Criminology and Economic Theory
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Criminology and Economic Theory
In search of viable criminological theory
Curated by Rob Duke
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APD seizes Anchorage pot delivery service's cars, but owner vows to drive on

APD seizes Anchorage pot delivery service's cars, but owner vows to drive on | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Police have seized two cars tied to the marijuana delivery business Absolutely Chronic Deliveries Company, or ACDC. Police have no set time line for returning the property, a move officials say is legal under Alaska's search and seizure laws. 
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Amid wave of violence, St. Louis unveils crime-fighting partnership with feds, county : News

Amid wave of violence, St. Louis unveils crime-fighting partnership with feds, county : News | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A task force of 50 police officers from St. Louis and St. Louis County and federal agents from the FBI and DEA has been working to reduce violence in the area, the officials said Monday. The task force is working with prosecutors in St. Louis and St. Louis County and the U.S. attorney’s office to focus on violent offenders and drug traffickers. They’ve arrested violent criminals and taken guns, drugs and cash off the streets, they said.
Rob Duke's insight:

These operations work across agencies to gather intelligence on the criminal organizations and put the bosses in jail.  At the same time, a "zero-tolerance" stance is taken on all violent crimes and weapons related crimes.  While the Feds don't like stop-and-frisk, they often provide the institutional frame work to conduct these safe street operations.

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Identity crisis

Identity crisis | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
THE more that is known about a science, the more uses tend to be found for it. But in the case of forensics—the discipline through which villains are identified by stray fingerprints, stands of hair or other giveaways—it seems that the more is discovered about the field, the more courts are losing faith in it.
Rob Duke's insight:

More from the article: In January a New York judge threw out evidence obtained from mixed DNA analysis, where two profiles are extracted from one sample. The FBI has abandoned the use of gunshot residue. Scepticism has grown in other countries, too: the Netherlands has given up the use of handwriting analysis, for instance.

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Oregon Campaign Fighting to Legalize Weed Accepting Bitcoin

Oregon Campaign Fighting to Legalize Weed Accepting Bitcoin | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
As usual, the potheads know what’s up: the group working to legalize marijuana in Oregon this fall is now accepting Bitcoin donations.
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Why the deaths of Latinos at the hands of police haven't drawn as much attention

Why the deaths of Latinos at the hands of police haven't drawn as much attention | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The muted reaction to the deaths of Latinos in confrontations with police tells a larger story: Black Lives Matter is starkly different from Brown Lives Matter. In contrast to the fatal shootings of African Americans such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Walter Scott in South Carolina, deaths of Latinos at the hands of law enforcement haven't drawn nearly as much attention.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the release of a video showing Gardena police officers shooting two men, killing Ricardo Diaz Zeferino, an unarmed Latino. The video has been viewed millions of times on YouTube. It generated national media coverage, but very little protest.
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The age of unreason

The age of unreason | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
China’s psychiatric system, such as it was, was largely shut down after 1949; the new Communist government made no provision for mental illness in a rationally ordered society. Yet as the country has grown richer and more urbanised, demand for mental-health care has grown. In 2012 China passed its first national mental-health law.

This is a typical pattern. The rise of psychiatry in America coincided with the post-war economic boom. Surveys by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that spending on mental-health services increases sharply once GDP per person reaches around $20,000—the same level at which people start buying insurance, yogurt and other middle-class indulgences.
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Ex-Congressman Michael Grimm gets eight months in prison for tax crimes

Ex-Congressman Michael Grimm gets eight months in prison for tax crimes | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Before he was an FBI target, he was one of its agents.
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William Estrin's comment, July 19, 2015 5:56 PM
This article once again illustrates how people in the upper class control the game and how the law benefits them and is against the poor. I’m actually surprised he got any prison time at all and he wasn’t let off the hook thanks to his big shot lawyer or simply ordered to pay a fine. However, eight months in prison is so not enough time in my opinion. I can only imagine how much money was involved in his whole tax evasion scheme. It was probably in the millions of dollars and he only gets eight months in prison. Yet, when someone from the lower class robs a convenience store in the middle of the night at gunpoint and makes away with a mere 25 bucks or so, they are given many years in prison. It just doesn’t seem right or fair. I believe that the critical theory of criminology can explain why people who commit white collar crimes are treated far more leniently than people from the lower classes who commit blue collar crimes. I’m against lenient treatment of people with white collar crimes and think they deserve to do their time in prison just like anyone else who commits crimes. Unfortunately I’m not the one in power and they are. So I don’t see this changing anytime soon.
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Stop Feeding the School to Prison Pipeline

