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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The wheel of community—broken and repaired

The wheel of community—broken and repaired | Criminology and Economic Theory |
This series of drawings was inspired by the idea that physical communities have enabled nearly every human advancement since the dawn of history. Communities are hubs where people protect themselves, trade, specialize, and share collective memory that allows culture and technology to grow. Human contact is fundamental to all of us. Communities took specific forms, and they were mixed-use, diverse, and human scale.

With the advent of conventional suburban development, that scale and form no longer applied—it was subverted by zoning codes and automobile-scale public infrastructure. Human tendencies toward privacy and isolation were given free rein, while other human needs were ignored. The wheel of community was fragmented, with major unforeseen consequences.

Now people recognize the fundameantal need for community is best provided by places that are designed as complete communities—hence the New Urbanism. The multiple interconnected benefits of New Urbanism can be explained by this: It restores a basic idea of human organization that was essential for civilization to grow 10,000 years go and still critically important today.
Rob Duke's insight:
Built spaces can inspire community and social organization which is still related to low crime.  When we have neighbors, churches, schools and civic participation, it's easy to see why we might commit less crime because we don't want our neighbors to feel badly about us.
Kyle Green's comment, April 16, 2017 1:36 AM
I believe, as I’ve casually studied the history of Fairbanks as I’ve lived here, that we’re going through this same transformation as a community. Roads in downtown were designed with nothing more than the thought of efficiency. Now the push is almost in the other direction – giving up that extra traffic lane for wider sidewalks, more lighting, warmer and cozier feel with foliage, all to encourage more pedestrian traffic and use as such of Downtown. We’ll see if the State echo’s this with their reconstruction plans of Noble Street and Gillam Way in the coming year. Will these investments payoff in the long run or create headaches if development outpaces the design’s capabilities?
Jennifer Slingerland's comment, April 17, 2017 12:24 AM
This short little article and series of drawings was really intriguing and thought-provoking. It’s easy in this day and age to feel like nothing in society is going right – that we’re on the brink of collapse with mass shootings, nuclear detonations, political warfare, global warming, and just about every other injustice that the media blares out while we’re just trying to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning. But this wheel of society reminds us that even though the spokes might break down and that hardships may make connection seem impossible, the human spirit has a way of reorganizing and re-establishing social solutions which benefit as many people as possible.
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Pharmaceutical giant 'plotted to destroy cancer drugs to drive prices up 4000 per cent'

Pharmaceutical giant 'plotted to destroy cancer drugs to drive prices up 4000 per cent' | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Leaked internal emails appear to show employees at one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies calling for “celebration” over price hikes of cancer drugs, an investigation has revealed.
Staff at Aspen Pharmacare reportedly plotted to destroy stocks of life-saving medicines during a price dispute with the Spanish health service in 2014.
After purchasing five different cancer drugs from British firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the company tried to sell the medicines in Europe for up to 40 times their previous price, reported The Times.
Rob Duke's insight:
Corporate Crime...
Boan White's comment, April 15, 2017 8:34 PM
Ok, I known that big businesses are money hungry sharks and that black mail is illegal everywhere but come on threatening to destroy life saving cancer drugs in order to make more money is not just illegal, its immoral, and should result in some harsh punishment but will that be the case no. the rich get away with so much it is scary.
Jonathan Hall's comment, April 16, 2017 6:20 AM
On one hand, I am not really surprised, which is a little more than unfortunate. This was really scary to read. There needs to be harsh punishment for this.
Cheyenne Martinez's comment, April 17, 2017 3:55 AM
This kind of thing really gets me angry with the leniency that major corporations are treated with - judging from this, there needs to be consequences for their actions. I am loathe to admit that I don't really have any suggestions as to what those consequences might be. This is, in my understanding, a form of profiteering, and should be handled as such.
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8-year-old drives little sister to McDonald’s after learning how to drive on YouTube

8-year-old drives little sister to McDonald’s after learning how to drive on YouTube | Criminology and Economic Theory |
An 8-year-old boy successfully drove his 4-year-old sister to McDonald’s to get a cheeseburger after watching a few tutorials on YouTube.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is going to become more and more common as self-driving cars become mainstream....
Jazmin Pauline's comment, April 17, 2017 3:01 AM
This was amazing ! pretty soon people will learn how to be doctors and other professions by youtube! crazy!
Forrest Smoes's comment, May 7, 2017 11:37 PM
There's a youtube video for everything! Could have done many many worse things with his driving abilities.
Forrest Smoes's comment, May 7, 2017 11:37 PM
There's a youtube video for everything! Could have done many many worse things with his driving abilities.
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APD: Teen killed by gunfire likely an innocent bystander

