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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Troopers: Anchorage man held woman in campsite at gunpoint

Troopers: Anchorage man held woman in campsite at gunpoint | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
An Anchorage man is facing multiple charges, including kidnapping, after he threatened a woman at gunpoint when she tried to leave their campsite in Sutton, troopers said.
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No GoFundMe for Kim Davis: Crowdfunding puts the brakes on the disturbing bigots-get-rich-quick trend

No GoFundMe for Kim Davis: Crowdfunding puts the brakes on the disturbing bigots-get-rich-quick trend | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
More speculatively but no less credibly, the fabulous tweets of @nexttokimdavis observed, “When #KimDavis gets out of jail, you all will move on, but she’s going to be F__KING RICH AND WORSE.”

The expectation that part of the Davis strategy included playing the victim card and letting the donations roll in has been a real and present aspect of the case. But crowdfunding has come under deeper scrutiny lately. Earlier this year, the FTC began taking a closer look at platforms like Kickstarter. This summer, Baltimore homeowner Julie Baker’s campaign to fight back against an alleged homophobic neighbor via a “relentlessly gay” display raised $43,500 in a few days — and serious questions about whether the whole thing was a hoax.
Rob Duke's insight:

There's more at stake now than ever before.  Folks have always been able to manipulate their local public opinion against some Scapegoat, but now New Media elevates this type of behavior to an art form.

 

Rent-seeking behavior is almost always destructive to the market and to the community, so it's a good sign that regulators and the crowd funding sites are taking steps to stop it.

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Jay Fulk's comment, September 8, 2015 10:35 PM
Yes, these crowd funding sites can get out of control pretty quick. People are generally quick to believe any story that they hear or read about online. If they are passionate about the topic, they can donate money to the cause. I have no issues with Kim Davis not wanting to issue marriage licenses, but I just don't understand why she doesn't simply step down from her position. It's obvious that her religious views make it impossible to perform her job.
Rob Duke's comment, September 9, 2015 5:36 AM
These duties are a recurring dichotomy in public administration. On the one hand, we're a nation of laws not of men, so we expect our public administrators to follow a rule of law, but on the other hand, do we expect them to follow some ethical rules? If not, then we may experience another Nazi Germany, or perhaps more in keeping with our own notorious history: another Jim Crow era. If public administrators had stood up and said "no, I won't allow this on my watch", could Jim Crow have survived? We have one story of a deputy sheriff who stood in front of a mob that wished to attack a Freedom Rider bus. He said: "go home, boys, nothing is going to happen today." Guess what? The mob fell apart and the Freedom Rider bus went on to another town where some other sheriff looked the other way while a new mob attacked. I don't know the answer and I don't know which side Kim Davis is on here. I suspect that history will prove that she is on the losing side. James Buchanan has an interesting argument on public policy. He argues that compared to all other methods of deciding, politics in a free society whatever policy exists is the "best". Given this, we can make an almost tautological argument that if no better policy emerges, then existing policy is the best one possible. I say almost tautological because Buchanan stipulates that the process is how we judge. If it's open and fair, then existing policy is likely the best one possible under current conditions. Ron Coase further argues that the market always finds the most efficient solution to problems given a set of institutions. We may evaluate that the solution, though efficient, isn't as fair as it could be and then alter the institutions. If we do this, then the market will adjust and find a new optimal solution. Then Buchanan would argue that the new solution, by definition, becomes the best one possible. So, to sum it all up. Sometimes we expect our public officials to follow a rule of law, except under extraordinary situations when some clear injustice is about to be perpetrated. In the meantime, we work to alter institutions in the most ethical way possible and let the market find efficient solutions (see John Rawls and Amartya Sen for some arguments about how we judge the ethical systems).
Rob Duke's comment, September 9, 2015 5:36 AM
I'm interested to hear what you think of all this....
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Coping with Disabilities and Overcoming Suicidal Ideation: A Retired Soldier’s Story | Disability.Blog