Stop Feeding the School to Prison Pipeline | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
One of the most prevalent unresolved issues in classrooms is how to deal with challenging, disruptive children. It is an issue that reverberates into adulthood and affects all of us as schools become a pipeline to prison for many of these children.Parents are often as ill-equipped and overwhelmed to handle difficult children as trained teachers are, and both are constrained by time and energy. Perhaps that's not surprising, since studies suggest many of these "disciplinary" problems are in fact caused by unmet cognitive needs and a lack of coping skills, not merely ba

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
Rob Duke's insight:

See Roxanne Claassen's method to resolving classroom disruptive behavior.

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Kaitlyn Evans's comment, July 25, 2015 8:51 PM
As a summer job I have worked as a camp counselor working with kids ages 4-14. I have seems kids who come from broken homes, divorced parents, foster homes, etc. This year we have two boys who live with their grandma who is fighting for full custody. These boys currently have weekly visits with their mom and dad and we notice after these visits they are extremely angry, misbehave and are very disruptive at camp. It's hard for me to deal with this type of situation because I'm not and education major, I only have a background in justice so I have to go with what I feel is the right thing to do. My other colleagues discipline these kids with timeouts or have them fill out forms to give to their grandma. I honestly don't feel like this works for these boys, because they are constantly being put in time out and filling out forms. I try to pull them aside to take a break and talk about what is really going on in their life and how we can try to sole the problem. However, all they know is punishments such as time out or fill out our forms. I think that these boys act out 1. because of visits with their parents and it disrupts their daily routine 2. they want attention. I try to be there as much as I can for them because I know that they need this "loving attention" that they probably don't get at home without showing the other campers they are receiving a little extra attention. Honestly these boys do need the extra attention because of their rough home life.
Rob Duke's comment, July 26, 2015 1:24 AM
If you want, I can send you the School Peacemaking method that we presented here in April by Ron and Roxanne Claassen. I think you'd find it useful with these boys. Let me know if you're interested....
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Altruism Shrugged

Altruism Shrugged | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Rand serves as a touchstone because of her willingness to claim, contrary to centuries of religious teachings and cultural accretions, that nobody owes anyone anything: not kindness, not love, not mercy. This is the diabolical commitment coiled at the heart of the hyperindividualism that dominates today’s far-right politics, and I suspect if Rand had not obscured her true sentiments with so many words, more of the public would be burning her tomes at bonfire block parties. 
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Fake cancer doctor in Richmond arrested after prescribing bogus to patients

Fake cancer doctor in Richmond arrested after prescribing bogus to patients | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Sixty-nine-year-old Vincent Gammill of El Cerrito in Richmond has been arrested for prescribing expired and bag of dirt to cancer patients, claiming he was a trained oncologist.
Rob Duke's insight:

Take two dirt clods and call me in the morning....

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William Estrin's comment, July 19, 2015 6:17 PM
This was a very interesting and disturbing article to read at the same time. I think it is appalling the lengths some people will go in order to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting people. I also don’t think this is limited to fake doctors, such as this guy. I think it applies to real doctors too. Hospitals and doctor’s offices are businesses like any others and of course we all know that the number one goal of a business is to make money. And hospitals and doctor’s offices make their money by selling unnecessary procedures and treatments. I think of many doctors as akin to car mechanics. Just like many car mechanics will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about cars and try to sell you certain parts and services that you don’t need, I believe many doctors will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about medicine and try to sell you certain treatments or surgeries that you don’t need. As with a car mechanic, if I had a serious medical ailment, I would visit multiple doctors to make sure they all said the same thing until I could trust their word. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is more concerned about money and profits than the welfare of our fellow human beings and that is truly sad.
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McJobs and UberJobs