Anchorage police are now investigating a Friday shooting that cost a teenage boy his life and left a man wounded as a homicide.
Us Woodards's comment, April 15, 2017 3:35 PM
This is such a terrible story. I will admit some biasness as I read the headline. I figured it was late at night or something and he was most likely doing something nefarious anyways. Then I read the time in which the shooting happened and I am appalled. It was in the early afternoon. Anyone could have been out there. Something has got to give up there, before Anchorage full becomes the "los Anchorage" it is referred to.
Vince Nelson's comment, April 17, 2017 2:12 AM
As Rachel's comment says it's a terrible case of wrong place wrong time. It's unfortunate that someone who did nothing wrong was killed in something he had nothing to do with. I hope they find who ever was responsible for this and are brought to justice.
Angela Webb's comment, April 17, 2017 3:04 AM
It was so sad when someone can be killed when they are not even involved. Just as Rachel stated, this is an incident of “wrong place, wrong time.” I feel saddened to know that it was a teenage boy as well. It makes me sad thinking that this can happen at any time. It kind of makes me think about life and just how fragile it can be.
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Swinging London

Swinging London | Criminology and Economic Theory |

THERE is a tendency to regard public hangings in the 18th century as some kind of carnival. The handsome highwayman goes cheerily to his death, blowing kisses to the pretty women in the crowd. The rabble shouts encouragement, aware that it is participating in a ritual act designed to re-affirm community bonds. The dreadful deed done, the bad man hanged, the Hogarthian throng of cheerful tradesmen and naughty 'prentice boys return, refreshed and reassured, to their daily grind.

Nothing could be further from the truth, says Peter Linebaugh, in a reissue of his meticulously researched 1991 classic. The author has studied the ghastly sprees of “legal massacre” (Dr Johnson's phrase) that took place in London—at Tyburn, Kennington and Newgate. He links the periodic hunger for public hangings with the ups and downs of trade cycles and corresponding shifts in semi-migrant labour; all too often the gallows became the place where the waste and nuisance products of mercantilism—the hungry, poor and far-from-home—were efficiently dispatched.

“The London Hanged” is intent on commemorating the thousands of virtually anonymous individuals who were hanged in Europe's most violent city during one of its more prosperous centuries. There is Patrick Brown, a spalpeen, or immigrant farm worker from Ireland, who retaliated against his dismissal from the hay harvest in Hampstead in July 1841 by stealing his employer's silver spurs. The gentleman had him hanged, but not until much later, the death being carefully timed so that it would act as a warning to the next season's spalpeens. Then there was Joseph Philip, who stole simply because he was so tired of the periodic famines that were part and parcel of being a silk weaver that “he mightily long'd to die”.

Mr Linebaugh's passionate engagement with Homo faber—the making class—of the 18th century bears all the hallmarks of the years he spent working with E.P. Thompson, an eminent socialist historian and anti-nuclear campaigner. Nor does he keep his anger safely in the past, dressed up in breeches and bonnets. In a new introduction, Mr Linebaugh argues that the upsurge in the use of the death penalty since the 1970s is linked to the growth in global capitalism. Just as 18th-century workers found themselves falling foul of rapidly changing definitions of property, rights and labour so, Mr Linebaugh argues, do the mobile work-forces of post-colonial Africa and Asia—exactly those people who are most likely to be executed in the 21st century. Even if you find this implausible, there is no denying the weight and breadth of Mr Linebaugh's research, which puts to shame much recent work on the 18th century. Add the fact that he writes as stylishly as a novelist, and you have a book of rare worth—and one which richly deserves to garner a fresh set of admirers.

Kyle Green's comment, April 16, 2017 1:04 AM
It is an interesting theory Linebaugh has to explain the upswing in capital punishment since the 1970s, so claimed. But I would, off this article, call it more of a casual relationship rather a causal one. It would be interesting to explore if the upswing, as seen in colonial London, was about the rich and powerful attempting to protect what they have and distance themselves from the have-nots.