Coping with Disabilities and Overcoming Suicidal Ideation: A Retired Soldier’s Story | Disability.Blog | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Via Dana Hoffman
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Laura Lee Smith's comment, September 7, 2015 7:33 PM
Unfortunately this is a very real issue in the military community right now. I remember standing next to my brother when he got the call a member of his brotherhood had ended his life and just watching him crumple. Then I remember hearing him say, "we need to contact **** he can't be alone for a while after hearing this" they have developed coping skills for this including identifying when one of their own is at particular risk and helping out however they can, it is so sad there aren't enough resources without stigma that would help with this at the rate we need.
Dana Hoffman's comment, September 7, 2015 9:14 PM
Thank you Laura for telling your story. It is really sad and there are so many resources that are needed....where do we start?
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Bromantic interest

Bromantic interest | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A whole generation of young men feel comfortable taking man-dates out together, saying “I’m gay for” a male celebrity they like, and generally pressing man-, bro- (and dude-) into service for new words signalling that their straight-maleness is secure. The eagerness is refreshing, and telling. Everyone wins when no one is afraid to appear to be something that was never wrong in the first place.
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Police: Trio in snow dump robbery had "kill list," written rules

Police: Trio in snow dump robbery had "kill list," written rules | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The three ordered three bags of marijuana but didn't have the money to pay for it, according to the charging document. Mutchler told police she "knew that the plan was to shoot (the victim) and then take 'everything' from (the victim)," according to the charging document.
Kowchee told police they had planned to kill the victim the day before but that he didn't show up to their appointment.
Police seized a maroon 1998 Subaru Legacy registered to Mutchler's father. The car had a notebook with a page titled "hit list" on it.
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Nils Christie | Criminology in Europe

But it was the modern punitive practices of countries around the world that preoccupied him in particular. Norway has had a small prison population for decades. In 2010, we had 73 prisoners per 100.000 population. But figures are going up, and it worried Christie. The “mass incarceration” in the United States worried him even more. He strongly held that words easily become empty. We need new words which do not hide reality. Rather than using the word "punishment", for example, he liked to talk of "pain" and "pain infliction". A society needs far less "pain infliction".

Three further notions characterized his activity as a university teacher, in Norway as well as in other countries. Firstly, his ability to nurture good ideas, making them blossom and become even better. Many generations of students – and young as well as elderly researchers – have benefitted from this ability.

Secondly, his originality. He had a superb ability to think in original terms where others were more mundane. He often posed original counter-questions which made others - including those who thought differently - consider new ideas and thoughts.

Thirdly, he was also original in a different way: He was, pure and simple, an inventor! Inventions are usually made by technicians and people in the natural sciences, but also by social scientists - now and then. I here give you two examples.

In the first place is the invention of Conflict Resolution Boards. Through this mechanism, conflicts which contain elements of "crime" (Nils did not like that word) are brought back to those who own them; that is, they are pulled out of the hands of lawyers and criminal justice agencies. In Conflict Resolution Boards, the conflicts are (ideally) transformed into discussions between human beings, where solutions are found. Conflict Resolution Boards represent a long history. Nils Christie is by far the most important inventor in question.

Secondly, he invented the "importation model" in criminal policy. The "importation model" is even more representative of Nils Christie' ability to think of extraordinary ways of doing things. In earlier times, specialists like medical doctors, teachers, social workers and others were employed directly by the prison system or the prison governor. Christie's idea – his invention – was to employ these individuals quite differently. He proposed to employ them outside the prison system, and import them from the outside and into the prison system.  The aim was to avoid at least some of the pressure of loyalties brought to bear on medical personnel, teachers and others from those within the prison system.
Rob Duke's insight:

I just heard that Nils Christie was killed in an auto crash.  Terrible news!