McJobs and UberJobs | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The fundamental problem is that in America, as in many other rich countries, employment law has failed to keep up with the changing realities of modern work. Its labour rules are rooted in a landmark piece of legislation, the Fair Labour Standards Act, passed in 1938 during Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency. In those days a far larger proportion of American men worked in manufacturing; most women did not work; and the difference between employees, who worked full-time for a company, and contractors, who were typically tradesmen such as plumbers, seemed much clearer. The post-war growth of franchising, and the expansion of companies like Amway and Avon that used freelance door-to-door sellers, began to blur the distinction. Now, the “on-demand” economy is all but obliterating it, by letting people sell their labour and rent out their assets—from cars to apartments—in a series of short-term assignments arranged by smartphone app.
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Prison states

Prison states | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
As The Economist went to press, Barack Obama was scheduled to travel to El Reno in Oklahoma, thus becoming the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. The...
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Creator Of The Stanford Prison Experiment Looks Back On Its Disturbing Outcome 44 Years Later

Creator Of The Stanford Prison Experiment Looks Back On Its Disturbing Outcome 44 Years Later | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Back in 1971, Dr. Philip Zimbardo conducted the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment, in which he put young students in a basement-turned-prison and assigned them roles as either prisoners or guards. The plan was to study the way the dynamic of authority would affect their behavior over a period of two weeks. The experiment produced such psychological abuse and degredation of the "prisoners" that Zimbardo called it off after six days. The experiment hits the big screen on July 17 with a new film, "The Stanford Prison Experiment," which dramatizes the procedure's quick devolution into chaos and has reopened the conversation regarding what Zimbardo's research tells us about human nature and the power of control. 

 

Read also: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-time-cure/201507/the-stanford-prison-experiment


Via Ziggi Ivan Santini
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Ziggi Ivan Santini's curator insight, July 16, 2015 9:16 PM

Never underestimate the power of the situation! On July 15, The Stanford Prison Experiment premiered in New York City. The Los Angeles premier – as well as nationwide release is scheduled for July 17. Don't miss it.

Jay Fulk's comment, July 17, 2015 10:51 PM
This experiment was something that I studied at great length last semester. It definitely had extremely powerful effects on those involved with the experiment. Dr. Zimbardo did not conduct the experiment correctly because he was trying to play an active role in the prison environment, instead of being an observer. I think that there wasn't enough structure involved and ultimately the results from this experience really are not useful. Although, we did see that an evil place can influence a good person. The one guard completely turned sadistic because he got so deep into his role. It's an interesting experiment to read about.
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Security experts hack into moving car and seize control

Security experts hack into moving car and seize control | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A pair of veteran cybersecurity researchers have shown they can use the Internet to turn off a car's engine as it drives, sharply escalating the stakes in the debate about the safety of increasingly
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Pretty s-car-y...pun intended....

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Uncivil

Uncivil | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
SOME were taken from their homes in the middle of the night. Others had their offices raided, or were summoned to “take tea” at the local police station—a euphemism for being interrogated. According to Amnesty International, around 120 lawyers, as well as more than 50 support staff, family members and activists, have been rounded up across the country since the pre-dawn hours of July 9th. Many have been released, but as The Economist went to press at least 31 were still missing or were believed to remain in custody.
Rob Duke's insight:

From the article: "The police have focused particular attention on Fengrui, a law firm in Beijing. It was set up in 2007 and is known for defending dissidents as well as suing on behalf of people forcibly evicted from their homes and victims of miscarried justice. The police have accused some Fengrui staff of being part of a “major criminal gang” whose members stirred up discontent about the government in more than 40 incidents of “public disorder” in the past three years. They cite the case of a “lawful” police shooting in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang in May, which they accuse Fengrui’s lawyers of “hyping up” through social media and by organising a demonstration against it. Wang Yu, the first lawyer to disappear (her husband and 16-year-old son were taken too), worked on this case."