While looking for statistics on this claimed “upsurge in the use of the death penalty,” I came across this post from 2014 that had an interesting infographic and some perplexing statistics:
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Be your selves

Be your selves | Criminology and Economic Theory |

"A friend who stumbled upon my Twitter account told me that my tweets made me sound like an unrecognisable jerk. “You’re much nicer than this in real life,” she said.
This is a common refrain about social media: that they make people behave worse than they do in “real life”. On Twitter, I snark. On Facebook, I preen. On Instagram, I pose. On Snapchat, I goof. It is tempting to say, as my friend suggested, that these online identities are caricatures of the real me. It is certainly true that social media can unleash the cruellest side of human nature. For many women and minorities, the virtual world is a hellscape of bullying and taunting. But as face-to-face conversation becomes rarer it’s time to stop thinking that it is authentic and social media are artificial. Preener, snarker, poser, goof: they’re all real, and they’re all me.
The internet and social media don’t create new personalities; they allow people to express sides of themselves that social norms discourage in the “real world”. Some people want to lark around in the office but fear their boss will look dimly on their behaviour. Snapchat, however, provides them with an outlet for the natural impulse to caper without disturbing their colleagues. Facebook and Instagram encourage pride in one’s achievements that might appear unseemly in other circumstances. We may come to see face-to-face conversation as the social medium that most distorts our personalities. It requires us to speak even when we don’t know what to say and forces us to be pleasant or acquiescent when we would rather not.
But how does the internet manage to elicit such different sides of our personality? And why should social media reveal some aspect of our humanity that many centuries of chit-chat failed to unearth?
Each social-media platform has its own culture and patois but, broadly speaking, the internet is a kingdom of self-regard. A 2012 Harvard study found that, in interpersonal conversations, people typically talk about themselves for a third of the time. Online, that number jumps to 80%. That’s largely because, on sites like Facebook and Twitter, people assume they are speaking to big audiences. Tête-à-tête, people closely monitor each other for empathy and understanding. Speaking to 1,000 people online, it’s impossible to discern what your followers are thinking. The focus naturally turns inward.
Indeed, the sheer size of an audience can shape the content of our messages. A 2014 study by Alixandra Barasch, then a doctoral candidate at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jonah Berger, an associate professor of marketing at the school, tested this effect by giving subjects a simple task: describe your day to both one person and to a group of people.
The researchers provided each participant with details from an imaginary day, with several enjoyable events (like joining a friend to see an excellent film) and some letdowns (like ordering an underwhelming dessert at a local bakery). They asked par­ti­ci­­­pants to document the day in letters written ­for each audience.

Here is an excerpt from a note in the study intended for just one friend: “My day had a rocky start. After a brief meeting with my mentor, which I was late for by the way, I met up with Charlize to go see a movie…I took her to the Cheesecake Factory for some dessert but they were closed and we had to settle for a Hot n Crusty around the corner. Womp Womp!”
And here is a selection from a note intended for a larger group: “Hey guys! I had a great weekend! I went with a couple of friends to see Iron Man 3. It was phenomenal. I really really enjoyed it! I thought it was way better than the second movie.”
In the first letter, the author was frank and self-deprecating. In the second, she airbrushed out her disappointments to make her day as enviable as possible. This is the vanity of crowds. It’s no wonder that young people send ugly selfies to close friends on Snapchat while reserving beautiful sunsets for bigger audiences on Instagram. Talking to a large group of people induces us to present ourselves in the best possible light.
On Facebook and Twitter, large audiences consist of concentric circles of intimacy, that move from close friends to far-flung colleagues to people we don’t know at all but who, we worry, will judge us nonetheless. In a way that would be impossible offline, the internet requires us to cater to the prejudices of strangers. The mere knowledge that we are being observed changes what we say.
A 2017 survey of women at elite business schools found that those who thought classmates might see their answers said that they would prefer fewer working hours and a salary $18,000 lower than those who did not think that they were being observed. When people think they’re being watched, they tweak their personalities to match the expectations of the crowd – with, in this case, depressingly sexist implications. Social media are like a permanent observation survey, in which users adjust their behaviour to match their local network. As a result, Twitter’s sardonic culture incites new users to be more sardonic, while Instagram’s glut of sunset pictures encourages people to document their lives as if it were a film.
It isn’t just audience size that widens the communication gap. Time does too. Mammal-to-mammal, people pause for no more than two milliseconds before the right to speak is passed between them. In written communications, by contrast, from ink-stained letters to Snaps, people have time to polish and refine their messages. A conver­sation becomes a presentation. The desire to be understood by the other person – to explain yourself further if necessary – is eclipsed by the urge to win likes, retweets, and other quantitative measures of popularity.
This is how social media begin to unwrap our personalities. Being observed makes us aware of our audience; performing for more people tends to make us exaggerate; time to reflect allows us to self-edit. Perhaps it’s not that Facebook and its ilk are turning us into narcissists, but that they encourage us to broadcast, and broadcasts tend to be narcissistic.
These new platforms have unwrapped latent elements in human nature that have till now remained dormant. Sometimes these emerging identities are beautiful. Extreme introverts, or people with social anxiety, may shine with articulate brilliance behind a phone or computer. Having a little time and solitude to consider their ideas helps them communicate more effectively.
Social media have turned a species used to intimacy into performers. But these perfor­mances are not necessarily false. Person­ality is who we are in front of other people. The internet, which exposes our elastic personalities to larger and more diverse groups of people, reveals the upper and lower bounds of our capacity for empathy and cruelty, anxiety and confidence.
I think back to the friend who told me that I seemed like two different people online and in real life. It really surprised me. I always assumed that I was in control of the image of myself I presented to new audiences. But the truth may be entirely opposite. Our audience is our identity.