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Caste Quotas in India Come Under Attack

Caste Quotas in India Come Under Attack | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Resentment has gelled into opposition to India’s version of affirmative action, a system of strict quotas that reserves nearly half of jobs for those from disadvantaged castes or tribes.
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When workers are owners

When workers are owners | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A number of studies have found that workers at firms where employees have a significant stake tend to be more productive and innovative, and to have less staff turnover. Employee ownership has its drawbacks, however. One is the risk that workers have too many eggs in one basket: if their employer goes bust they can lose their pensions as well as their jobs.
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Would proposed rule contradict Alaska initiative on cannabis gifts?

Would proposed rule contradict Alaska initiative on cannabis gifts? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Did a recently proposed regulation cancel out the state law passed in Ballot Measure 2 that allows adult Alaskans to give each other up to an ounce of cannabis?
Rob Duke's insight:

Passing around a joint among consenting adults is still ok, but giving free samples at a dispensary is not....

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Orion Hutchin's comment, September 5, 2015 11:00 AM
If the dispensary has a license can't they still have samples if they pay the 5,000 fee? I must be misreading the article.... Wouldn't giving samples be part of business? Businesses give test rides, samples and all sorts of actual interaction with the products they sell. I think it is fine to offer free samples. Think about Costco and their little food stands where the samples are giving out free to get people to buy massive amounts of the product.
Rob Duke's comment, September 6, 2015 4:41 PM
Yeah, I didn't want to poison the well, but that's my take also. I don't see how you meet the "will of the people" in the initiative that was passed without letting these folks run a legitimate, though reasonably regulated, business. That means you probably have dispensaries in fairly guarded zoning areas away from schools (probably near the xxx bookstores) that are allowed to sell product, give samples, but are also monitored to be sure they're not selling to minors.
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Virginia shooting WDBJ7: NYPD official says gunman was "classic injustice collector"

Virginia shooting WDBJ7: NYPD official says gunman was "classic injustice collector" | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

"What was his injustice? He viewed himself as a guy who should be here on network television news and unfortunately he found the most terrible way to get there, and to be that lead story, and to be on it," Miller said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."  Miller defined "classic injustice collectors" as people who feel they aren't finding success and blame others whom they believe stood in their way.

He also said what's most troubling is the case, to him, is "really out of the textbook."

"He exhibited all the classic behaviors, the pathway behaviors, which is all the preparation he went though to do this," Miller said. "He didn't throw this together the day before yesterday. He bought that camera, he practiced with it, he obtained the guns and so on -- the following and stalking behavior, the identification of selective victims."

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Towering silliness

Towering silliness | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
ITS prospectus declares that One57 will redefine luxury New York living; its bland interiors are, apparently, the acme of Danish modernism. The best condominiums in...
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Top 5 lessons from the Mental Health Court

Top 5 lessons from the Mental Health Court | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren's latest Huffington Post blog... "Rejecting stigma in favor of equality and human dignity is the essence of social justice." -- Judge Ginger Lerner-Wren It has been 18 year...

Via Dana Hoffman
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Keep the cannabis in the trunk: Anchorage Assembly extends open-container laws to pot

Other marijuana-related measures passed Tuesday night by the Anchorage Assembly include restrictions on the personal cultivation of marijuana, and on using a fake ID or other means to purchase marijuana. 
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You Can’t Understand China’s Slowdown Without Understanding Supply Chains

You Can’t Understand China’s Slowdown Without Understanding Supply Chains | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Of course, bringing manufacturing to the United States does not necessarily imply more U.S. manufacturing jobs; nor does it necessarily imply that China is changing its position as a manufacturing hub. However, it may suggest that the world is in the middle of a transformation, with companies moving from a global manufacturing strategy, whose focus is on low-cost countries, to a more regional strategy, where China is for China, the United States (or Mexico and Latin America) is for the Americas, and Eastern Europe is for European markets.
Rob Duke's insight:

Why?

It's expensive to move goods around; labor costs have been leveling out across countries; robots work anywhere; it's risky to have all your eggs in one basket--especially if that basket is in a volatile place....