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Lookout

Lookout | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
These days, the computerised world presents spies across the globe with both a challenge and an opportunity. Unlike the paper kind, electronic data is weightless, and computers are riddled with security holes. That makes stealing secrets easier than ever. At the same time, computers are able to place the sort of cryptography with which Bletchley Park struggled in the second world war into the hands of everyone—including criminals, foreign spies and terrorists.
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Pot industry is a buzz-kill for banks

Pot industry is a buzz-kill for banks | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Need for security, banking in growing pot industry gives rise to ancillary businesses.
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Kaitlyn Evans's comment, July 25, 2015 8:37 PM
I think those who were/are in favor of legalizing marijuana jumped the gun on legalizing marijuana and not really thinking of problems that may arise. I recently spoke with two folks from Colorado and they explained how even though marijuana is legalized, it is still like the blackmarket, because banks cannot be involved in handling dispenseries money because the use and sale of marijuana is still a federal offense. This article basically goes into depth about how dispensaries have loads of cash on hand and creates security issues. I'm sure we will see these problems in Alaska as dispenseries start to establish.
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Making cruel unusual

Making cruel unusual | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
In the West the asylum movement, which began in the first half of the 19th century (and was the inspiration for giant hospitals like St Elizabeths), offered a combination of rest and restraint and held out the promise of scientific cures for those afflicted. But once inside, few patients ever got out, undermining the idea that there was any treatment going on. In practice, asylums mainly served to keep the mentally ill off society’s back.
Rob Duke's insight:

From the article:

"The idea that this was not an acceptable way to treat the mentally ill first gained currency in America. Erving Goffman, a sociologist, spent a year working incognito in St Elizabeths and wrote about his experience in his book “Asylums”, published in 1961. He saw a flourishing internal economy that ran on cigarettes and cash earned by washing the hospital staff’s cars, and noted that the 7,000 or so patients conducted romantic relationships with each other via a clandestine network of note-passing. There were also a lot of card games. “A readiness to accept an individual as an acceptable participant in a game of poker or blackjack”, he wrote, “was sometimes quite independent of his simultaneous manifestation of psychotic symptoms.” Goffman’s readers were left wondering whether the inmates of his asylum really were mad.

The 1960s saw the rise of an anti-psychiatry movement which argued that madness was invented by society as a way of exercising power over people who refused to conform. The Kennedy family’s personal experience played an important part in the re-evaluation of mental illness. Rosemary Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s sister, had been left in a near-vegetative state after a lobotomy performed by Walter Freeman, a doctor who travelled around America severing the frontal lobes of more than 3,000 people with a kitchen ice pick. The operation was supposed to calm down aggressive mental patients. In 1963 John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act, which aimed to close the asylums and treat mental disorders more like illnesses and less like crimes."

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Australia’s Archibald Art Prize: ‘Who Says Crime Doesn’t Pay?’ · Global Voices

Australia’s Archibald Art Prize: ‘Who Says Crime Doesn’t Pay?’ · Global Voices | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
An armed robbery links the artist and his subject in the winning entry for Australia's 2015 Archibald Prize for portraiture.
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How I f***ed Morgan Stanley: Deviance and debauchery of the 1 percent

How I f***ed Morgan Stanley: Deviance and debauchery of the 1 percent | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
John LeFevre has enjoyed a distinguished career in international finance. He joined Salomon Brothers immediately out of college, and worked for Citigroup in New York, London, and Hong Kong. In 2010 he was hired by Goldman Sachs to be head of Debt Syndicate in Asia, a position that he eventually did not take due to a contractual issue. He has written for Business Insider and has been interviewed about @GSElevator by the New York Times, CNN, and other outlets.
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A funny look at high finance...

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Are Older Men’s Sperm Really Any Worse?