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LAPD Detective Suspects The Crips Are Behind A String Of Celebrity Robberies

LAPD Detective Suspects The Crips Are Behind A String Of Celebrity Robberies | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Alanis Morrissette, Yasiel Puig, Emmy Rossum, and Derek Fisher have all been recent victims.
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Meet the San Quentin Inmates Who Are Learning to Code Behind Bars (Photos)

Meet the San Quentin Inmates Who Are Learning to Code Behind Bars (Photos) | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Just 12 miles past the soaring vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge sits the fortress-like San Quentin prison. Surrounded by water, beneath Marin’s rolling hills and Mt. Tamalpais, there is a cruel irony…
Rob Duke's insight:
Folsom has been coding for about 10 years.  They also have a braille to computer program, and, of course the state's license plate factory.
Jonathan Hall's comment, April 16, 2017 6:33 AM
That was a great read. This sounds like a good program for inmates to learn a new marketable and useful skill. It gives them something to be proud of.
Linda Darnell's comment, April 16, 2017 6:43 PM
I feel like this is something similar to Turkey's labor requirement for their prisoners, however this is much more rehabilitative rather than strictly punishment. This is a step in the right direction.
Angela Webb's comment, April 17, 2017 3:09 AM
This is a good way for them to work towards something that they can use when they get out. Even though they made a past mistake, it is a good idea for them to learn a new skill that they could potentially use. I think it is a good way to use their time as inmates in a more productive way. I think it’s a great idea and they should have more programs like this.
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Gunman in Florida Gym Shooting Known As Skilled Personal Trainer

Gunman in Florida Gym Shooting Known As Skilled Personal Trainer | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Abeku Wilson allegedly fatally shot two people at an Equinox at the Merrick Park shopping mall in Coral Gables, Florida
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Wild things: The evolutionary element of markets | The Economist

Wild things: The evolutionary element of markets | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

ECONOMISTS have been accused of “physics envy”, an obsession with constructing precise mathematical models instead of studying the real, messy, world. But a new book suggests that economists have been looking at the wrong science; they should have focused on biology.

The idea stems from the school of “behavioural economics” which observes that humans are not the kind of hyper-rational calculating machines that some models rely on them to be. As a result, markets are not always “efficient”—accurately pricing all the available information.

When Andrew Lo was a young academic, he presented a paper at a conference which showed that one of the key assumptions of the efficient market hypothesis was not borne out by the data. He was instantly told that he must have made a programming error; his results could not possibly be right.

Mr Lo, who is now a professor at MIT, has spent much of his career battling to steer economics away from such narrow-minded thinking. His grand idea is the “adaptive markets hypothesis”. The actions of individuals are driven by intellectual short cuts—rules of thumb that they use to make decisions. If those decisions turn out badly, they adapt their behaviour and come up with a new rule to follow.

The theory is bolstered by experiments that show how humans make decisions. Psychological quirks include an unwillingness to take losses and a tendency to make patterns out of random data. These traits may once have been useful in evolutionary terms (that rustle in the bushes might not be a predator, but better safe than sorry) but are less helpful when making financial decisions.

Research has also shown what happens inside our brains when we make decisions. Winning money has the same effect on a brain as a cocaine addict getting a fix, while losing money has the same effect on risk-averse people as a nasty smell or pictures of bodily mutilation. Furthermore, it seems that emotion plays a significant part in gauging risks, and not always a negative one, acting as a “reward-and-punishment system that allows the brain to select an advantageous behaviour”. If we do not fear the consequences of failure, we may act irresponsibly, just as small children need to learn to be wary of cars before crossing the road. Studies of people with brain damage show that “when the ability to experience emotions is removed, human behaviour becomes less rational.”

