Criminology and Economic Theory
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Drone kills Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud; Pakistan accuses U.S. of derailing peace talks

Drone kills Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud; Pakistan accuses U.S. of derailing peace talks | Criminology and Economic Theory |
His death is a victory for the U.S. drone program, but threatens to “sabotage the peace talks’’ between Pakistani officials and militants.

Via InfoBlaze
Wyndam Childress's comment, November 5, 2013 1:32 PM
I think the notion of peace talks is a little funny. Peace isn't going to happen. Maybe Pakistan will be shown some grace, but not the rest of the world. This esteemed leader of terrorists may have been a pivotal piece to peace talks, but how much worth do peace talks have when at the same time he is threatening attacks on our cities?
Dom Eubank's comment, November 11, 2013 6:59 PM
I agree on the idea that there "may" have been peace talks with the Taliban for Pakistan but that is precisely where it would stop, the US is viewed as an enemy based off of religion alone and the jihadist war is with the WEST. The CIA has been using predator strikes and SEAL teams to cripple the Taliban and it is the only tool that has been effective for the US and the rest of the Western countries. Pakistan has never been very cooperative with the US so I don't take much they say as being true.
Zach White's comment, November 22, 2013 6:59 PM
The problem with going to war with an ideal is that ideals easily cross borders, and rarely wear uniforms. Should the US be careful where we land our ordinance... sure. But I won't lose any sleep over it.
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Orlando shooting: Man who says he was Omar Mateen's gay lover speaks out

Orlando shooting: Man who says he was Omar Mateen's gay lover speaks out | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In an interview with Univision, a man claims he first met Omar Mateen on the gay dating app Grindr, says they were "friends with benefits"
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 24, 3:36 AM
I know this was definitely a theory that was being thrown around. That Mateen was gay, and didn't want to accept that, so he took it out on other gays, but again, that's just some speculation I've seen circulating the web. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not.
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Sheriff Gusman's former chief deputy charged in off-duty detail scandal

Sheriff Gusman's former chief deputy charged in off-duty detail scandal | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Jerry Ursin, the former Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office chief deputy who resigned in April amid an off-duty detail scandal, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, federal authorities said Tuesday (June 21).

Authorities accuse Ursin of taking part in a "scheme" to create "ghost employees" who, in a five-year period from 2009 to January 2014, were paid by Mardi Gras Krewes and festival organizers for security services they never performed.

Ursin received more than $2,300 in checks from former OPSO Colonel Roy Austin, whose private security company, Austin Sales and Services, overbilled event organizers for security services never performed, the four-page bill of information states.
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Thousands protest U.S. bases on Okinawa after Japan woman's murder

Thousands protest U.S. bases on Okinawa after Japan woman's murder | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Tens of thousands of people gathered in sweltering heat on Japan's Okinawa island on Sunday in one of the biggest demonstrations in two decades against U.S. military bases, following the arrest of an American suspected of murdering a local woman.
Kim Gomez's comment, June 19, 11:50 PM
The person accused of murdering a local woman was a civilian worker, not a military member. While I am sad that a woman lost her life, I don't see how protesting having a military base there will solve the issue at hand. I believe the army base there did what they felt was appropriate and tried to ease tensions without success and it will be interesting to see what comes of these protests.
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 24, 3:39 AM
It is a terrible shame that a life was lost. However, this does prove that in times of trial, people will band together to defend their own. Really, would we do any differently?
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Former North Slope police employee admits stealing over $100k from evidence room