Are Older Men’s Sperm Really Any Worse? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Another, if more mundane, explanation for the big effect that paternal age appears to have on a child’s ADHD risk is that by striving so hard to isolate the effect of paternal age, the paper’s authors ended up studying a small number of individuals. And this makes it more likely that the results they saw were just due to chance.

But the data is proprietary, and without getting my hands on it, it’s difficult to know. Our best hope of finding out how a father’s age affects his offspring may be to follow the methodology of the earlier study on paternal age and fertility: Use cases with donor eggs and compare within a family. If you have two children born to the same father via donor eggs, assuming the donor eggs do not age with the father, you could get a clear estimate of the impacts of the father’s age.

But until then, I’d say the jury is out on the relationship between paternal age and child psychiatric problems. Yes, there is some possibility that it matters. But it’s probably not necessary to run off to the sperm freezer just yet.
Rob Duke's insight:

Interesting article on genetics, father's age, etc. and correlation with autism and ADHD....

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Above the Law, Under the Sheets

Honolulu police testified to a House committee last year that the old Hawaii exemption was necessary for their jobs—not because police were, in fact, having sex with prostitutes, they said, but because writing such restrictions into law provided instructions for pimps and prostitutes to smoke out undercover cops. The premise, called "cop-checking," is that if a prostitute knows police are forbidden from sex, he or she could initiate it to determine whether the person is a client or a cop. The scenario is the stuff of pulp novels: Not a cop, eh? Prove it.

Law enforcement experts I found, including one who trains California police departments in best practices and a former FBI agent who investigated sex crimes in Las Vegas for more than 20 years, called this reasoning absurd. Not only does it fundamentally misapprehend how most survival prostitutes operate, it's far, far more than is necessary to secure an arrest. The three basic components to make such an arrest are: Agreeing that there will be sex; agreeing that there will be payment; and making some motion toward making that happen. That is, you gotta get up from the bar stool and start walking to your hotel room, or tug down a zipper. These rules will vary somewhat (an offer, even with coded language, may be considered enough) but the criminal offense does not require that anyone actually engage in sex, or even go near it.
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William Estrin's comment, July 19, 2015 6:10 PM
This was a very interesting article. I understand that many prostitutes and pimps have tests to scope out if potential clients are undercover cops, but I think in Michigan that the law is way too permissible and is an ethical violation. There are certain things I think are okay to do in sting operations in order to catch criminals in the act, but what the article described is definitely not in that category. I had no idea that that was even legal. I always thought the standard test to identify if a prostitute was an undercover cop is to ask to see or touch her breast. The logic behind that is that a real prostitute would, but an undercover cop would not. Apparently, in states with laws like that, that logic would go out the window. I’ve also actually heard that a great way to tell the difference is to ask the prostitute if she’d be willing to do a legal sexual act for money, such as a striptease. The logic behind there is that a real prostitute would gladly do something only as simple as that to get their money, while an undercover cop surely would not perform such an explicit act, when it’s legal in the first place and they would have no grounds to arrest. But like I said, there’s only so far you can go during a sting operation to catch a criminal before it becomes immoral and unethical and I believe that would the article describes was both of those things.
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Manager Debra Baum Convicted in $110,000 Scam

Manager Debra Baum Convicted in $110,000 Scam | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has secured a conviction against a talent manager for illegally charging $110,000 for representation and other services.

“This conviction underscores our commitment to protect aspiring actors from scams that drain their savings and derail their careers,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “If you prey on the dreams of those who come to Hollywood to pursue their life’s goals, we will hold you accountable.”
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Want to know how to curse like a proper American? Have a look at these maps

UA UK-based linguist created maps based on geotagged data from Twitter that show the usage rates of several popular curse words across the US

Rob Duke's insight:

Um? I guess we'd call this fun with GIS software and social media....

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‘Bookshelfie’: book ownership, class and families

‘Bookshelfie’: book ownership, class and families | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Photo copyright Barnes and Noble Anna Ludvigsen, Independent Researcher                   [pdf] New words enter the English language every year. This year’s newest addition to the Oxford Dictionari...
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