When we apply our behavioural quirks to the markets, the result is a kind of fast-track evolution in which investment strategies are tested in a fast-changing environment. Mr Lo describes the hedge-fund industry as the “Galapagos islands of finance”; many thousands have been set up but the extinction rate is very high.

The theory may also explain why the economy can see long periods of stability followed by sudden crisis. Mr Lo writes that “Economic expansions and contractions are the consequences of individuals and institutions adapting to changing financial environments, and bubbles and crashes are the result when the change occurs too quickly.”

The same process of adaptation occurs between the finance industry and its regulators, with the regulators always one evolutionary step behind the regulated. One answer, suggests Mr Lo, is to create a financial equivalent of America’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Because the NTSB is not itself a regulator, it feels able to criticise both transport companies and regulations; that makes its conclusions genuinely independent.

Mr Lo makes a convincing argument and he also uses the book to lay out some interesting ideas—such as a huge, diversified fund that would invest in a range of potential cancer treatments. But while readers may nod their heads in agreement with the author, it is not clear what they should do next. The adaptive-markets theory does not really produce any testable propositions, or market-beating strategies. And regulators might benefit from his suggestions on monitoring financial risk but might still struggle to know what to do in response. Perhaps that is the point; evolution doesn’t have an end game in mind.

Rob Duke's insight:
Ah, yes, and what drives it all...emotion.  Crazy chaotic emotion.
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Russia bans images of Putin linked to 'gay clown' meme

Russia bans images of Putin linked to 'gay clown' meme | Criminology and Economic Theory |
It is now illegal in Russia to distribute any images that depict President Vladimir Putin wearing makeup and implying he is gay.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, April 7, 2017 5:01 PM
I can see how this would be upsetting... However it does make me happy that I live somewhere I could, if I wanted to, distribute photos such as this. However, seeing as I am a decent human being and I am not going to spread hate speech or rhetoric and I respect my elders and leaders whether I disagree with them or not, you would not see me doing such things. Seriously though, I am glad to see that petty childish things are happening in other places in the world and it is not just a phenomenon here in the United States.
Linda Darnell's comment, April 16, 2017 6:45 PM
I would be curious to see the result of this type of restriction exercised in the United States. It is a concept that would not be received well, but could definitely end some of the bullying and hate speech that is rampant here.
Samantha Pershing's comment, April 17, 2017 1:35 AM
I think that banning somebody from doing something that does not include bodily harm will just spread it faster. I mean, this article is proof. I had no idea that it was a thing to post pictures of the Russian President in clown makeup until I read this article. After this I Youtubed it, and many different late night talk show hosts made fun of this law. This policy is just spreading the word faster, not pushing it down. The lesson is this: when you try to put people down, they will always find ways to come up again.
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Woman who was glassed only received a ‘child-like apology’ as police tsar criticises force for using restorative justice

Woman who was glassed only received a ‘child-like apology’ as police tsar criticises force for using restorative justice | Criminology and Economic Theory |

A woman who was glassed only received a "child-like apology" from her attacker as a police and crime commissioner (PCC) criticised the force for using restorative justice.

Cleveland PCC Barry Coppinger has championed restorative justice, which is sometimes used to bring victims and perpetrators together, but said his force was wrong to use it in this case.

Amy Tombs claimed she was glassed in the face by a woman in Lotus Lounge, near Stockton-on-Tees several weeks ago and reported it to police . 

Amy Tombs, 36, has branded restorative justice a joke after receiving a 'childlike' apology from her attacker CREDIT: NORTH NEWS / NNP 
She was sent the brief, hastily written note a week after she was hit in the face at the bar in Yarm.

The 36-year-old, who claimed she suffered a black eye and facial and chest abrasions in the attack, said the note "boiled my blood" and branded restorative justice a "joke".

The scrawled letter contains fewer than 20 words and is littered with poor grammar and punctuation.

Her 35-year-old attacker made a counter-claim of assault, and as there were no witnesses or clear CCTV, there was not enough evidence to pursue the case, said police.