Former North Slope police employee admits stealing over $100k from evidence room | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Margaret Ann Solomon pleaded guilty to federal charges that she stole cash from the evidence room and sometimes destroyed the related case files.
Laura Henriquez's comment, June 20, 3:46 PM
I was honestly pretty shocked after reading this article that Margaret Ann Solomon was able to get away with stealing so much money and her supervisors did not catch her early enough. I believe her case is a clear example that they might need to change the way they supervise their employees to stop cases like this one from repeating themselves in the near future. I also think they must have a better way to keep evidence such as cash in a secured and safe place where individuals like her have no access to the funds, and it may also be a good time to maybe have people who work in this environment go through a more thorough background check.
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 21, 4:04 AM
I think they definitely need to start upping security, or at least monitoring activity in the evidence rooms. It said that the room was sometimes left open and/or unattended, and that's just bad practice. However, I am appalled that someone in a trusted position would steal so much money, destroy evidence, and the like, just so she can piss it away on Facebook slots of all things. No thing is worth stealing and committing the crimes she did, but I just kind of cringed and sighed when I saw what she was blowing it on. Gambling addictions are a problem, I acknowledge, but that's also just... I don't know how to word it, but ugh.
Courtney Higley's comment, June 22, 8:35 PM

"'The issue you have is that someone has now threatened the integrity of the entire evidence system,' he said. 'So it's potentially a defense attorney's dream.'"

This is the line that stood out to me. I wonder if this woman's actions directly affected the outcome of any cases that were taking place during that time? I also wonder if any defendants will learn of this scandal and attempt to appeal? Unfortunately in small towns or provinces like the North Slope, there can be lack of oversight or organization in these critical agencies. I think it has to do with outdated and lax practices, as well as fast turnover rates. The details of this incident are just so incredible though that it's hard not to shake your head in wonder about nobody noticed hundreds of thousands of dollars and handfuls of case files missing.
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Orlando Mass Shooting Not Deadliest in American History

Orlando Mass Shooting Not Deadliest in American History | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando was a horrific tragedy. But it was not unprecedented – and it was not the “deadliest mass shooting in American history.”
Rob Duke's insight:
See Aguirre and Baker's excellent book that chronicles every lynching before and after the Civil War.
Laura Henriquez's comment, June 20, 3:55 PM
This article was right on point on calling out our media for wrongly informing the public and stating the recent shooting in Florida was the most horrific shootings when in fact it was not, I know pretty clearly that worse shootings have occurred throughout history and the media specifically failed to make a big deal about them. The article did state one clear difference between shootings in our current era and shootings back then and this is that this shootings were completed by a group of people when in the most recent cases shootings have been done by individuals acting as representants for isis which is the number one threat in America at this point in time.
Courtney Higley's comment, June 22, 9:20 PM
I've heard that the Orlando shooting was the deadliest attack since 9-11, but not that it was the deadliest shooting in history. Also, maybe I'm being nit picky, but The East St. Louis Race Riot and The Tulsa Race Riot were not entirely mass shootings. They involved various forms of violence, aggression and destruction. I completely agree with the point being made though, that hatred and violence toward a particular demographic are not a new thing in the United States by far. The only thing that has changed over the past hundred years is the target of the hate and the technology available with which to cause harm. Even before the invent of automatic and semi-automatic weapons, people (Americans, in this case) found ways to cause mass devastation with their misdirected hate.
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Police dog bites boy

Police dog bites boy | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 21, 4:08 AM
I'm glad that they didn't immediately jump to the conclusion of putting the dog down, but rather moved to the alternative of removing it from the force and sending it back to the US. Do you think that service animals such as these that are being socialized need to have higher fences, or some form of slightly upped security to prevent this sort of thing from happening when the owner is not trying to socialize it actively?
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Music study speeds brain development in children, study shows

Music study speeds brain development in children, study shows | Criminology and Economic Theory |
"It will take a long time to be absolutely certain of the results, but a little bit to our surprise, strong results began to emerge earlier," said Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute, acknowledging that more data and analysis is required.
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The people who live in Tokyo's net cafes: 'It's a home, by the hour' – video

The people who live in Tokyo's net cafes: 'It's a home, by the hour' – video | Criminology and Economic Theory |
In Tokyo, commutes are so long, and apartments so small, that some people sleep in internet cafes such as i Cafe Akibaplace – which provides showers, meals, clothes and everything else you might need for a substitute home. We kick off our series on the revolution in urban living by spending a night inside Japan’s ‘homes by the hour’
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Obama: ‘We’ are to blame, not Islamic terrorism, for massacre

Obama: ‘We’ are to blame, not Islamic terrorism, for massacre | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Omar Mateen called the cops to pledge his fealty to ISIS as he was carrying out his mass murderer in Orlando early Sunday morning. Twelve hours later, the president of the United States declared that “we have no definitive assessment on the motivation” of Omar Mateen but that “we know he was a person filled with hate.”