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Orion Hutchin's comment, September 5, 2015 10:38 AM
Duke, your saying that near-shoring is risky? Which if that is the case I agree. I think it just depend on the good itself. Some maybe cheaper to continue to produce in other countries whiles others might be better of bringing back to a certain country. I do however wonder about one comment made in the article about each region supplying themselves. China takes care of China, then the America's take care of themselves and finally Europe takes care of it's self. Wouldn't that be taking a step back with having global trade for a world market?
Rob Duke's comment, September 6, 2015 5:01 AM
The old wisdom was that you produced the good where ever and with whoever had the competitive advantage, and I think that's probably still good advice. I think the example that I heard was that the country with no skills would provide cheap labor to make, say light bulbs. Over time, the workers were able to save up and be able to buy their own light bulbs. With new wealth and new manufacturing skills, these workers were ready to build washing machines, which they could then afford. So, the entire market opened up and everyone still was in good shape either by buying cheap goods or by having emerging markets open up for our products. There's been some angst, however, wondering what would happen when all of the manufacturing jobs went elsewhere. This is a big issue when we consider different cultures, too, because the worker's tech level is one thing, but cultural values are also important. I'll give some examples in class where it seemed cheaper to move production, but culture wasn't fully considered.
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Do Supreme Court Decisions Move Markets?

Do Supreme Court Decisions Move Markets? | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Stock traders might want to start paying a bit more attention to the Supreme Court. That's according to one research report published this week that says Supreme Court decisions moved the market value of publicly traded companies by a net $140 billion between 1999 and 2014.

Via Thomas Schmeling
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Justice decayed

Justice decayed | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
IT STARTED with a shooting. Two men, apparently on a motorbike, attacked a Venezuelan army anti-smuggling convoy on August 19th, close to the main border crossing...
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California to End Unlimited Isolation of Gang Leaders in Prison

California to End Unlimited Isolation of Gang Leaders in Prison | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The state is moving to segregate only inmates who commit new crimes behind bars
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Nils Christie: Empty the Prisons

Nils Christie: Empty the Prisons | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

"I don't like the term crime—it's such a big, fat, imprecise word," says the renowned University of Oslo criminologist. "There are only unwanted acts. How we perceive them depends on our relationship with those who carry them out." If a teenager swipes a wallet, we call it a crime. If he snakes a twenty from his dad, it's a family issue. Locking up the pickpocket only sets him up to learn worse tricks from hardened thugs. Better, Christie says, to treat him like a badly behaved son. Send him to counseling and require that he compensate his victim. Similarly, drug abuse should be considered a matter of public health, not criminal justice. Give addicts treatment instead of incarceration and you'll cure more of them and (bonus!) foster a more humane society. Of course, seriously violent criminals should be locked up, but Christie points out that the justice system does a poor job of determining which ones are so incorrigible that they need to stay behind bars.

Rob Duke's insight:

He was a very accessible writer...

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Orion Hutchin's comment, September 5, 2015 10:47 AM
I agree with the thoughts of Nils Christie. I do wonder if part of the issue is the business of criminals? Without people going to jail or prison an entire industry would be left out a business opportunity. I think if we have to spend money on people lets improve them so we are able to add them to society versus putting them back in jail to pay for them. Sometimes incarceration maybe the proper punishment, other times like mentioned in the article some for of treatment or restitution for the infraction would be a better option for both the person and society.
Rob Duke's comment, September 6, 2015 4:45 PM
He was way ahead of his time predicting how pervasive the prison industrial complex would become. You might also like his thoughts on a suitable amount of crime where he argues that every culture decides how much crime they are comfortable having. The very decisions to support inequality is a decision to accept more conflict and therefore, more crime: http://www.unafei.or.jp/english/pdf/RS_No67/No67_05VE_Christie.pdf
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Thai Police Announce Arrest in Bangkok Shrine Bombing