Rob Duke's insight:
Vertical Justice would have likely resulted in a straight dismissal, which might have been best in this case. Without Victim-Offender Mediation, there's was no real opportunity for reconciliation between these two combatants.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, April 5, 2017 8:11 PM
Rob, I agree with you that there should have been some sort of medium such as a mediator present. Without important aspects and steps such as this, it really is hard to use restorative justice methods.
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The Economist explains: Why are so many adults adopted in Japan? | The Economist

The Economist explains: Why are so many adults adopted in Japan? | The Economist | Criminology and Economic Theory |

AMERICA and Japan top the charts for the highest rates of adoption—but with one big difference. Whereas the vast majority of adoptees in America are youngsters, in Japan children represent a tiny 2% of all adoptions. Men in their 20s and 30s make up the remaining 98%, or almost 90,000 adoptees in 2008 (up from fewer than 80,000 in 2000). Why are so many adults adopted in Japan?

The reason is more mercantile than magnanimous. Business acumen and skill are not reliably hereditary. As a result, most family businesses wilt after their founder’s death. Just 37 members make up Les Hénokiens, a fraternity of companies worldwide that are at least 200 years old and are still run by a family member. The two firms which vie for the title of the world’s oldest family company are Hoshi, an inn founded in 781, and Kongo Gumi, a Buddhist temple builder from 578—and both are Japanese.

Before the second world war, Japan’s civil code decreed that family wealth passed along male lines; tradition dictated it went to the eldest son. In daughter-only households, this fuelled a demand for adopted sons who could carry on the family name and business. (If a biological son was deemed an unsuitable heir, he too could be bypassed for an adopted one.) In turn, families with a surplus of younger sons sent them out for adoption. Many legal adoptions are coupled with a form of arranged marriage (known as omiai) to one of the family’s daughters—but the son-in-law (or mukoyoshi) then changes his name to hers. Today a host of matchmaking companies and marriage consultants recruit voluntary adoptees for Japanese companies.
Although Japan’s post-war code no longer upholds primogeniture, business families find the habit hard to kick. The country's declining birth rate has further limited the likelihood of a male heir for many of them; bosses often select sons from among their most promising top managers. The family owners of Toyota and Suzuki, both carmakers, Canon, an electronics firm, and Kajima, a construction company, have all adopted sons to manage them. Incentives are high for prospective adoptees, too. Their birth parents sometimes receive gifts of many million yen. To be selected as a mukoyoshi is to be awarded a high executive honour. This prompts fierce competition among managers, ensuring that the business has access to as good a talent pool as non-family companies. In fact, researchers have found that adopted heirs’ firms outperform blood heirs’ firms—although the prospect of being overlooked for an outsider can serve as motivation for sons to knuckle down, too.

Daniel Heppeard's comment, April 2, 2017 11:08 PM
This was definitely very interesting to read. I had never realized that men and women, in Japan, up to thirty years of age were able to be adopted by others. Their reasoning behind this does make sense though. For the people who are unable to have children and need an heir could have this problem solved immediately. Plus, the guardians would not have to wait up to eighteen years for the child to grow up in order to understand their position.
Liam Juhl's comment, April 5, 2017 4:35 AM
This is interesting to read, I remember in the reading a theory that the Japanese continue the death penalty with an 85% approval rate among the citizens, because they are a young nation democratically. The assumption being of course that capital punishment is an antiquated measure of punishment, which to many it is, but also that as their nation progresses democratically, there will be changes like the abolishment of capital punishment put into their system. I wonder too, how long this will last. It's been around so long also, as the nation gets more democratic, I'm curious to just how long it will take.
Forrest Smoes's comment, May 7, 2017 11:46 PM
So Japanese people adopt others into their family for business purposes rather than for personal reasons. This is another interesting definition of family involvement mixed with state laws. It is interesting to see how politics of family legalities enter into the government, whether it be adoptions or marriages.
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Woman charged with threatening two men with an ax

Woman charged with threatening two men with an ax | Criminology and Economic Theory |
FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks woman faces felony and misdemeanor charges for reportedly threatening two men with an ax because she was upset one of them wouldn’t buy her some marijuana.
Rob Duke's insight:
She misunderstood the advice that she should be polite and "ax"-nicely to get what she wants......
Vince Nelson's comment, April 17, 2017 2:55 AM
I'm just going to pint this out this seems very similar to the shinning mainly cause the woman doesn't get what she wants and then get's very hostile towards the family takes an ax and tries to break down the door only thing that's missing is the line "Here's June". But I do think there is more to this story I just can't see a person threatening to kill the father of her child just because he wouldn't go get her marijuana. Although what ever the reason I don't think it can 100% justify her actions. Also really appreciated the pun that was funny.
Katrina Bishop's comment, April 25, 2017 6:02 PM
It is difficult not to laugh at this situation just because it is so similar to The Shining. I do wonder however, what the woman’s situation was at the time. Was she on drugs? Was there an argument leading up to the ax threatening? What is her mental stability? It is rather surprising that she attacked the men for not buying her marijuana. I do hope they get this situation figured out, and get her some help. It’s a sad situation when a child is caught in the middle, and I hope they can all recover in some way and help everyone through this.
Forrest Smoes's comment, May 7, 2017 11:34 PM
Never a dull moment in civil disputes
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German police arrest three suspected of helping plan violence: magazine