So I guess the president thinks Mateen didn’t mean it?

Here again, and horribly, we have an unmistakable indication that Obama finds it astonishingly easy to divorce himself from a reality he doesn’t like — the reality of the Islamist terror war against the United States and how it is moving to our shores in the form of lone-wolf attacks.

He called it “terror,” which it is. But using the word “terror” without a limiting and defining adjective is like a doctor calling a disease “cancer” without making note of the affected area of the body — because if he doesn’t know where the cancer is and what form it takes, he cannot attack it effectively and seek to extirpate it.

So determined is the president to avoid the subject of Islamist, ISIS-inspired or ISIS-directed terrorism that he concluded his remarks with an astonishing insistence that “we need the strength and courage to change” our attitudes toward the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

That’s just disgusting. There’s no other word for it.

America’s national attitude toward LGBT people didn’t shoot up the Pulse nightclub. This country’s national attitude has undergone a sea-change in the past 20 years, by the way, in case the president hasn’t noticed.

An Islamist terrorist waging war against the United States killed and injured 103 people on our soil. We Americans do not bear collective responsibility for this attack. Quite the opposite.

The attack on the Pulse nightclub was an attack on us all, no less than the World Trade Center attack.

To suggest we must look inward to explain this is not only unseemly but practically an act of conscious misdirection on the president’ s part to direct out attention away from Omar Mateen’s phone call.

True to form, the president spoke more words about the scourge of guns than about the threat of terror. In doing so, he actually retards rather than advances the cause of gun control he so passionately advocates.

A president totally and credibly committed to the destruction of ISIS and other terror groups seeking to bring the war to us might earn the political and moral capital to seek more extensive limits on gun ownership.

A president who cannot name the enemy even as he anthropomorphizes the weapon the enemy is a president unable to bring anyone to his side who’s not already there.

To fight back against the evils of San Bernardino and Orlando, we do need change — and fortunately for us, it’s constitutionally mandated change. It’s the change required by the 22nd Amendment — the change that will compel Barack Obama to leave the White House on January 20, 2017 after completing his second term with America less safe than it was when he took office.
Rob Duke's curator insight, June 13, 12:28 AM
Editorial...what do you think?  In San Bernardino, we waited a few hours before the administration admitted what was obvious to the cops on the ground (remember Redlands was my "home" department). Now, we have another terror attack and we dissemble to claim that it was somehow domestic terrorism aimed at the LGBT community?
Courtney Higley's comment, June 14, 11:31 PM
From what I read on Wikipedia, the San Bernardino took place on Dec 2, and President Obama didn't publicly label the event as a terrorist attack until Dec 6. It makes sense to me that 12 hours after the incident is too early to make an official statement regarding the nature of the attack. I understand that the circumstances being reported by the media very strongly indicate that it was a terrorist attack. However, a formal and thorough investigation still has to take place. It would be unwise for the President to make a statement that might be later proven false. It's the President's job to relay official reports, not speculate based of off what the mainstream media is reporting.

The bias of the author comes across very strong in this article. On one hand, I can see the author's point that part of the speech was worded in a way that seemed to unfairly pin the blame on American intolerance. On the other hand, we certainly still have a ways to go in this country as far as learning to act civilly with people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. I don't entirely disagree with the president's message.
Laura Henriquez's comment, June 20, 4:01 PM
I completely agree with president Barack Obama on this article the government is the one to blame for our current situation and the amount of crime going on in our streets. Our government needs to act quickly on coming up with effective resolutions about gun control in America because if something is not done sooner rather than later we will just end up killing each others. I see it day after day more innocent people being killed by heartless individuals and yet we are still failing on controlling the people who buy our guns and are not doing anything to make the process to get a gun permit more harder to pass.
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This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours

This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Rural Studio's $20K House has such innovative design that it's changing the entire housing systemfrom mortgages to zoning laws.
Rob Duke's insight:
How much would these $20k homes change the economics of Alaska?
Brandon Morley's comment, June 13, 10:39 PM
This. Is Genius Living in Vanvouver it is almost impossible for my generation to grow up and buy a home here. It is just way to expensive and overpriced. I cannot even live in the same city i grew up in because of the skyrocketed pricing. I would definitely own one of these micro apartments especially for how cheap they are. This is the perfect setup for somebody my age and it is so affordable that many may people can do it. This would change the economics of Alaska because of the mortgages that people are having to pay off for houses that are just as simple as these ones.
Rob Duke's comment, June 14, 11:48 AM
I agree. It changes everything when you can easily afford to own your own home. The current narrative of pay $300k, but it takes 30-40 years and you really pay $500-600k with interest isn't helping anyone but the banks. Imagine a whole community of these homes. See this one in Nevada City, Ca:
Michaela Cameron's comment, June 20, 1:59 AM

I think that these homes are amazing as people are already adapting to the economy and environment in Alaska. Where else do you find such a high number of the population living without water? If it was more affordable to live in a home with water then these houses would flourish in the Alaskan economy. Houses need less space and more availability for good schools, safer neighborhoods and more resources nearby to promote healthy living.
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U.S. attorney general proposes long-term solutions for village public safety needs

U.S. attorney general proposes long-term solutions for village public safety needs | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Loretta Lynch said the consultations will include a focus on creating a state-federal-Native entity to address Alaska Native concerns.
Kevin Lawson's comment, June 16, 6:50 PM
This is definitely a step in the right direction. It’s nice to have some of the larger problems in rural Alaska acknowledged by the federal government. I’m interested in seeing to what extent they end up following through on providing support to tribal courts and state agencies. This initial meeting was a sign of good faith and evidence that the cry for help has been heard. My only concern is that Alaskans might be left out of the loop in providing guidance and decision-making. In order to be effective, the best course of action would involve federal resources with tribal and local oversight.
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How an Innocent Teenager Confessed to Murder

How an Innocent Teenager Confessed to Murder | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Davontae Sanford was released Wednesday from prison after serving nine years for a murder to which he confessed, but the state now doubts he committed.

Sanford is 23, but was 14 when he said he’d killed four people inside a Detroit home. He is blind in one eye because someone had thrown an egg at him when he was nine. As a teenager, he was enrolled in special-education classes. He lived in a rough part of Detroit and tried to fit in by claiming to be part of a gang, or bragging about fights he’d never had. Sanford was an unlikely suspect. So it made more sense when another man, a Detroit contract killer named Vincent Smothers, confessed to the crime in 2008. 

After state police reinvestigated his case, a county judge on Tuesday vacated Sanford’s conviction and ordered him released. It took almost nine years. 
Kevin Lawson's comment, June 16, 5:38 PM
What makes this worse is that this is only one case out of many where false confessions have ruined someone’s life. Some investigators seem to prey on those that fit the mold of the type of offender that they’re looking for. In Sanford’s case, they made the evidence fit the offender. Here’s this kid that shows up at the crime scene, he doesn’t appear to be very intelligent, and he communicates that he has a connection to those that may have committed a crime. Instead, the kid is subconsciously trying to elevate his status in the presence of an authority figure based on a need to prove himself in a rough community. Investigative techniques seem to be more focused on closing cases than ensuring that the right person is charged for the crime. The aforementioned isn’t “justice” if the wrong person is convicted. It’s time that we make interrogations actually about gleaning new information rather than coercing a confession. Would bringing in a different officer or investigator distanced from the case help?
Bryce Schwarz's comment, June 19, 4:14 AM
It is absurd the amount of cases that have been "solved" due to false confessions and poor ethics when it comes to interrogating. While Sanford may now be free, he lost many of his prime years and now has to adapt to a new world where technology has taken over. While Sanford may be out now there are undoubtably countless others serving time for similar false confessions.
Michaela Cameron's comment, June 20, 3:36 AM
This article shows how we are easily deceived by our preconceived ideas of criminals and how the justice system works. Racism is prevalent in a lot of places and the court room can be one of them. How do we reboot the social systems that we have to stop things like this from happening? This man lost some of the best years of his life and had no support to help him.
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The Surprisingly Racist Way Our Preschoolers Are Treated