Thai Police Announce Arrest in Bangkok Shrine Bombing | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The Thai police on Saturday arrested a foreign man who they said was likely to have been involved in the Aug. 17 blast, which killed 20 people.
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Asia’s new family values

Asia’s new family values | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
MENTION “demographic crisis”, and most people think of countries where women each have six children and struggle to feed them. Much of Asia has the opposite...
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Prop. 47 blunder: Crime up 47%

Prop. 47 blunder: Crime up 47% | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
Here’s a bit of what’s happened since passage: In San Francisco, car burglaries are up 47 percent this year over 2014, while car thefts have risen 17 percent and robberies rose by 23 percent. In Los Angeles, overall crime is up 12.7 percent this year and violent crime rose almost 21 percent. That’s after 12 straight years of crime decreases in the state’s largest city.

Some saw Proposition 47 as a mere expansion on Gov. Jerry Brown’s prison “realignment” program, designed to reduce prison populations at the demand of federal judges up to the level of the U.S. Supreme Court. Convicts on a de facto basis were already seeing sentences reduced or being shifted from tougher state prisons to county jails. Many lesser offenders who might previously have gotten at least some jail time were going free on probation. Prior to Proposition 47, this had cut the prison population by almost one-fifth, while not causing crime rate increases in most places.

But the initiative does much more than mere realignment, switching many crimes from the felony category to misdemeanors. This includes most drug possession arrests, petty thefts, forged checks and receiving stolen property, with property crimes having to exceed $950 to be a felony. One result: Myriad drug addicts have adjusted their practices, trying to hold their take from “minor” crimes under that amount. Because of crowding in local jails, it’s common for misdemeanor offenders to be turned loose soon after their convictions.
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Walmart Will Stop Selling Assault Rifles

Walmart Will Stop Selling Assault Rifles | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
The largest U.S. retailer of firearms says it will stop selling assault rifles because of declining demand, not political pressure
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Orion Hutchin's comment, September 5, 2015 10:54 AM
I would agree with Walmart's decision for now. When the demand increases for assault weapons they can bring the firearms back to the store. Anyone that knows a little bit about the gun markets knows there is an abundance of assault rifles for sale as drastically lower costs. This story seems like a simple business decision at this point. The one thing that Walmart sure needs to try and get in great supply is 22 ammunition. That is one product they shouldn't stop selling.
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How a Dog Named Bear Helped Bring Down Jared Fogle

How a Dog Named Bear Helped Bring Down Jared Fogle | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
One of the key players to cracking the case against former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle has a keen sense of smell and four legs.

His name is Bear and he's a dog trained to sniff out electronic media devices, including a hidden flash drive that Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Debrota said was vital to the investigation. The 2-year-old Labrador retriever helped find evidence at Fogle's home in Zionsville, Indiana, when authorities raided the house in early July.
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An Entangled Model for Sustainability Indicators

An Entangled Model for Sustainability Indicators | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it

Nowadays the challenge for humanity is to find pathways towards sustainable development. Decision makers require a set of sustainability indicators to know if the sustainability strategies are following those pathways. There are more than one hundred sustainability indicators but they differ on their relative importance according to the size of the locality and change on time. The resources needed to follow these sustainability indicators are scarce and in some instances finite, especially in smaller regions. Therefore strategies to select set of these indicators are useful for decision makers responsible for monitoring sustainability. In this paper we propose a model for the identification and selection of a set of sustainability indicators that adequately represents human systems. 

 

Vázquez P, del Río JA, Cedano KG, Martínez M, Jensen HJ (2015) An Entangled Model for Sustainability Indicators. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135250. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135250


Via Complexity Digest, Jocelyn Stoller
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SustainOurEarth's curator insight, August 26, 2015 6:00 PM

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Carbon trading fails to reduce emissions, harms climate, study says | Al Jazeera America

Carbon trading fails to reduce emissions, harms climate, study says | Al Jazeera America | Criminology and Economic Theory | Scoop.it
A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report.
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