German police arrest three suspected of helping plan violence: magazine | Criminology and Economic Theory |
German police have arrested three people on suspicion of supporting a suspected Islamist militant and helping to prepare a serious act of violent subversion against the state, magazine Focus said on its website.
Rob Duke's insight:
A look at the German system...
Camden Pommenville's comment, April 17, 2017 2:15 AM
This is not something you hear about in America. If the Germans have enough evidence of a potential plan to attack the state, then they should arrest them. Germany has experienced two recent attacks at the hands of extremists. To keep the state safe, these attacks are justified.
Camden Pommenville's comment, April 17, 2017 2:15 AM
This is not something you hear about in America. If the Germans have enough evidence of a potential plan to attack the state, then they should arrest them. Germany has experienced two recent attacks at the hands of extremists. To keep the state safe, these attacks are justified.
Camden Pommenville's comment, April 17, 2017 2:15 AM
This is not something you hear about in America. If the Germans have enough evidence of a potential plan to attack the state, then they should arrest them. Germany has experienced two recent attacks at the hands of extremists. To keep the state safe, these attacks are justified.
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Fairbanks woman sentenced to nearly 6 years in jail for drug trafficking

Fairbanks woman sentenced to nearly 6 years in jail for drug trafficking | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A woman from Fairbanks was sentenced to 70 months in jail, which converts to just under 6 years, for the charge of drug trafficking. That's according to the U.S. Attorney's office who announced the verdict late last week.
Rob Duke's insight:
28.5 grams = 1 ounce....

So less than an ounce of drugs each; and she nets nearly 6 years....
Jazmin Pauline's comment, April 17, 2017 3:02 AM
That is a pretty harsh sentence for this crime.Maybe her past record is influence on this charge.
Leah Haskell's comment, April 17, 2017 3:21 AM
I think the sentence is fair and it time for the criminal justice system to stop babying drug related offenses. 6 years is good and most likely she will be released early for good behavior. The women also has a criminal history. The women was hiding drugs in her body, this isn't a first time thing for her.
Liam Juhl's comment, April 19, 2017 3:28 AM
This kind of touches on what I talked about in our discussion posts, this war on drugs we've been going at, has been a huge such of money and resources. While it's clear she's spent time in altercations with law enforcement before via what the article said, for less than an ounce, and I know that is still kind of a lot, but for less than an ounce, reasonably, I couldn't see a need for her to spend more time than necessary after detox and drug rehab, and potentially the other offenses committed while she drove her car through the other lane and into the ditch and mailboxes. There's no need for this much jail time here.
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8-Year-Old Student Killed in San Bernardino School Shooting

8-Year-Old Student Killed in San Bernardino School Shooting | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Three people, including an 8-year-old male student, were killed in what police said was a "murder-suicide" at North Park Elementary School
Manisha Misra's comment, April 14, 2017 2:49 AM
This is just another instance of schools not really being a safe zone anymore. I guess this doesn't really classify as a school shooting necessarily, but it still just goes to show that schools aren't the safest place for your kids and that anything can happen. It also just is a statement as to whether or not schools should have more security and should do more in order to make sure that the students are protected and that stuff like this can't happen.
Martha Hood's comment, April 16, 2017 5:30 PM
What I think is really interesting is this man was a Christian pastor and it’s not being mentioned, yet if he was Muslim or another non-Christian religion, the media would be making a huge fuss out of it. Food for thought, does our religion play into how our acts of violence are portrayed or perceived?
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UAF student injured in ATV incident at Arctic Man