The Surprisingly Racist Way Our Preschoolers Are Treated | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The federal Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection for 2013-14 shows that black students are suspended more often even in preschool.
Brandon Morley's comment, June 13, 10:46 PM
Another article that made me cringe. Racism to kids who probably do not even understand any of it? The background has no bearing on what these children have been doing for their early years of their life and these teachers/principles are using this kind of judgement. Something needs to be done especially on the fact that it became so bad that they had to make an article about it.
Kevin Lawson's comment, June 16, 3:56 PM
An indication of disparity isn’t necessarily reason enough for a “click bait” title for an article. However, it is enough reason to warrant a closer look at suspensions and how schools handle discipline. I’m actually currently working on the data collection mentioned in this report for the Anchorage School District and, while I can’t comment on the numbers, I will say that disparities are present in Alaska schools as well. I have to wonder how effective suspensions really are for punishment; especially at the preschool level. What type of action does a preschooler have to commit to warrant being suspended from school? Is such an action equivalent to a suspension worthy offense committed by a middle school student? I believe we might find a connection if we look at each incident independently. For example, what is the race of the teacher reporting the offense? And are these teachers reporting similar behaviors committed by students of other races with equal penalties?
Michaela Cameron's comment, June 20, 2:01 AM
THis brings up a lot of themes about intent of crimes in the school and home environment. Teachers are profiling students based on race to determine why acts of deviance are happening. If teachers are promoting racism when discussing intent then it will continue to be a cycle. Teachers need to be more educated on the sciology of crime and the factors that contribute to crime to help deter these young people from committing these crimes and misbehaving in school.
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Danny Murillo

Danny Murillo | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Danny Murillo will work to empower formerly incarcerated students by creating a network of people throughout California who have successfully made the transition from incarceration to higher education.
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 24, 3:37 AM
I like this concept. Seems to be similar to what I've heard about restorative justice from a coworker/friend. I think that this could be a really good idea, personally.
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Taking it to heart

Taking it to heart | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Foreigners, who are about a third of the country’s population of 30m, must find ways to cope in the 40°C heat. Many aren’t Muslim. Unlike Saudi citizens, many work on sweaty building sites, so going without water is a bit of a problem. They eat at home or sneak water and food during trips to the bathroom. Some hotels discreetly put on room service for “non-Muslim guests”.
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Missing HK bookseller considered suicide 'many times' in China - BBC News

Missing HK bookseller considered suicide 'many times' in China - BBC News | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Lam Wing Kee, 61, was the manager of a well-known bookstore that sold titles critical of the Chinese leadership.
Mr Lam was one of five booksellers who were imprisoned for months in cases that made international headlines.
He believes they were taken by an elite Chinese law enforcement group which targeted authors and booksellers.
One of the men, Gui Minhai, is still in custody.
Rob Duke's insight:
So much for One Country--Two Systems.  The Chinese Regime balks at freedom for Hong Kong....
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Elder Exploitation 101 - Calibre Press

Elder Exploitation 101 - Calibre Press | Criminology and Economic Theory |
For all the crimes you investigate, you won’t find many victims more vulnerable or in need of protection than the elderly. Let’s discuss how to spot signs of elder exploitation and techniques you can use to investigate it. For this article we’re going to focus on schemes where a person gains control over an elder’s …
Courtney Higley's comment, June 22, 8:58 PM
Unfortunately, elderly individuals are ideal victims because they often have only a close family member (or two) or a professional caregiver involved in their care, so there are few onlookers who would be aware enough of the situation to notice signs of abuse or exploitation. I would assume that in most cases, it is a family member that suspects another family member of foul play. Elderly individuals are also easy targets because they are not always aware that they are being taken advantage of, nor are they often in a position to try to assert themselves over their caregivers. They are, in many cases, isolated from the rest of the world and subject to the decisions of their caregiver. They are a vulnerable population that unfortunately do not always get the attention or protection they deserve.
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How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood

How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It’s a transformation that’s happened in a blink of an eye, turning a neighborhood that in 2009 topped Compton in Los Angeles for the “most dangerous” title into something that looks and feels like Greenwich Village. And it didn’t happen by accident. Virtually everything that’s occurred in Over-the-Rhine—from the placement of the trees in the park to the curation of ground floor businesses—has been meticulously planned and engineered by a single, corporate-funded and decidedly non-governmental entity.
Rob Duke's insight:
Do you buy it? Can simple redesign "save" a crime-ridden neighborhood?
Kim Gomez's comment, June 19, 11:43 PM
As someone who was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where shootings, rapes and murder isn't shocking to anyone, I find this very difficult to believe. If this worked, then why aren't more cities like Chicago and St Louis that truly are deadly trying this?
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Orlando shooter's early school records note he "lacked remorse"

Orlando shooter's early school records note he "lacked remorse" | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Omar Mateen's behavioral issues surfaced in elementary school, with notes about rudeness, wandering hands, and "much talk about violence and sex"
Rob Duke's insight:
Ah-ha! Evidence of a master trait....or something else?
Bryce Schwarz's comment, June 19, 4:08 AM
While I dont think this is evidence of a "master trait" considering the fact that he "could do nothing right in his fathers eyes", I do believe this could be a prime example of the life course theory. It seems as his life went on, the incidences escalated. One experience led to another until it eventually all led to our current situation.
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Border Patrol agents arrest scout in mountaintop raid outside Arizona City

Border Patrol agents in a Black Hawk helicopter raided a mountain top criminal camp in the Tucson Sector
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Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult

Moving as a child can change who you are as an adult | Criminology and Economic Theory |
My wife and I recently packed our 2-year-old twins into their car seats and moved them halfway across the country to a new home in Minnesota. During the five or so days we spent on the road with them, we had ample opportunity to reflect on what sorts of terrible harms we were inflicting on their fragile little toddler brains.

Did they understand what was going on? Would they like the new place when they got there? Were we destroying their chances of ever getting into Harvard by letting them watch eight hours of garbage cartoons in the back seat of a Honda CR-V, day in, day out?

As it turns out, a study recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has some answers to those questions. British researcher Roger Webb and his colleagues took advantage of an amazingly complete data set — containing records on literally every single person born in Denmark between 1971 and 1997 — to investigate how moving in childhood affected outcomes later in life.

The focused on a number of negative outcomes including suicide attempts, criminality, psychiatric disorders, drug abuse, and unnatural mortality. Moving during childhood was linked to increased incidence of all these negative outcomes later in life. Moving multiple times in a single year made long-term harms even more likely.

And the group of youngsters most likely to feel the ill effects of moving are kids in early adolescence, between 12 and 14. A child who goes through a residential move at age 14 has double the risk of suicide by middle age. Her risks of engaging in violent crime of abusing drugs more than double. And these risk ratios hold true even after controlling for parents' income and psychiatric history.
Kim Gomez's comment, June 19, 11:47 PM
As a mom who has moved cross country now 3 times with my children and husband (who is in the Army), this frightens me. I do agree with Adena's comment that certain aspects like poor home life, single parents etc which may have a greater impact then the moving does. At the same time I can also understand that the older the child gets, the more difficult the impact of moving would be. Children are resilient, teenagers not so much.
Michaela Cameron's comment, June 20, 1:53 AM
It makes sense that those who live in more places struggle to find a sense of pride and ownership of a location unless they were born and raised there. People are more loyal to places that they feel connected with and if a place is not important to someone then they wont go out of their way to protect it.
Lydia Weiss's comment, June 21, 4:11 AM
Huh. I never knew this. Kind of makes me wonder about military families who are constantly moved around. However, as Adena and Kim said above, there are other factors that could play in. They might not be entirely connected. However, just basing off the study itself, it makes me slightly relieved that I never really moved around as a kid.
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Interpol Says That Environmental Crime Is Exploding

