The answers he prayed for might be inside the home of a San Angelo man arrested this June during a traffic stop.
John Cyrus Gilbreath, 47, faces charges of possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of body armor by a felon. Authorities got a warrant to search his home for ledgers used in drug trafficking but said they discovered a grisly collection instead.

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Former Fairbanks inmate becomes drug counselor

Former Fairbanks inmate becomes drug counselor | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — When Kelvin Lee tells Fairbanks Correctional Center inmates that “you can’t undo your history, you can only use it,” he speaks from experience.
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Ex-library employee in Fairbanks accused of stealing $10K from foundation

Ex-library employee in Fairbanks accused of stealing $10K from foundation | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS — A former Noel Wien Library employee allegedly stole more than $10,000 in donations intended for the Fairbanks Library Foundation.
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The LAPD Has Partnered in a Very Successful Youth Diversion Program, But Will LA Find a Way to Fund It? |

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How does Vagos Motorcycle Club operate?

How does Vagos Motorcycle Club operate? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
It was founded in San Bernardino in the 1960s, but the Vagos Motorcycle Club has since grown into an international enterprise with at least 87 chapters in seven countries and an estimated 900-plus members, according to a federal grand jury indictment
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California considers reducing traffic fines for low-income drivers

California considers reducing traffic fines for low-income drivers | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Penalties add up fast if you can't pay your ticket.
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Mexican governor denounces 'beasts' and 'cowards' who killed state commander of federal police

Mexican governor denounces 'beasts' and 'cowards' who killed state commander of federal police | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Gunmen burst into a restaurant and killed a state commander for federal police and two other officers on another bloody day in the Mexican state of Veracruz.
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Prohibition kept Boise law enforcement officers busy

Prohibition kept Boise law enforcement officers busy | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Prohibition had no sooner gone into effect in Idaho in 1916, and in the rest of the country in 1920, than a significant part of the population began to look for ways to get around it. The demand for liquor was so great that tens of thousands of Americans who had never before broken any law now figured that making and selling illegal liquor was worth the risk. The Idaho Statesman reported regularly on those who got arrested for trying.

“Pullman-Auto Booze Seizure” read a headline on the morning of April 4, 1917. “Orric Cole, proprietor of the Cole auto livery, Ray Ramsey, one of his chauffeurs, and S.H. Paterson, a Pullman porter, were arrested Monday morning at the Oregon Short Line yards at about 8:30 o’clock, just as they were about to drive off in one of Cole’s autos with 44 pints of Cedar Run whiskey and two quarts of Sunnybrook that the sheriff said arrived Monday morning from Ogden in lower berth No.1.” Three suitcases were later found to contain an additional 59 pints of whiskey.

“Bootleggers Are Arrested” reported the Statesman on Aug. 18, 1917. “Two Caught as They Cross Nevada Line; One Tries to Escape.” Some 36 cases of liquor and a four-and-a-half gallon keg of whiskey, all worth about $2,500, were seized. The men were armed with a six-shooter and a shotgun but wisely decided not to try to use them against C. A. Haskell, deputy collector for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; Sheriff Emmett Pfost; and his deputy, Oscar Somerville. A man who tried to escape by jumping out of a moving car and running into the brush was quickly recaptured. The liquor was turned over to U.S. officials.
Rob Duke's insight:
The late Univ. of Chicago professor, Gary Becker, won a Nobel Prize in economics, in part, by explaining this behavior.  It seems that economic incentives in a Black or Gray market is too powerful and thwarts our best attempts at deterrence.  As our efforts to stop the flow of the illegal substance ramp up, so do the incentives (profit), thus no matter how serious we take the problem and enforcement, there are always people willing to take the risks.  As risk goes up, so does reward.  

The only way to win in this game is to decriminalize and regulate the products.  When legitimate businesses must manage regulations, they naturally maximize profit, thus we make it so it's easy to observe whether regulations are followed [must sell in established places like a bar/restaurant for public consumption, or at a specialized liquor (or cannabis) store for private use].  When it's easy to monitor, legitimate businesses will act in their own best interests and help us enforce regulations.  Licenses are expensive and can be taken away for bad behavior, thus the business values the license and endures the regulations in order to make the profit associated with the business.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Resources:
Becker, Gary, et. al., The Economic Theory of Illegal Goods: The case of drugs. (2004).
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Sacramento police add more surveillance cameras at intersections

Sacramento police add more surveillance cameras at intersections | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
10 new cameras were added near the Golden 1 Center
Rob Duke's insight:
These should solve some crimes.  Imagine a drive by shooting where officers are able to scan the last 30 minutes of recordings and find the suspect vehicle.
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California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower

California governor stops parole for Charles Manson follower | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday night blocked parole for Charles Manson follower and convicted killer Bruce Davis.

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