Interpol Says That Environmental Crime Is Exploding | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Wildlife poaching and trafficking and illegal logging and mining is now more lucrative than selling guns.
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Police: 50 killed in Florida nightclub terror attack

Police: 50 killed in Florida nightclub terror attack | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Fifty people were killed at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, in what marks the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Rob Duke's insight:
When we look at victimology, to what extent did the victims' lifestyle contribute to their being targeted?  FYI, I'm not talking about their sexual preference, but about being in a nightclub on a Saturday night.  On the one hand, who cares--we should be able to party or go score some dope in a bad neighborhood, but criminologists make a good point when they point out that there are the places and activities that are most correlated with being a victim....
Gunner Young's comment, June 13, 3:14 AM
Noting the idea that there are places and activities which make people more prone to being a victim, i think that its note worthy that the shooting took place during one of the club's advertised events. The scene was also described as being dark and loud. I think that this place was an easy target for the shooter considering he knew lots of people were going to be there, it's dark inside, offering concealment of his weapons, the music is loud which would help to deaden the noise of gun fire, and it has an dance floor which is open and provides little hiding space.
Kim Gomez's comment, June 13, 9:28 PM
I think it was more about the amount of people that would be there rather than the 'type' of people that would be there. Multiple news sources have reported that all types of people frequented this club even though it was well known as a gay nightclub. I think about the shooting in Aurora Colorado at a movie theater, these people were out enjoying a newly released film and managed to get stuck in a hail of gun fire. Back near my hometown there was a mass shooting at a local university where people were just going about their day going to class. I find it difficult to believe that people should change their lives and activities based on the belief that lifestyles contribute to the likelihood of being a victim. I'm not saying go walk down a dark alley in Chicago at 2am and expect to make it out alive, but people in general shouldn't have to look over their shoulder during every moment of their day whether it be at a movie theater, a nightclub or a college campus.
Courtney Higley's comment, June 15, 1:47 PM
When I think of crimes that might take place at 2am at a bar or nightclub, I think of fist fights, sexual assaults, DUI's, and crimes of that nature. I don't think of massacres. Massacres have taken place at schools, movie theaters, airports, churches, and other unsuspecting environments. While I do agree that some victims make themselves more susceptible to crime by frequenting sketchy or unsafe places or by being surrounded by alcohol and drugs, there was no way to predict the actual risk involved in leaving the house on this particular night.

I think that, as Gunner said, the shooter probably chose this place because it was packed full of people, dark, loud, and had a large population of LGBT members that he specifically wished to target. I do believe that LBGT presence was one of the more defining reasons as to why he chose this particular club. When I compare this to the Charleston Church shooting, which was also a hate crime with a specific target group, the environment was completely different. The church was well lit, quiet, still; the shooting took place in the middle of a prayer. When there is the element of hate involved in a crime, it's hard for me to say that the victims' actions or choices contributed to their targeting.
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Police: Rancher Lassos Bike Thief Outside Oregon Wal-Mart

Police: Rancher Lassos Bike Thief Outside Oregon Wal-Mart
Gunner Young's comment, June 13, 2:07 AM
This honestly sounds like it would be a made up story that you would tell your friends, but the fact that it actually happened is probably one of the coolest civil arrests ever made.
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How A Former Prosecutor, An Ex-Con And A Billionaire Are Working To Fix America's Prison System - Forbes

How A Former Prosecutor, An Ex-Con And A Billionaire Are Working To Fix America's Prison System - Forbes | Criminology and Economic Theory |
“I walked into court and I saw the biggest human rights violation that I’ve witnessed in the apathy and the waste of our criminal justice system,” Foss said. He saw people casually talking and texting as defendants were shuffled through every 20 minutes and handed life-changing sentences. What struck him most was how much discretion prosecutors wield. They’re the biggest decision-makers in the court system, according to Foss, despite hardly being equipped to make such huge choices about which offenders should be charged and how severely. And yet their role has been the least scrutinized.

“We’ve been prosecuting people the same way since the Magna Carta,” Foss said. “It has not been touched by reform.”
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