UAF student injured in ATV incident at Arctic Man | Criminology and Economic Theory |
FAIRBANKS — A University of Alaska Fairbanks student was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday at Arctic Man, says Blaze Brooks, who was also
Rob Duke's insight:
No Troopers at Arctic Man this year due to budget cuts?  Why don't the permittees have to pay for law enforcement?
Joshua Vey's comment, April 11, 2017 2:55 AM
Should have been troopers there. Should have been more careful. I was lucky enough to go and experience arctic man. Didn't know this had happened until after.
Martha Hood's comment, April 16, 2017 5:21 PM
My question after reading about the accident during the annual Arctic Man Race in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner is why does Arctic Man keep happening? Arctic Man has a history of people suffering injuries each year, and even when the Troopers were there for the event, people still got hurt. There is drinking and driving in addition to the lack of designated directional flow or right of ways. People just all out go. The event has become a huge outdoor party and many people attending have become reckless. I understand people just want to have fun, but at what point will people realize the event needs to be more controlled if not discontinued.
Forrest Smoes's comment, May 7, 2017 11:40 PM
I think that this is one of the most law enforcement needed events in Alaska. So many dangers that can go wrong here. It seems like something could have been worked out to get officers there
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Too young for juvie? California bill bars prosecution of kids under 12

Too young for juvie? California bill bars prosecution of kids under 12 | Criminology and Economic Theory |
California Senate Bill 439, introduced by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, would bar the state from prosecuting children under age 12. The bill is set for a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
Riley Landeis's comment, April 16, 2017 11:47 PM
I think this is where a restorative approach would be very useful. Juvenile detention can be very detrimental for the developing minds of young kids and studies have shown that it doesn't help in the long run when it comes to schooling once they get out. I think this is a smart policy change.
Leah Haskell's comment, April 17, 2017 3:32 AM
I think the restorative approach will be helpful for youth, but it does not work for everyone, especially the young teenagers committing assault. The minor offenses like robbery, truancy and vandalism, restorative programs should be use and other means of punishment like community service. I don't personally feel 12 years old is too young to be placed in juvenile correction facilities, because 12 years old are committing crimes, but I agree that we should look into what caused the reason for these young children to commit crimes in the first place.
Liam Juhl's comment, April 19, 2017 3:38 AM
I agree well here with miss Misra, this has the potential to steer younglings away from criminal life, if restorative practices are well established and implemented, all the while allowing for there to yet be justice for those minor offenses. For serious, and critical criminal offenses though, Juvi should still be considered an option.
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Norway police defuse explosive device, arrest suspect

Norway police defuse explosive device, arrest suspect | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Norway police defuse explosive device, arrest suspect
Cheyenne Martinez's comment, April 17, 2017 4:00 AM
This is legitimately terrifying and I'm so glad that the explosive was defused. I'm worried that widespread threats of harm are becoming even more prevalent in the world today. I'm sincerely glad that no one was hurt.
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Former millionaire gang leader gets more than 9 years in prison

Former millionaire gang leader gets more than 9 years in prison | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A federal judge sentenced to prison for more than nine years a Chicago man who won a $25 million award in 2012 for a wrongful murder conviction only to spend it on rebuilding his street gang.
No comment yet.
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HPD chief announces decrease in Hispanics reporting rape and violent crimes compared to last year

HPD chief announces decrease in Hispanics reporting rape and violent crimes compared to last year | Criminology and Economic Theory |
Against the backdrop of rising deportation fears among immigrants, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo disclosed Wednesday the department has found the number of Hispanics reporting rape is down 42.8 percent from last year, and those reporting violent crimes has registered a 13 percent drop. A person that rapes or violently attacks or robs an undocumented immigrant is somebody that is going to harm a natural born citizen or lawful resident. The police chief said the HPD analysis also showed an 8.2 percent increase of non-Hispanic victims reporting rapes and 11.7 percent increase of non-Hispanics telling police about violent crimes. Government agencies need "to do it in a manner that does not have a chilling effect on victims of violent crimes coming forward regardless of their immigration status," he said. Elizabeth Theiss, president of Stop the Magnet, a political action committee that supports deportation of immigrants here illegally, said she also hopes Houston police focus their efforts on recognizing crimes committed by immigrants here without documentation.
Martha Hood's comment, April 16, 2017 5:20 PM
My concern is that men will now start to target Hispanic and illegal immigrant women because they are less likely to report rape for fear of deportation. Will rape rates go up? Are we decreasing incidents of one crime while increasing the likelihood of another?
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Criminal Case Against Indian Poet Provokes Controversy Over Speech Rights · Global Voices

Criminal Case Against Indian Poet Provokes Controversy Over Speech Rights · Global Voices | Criminology and Economic Theory |
The poem was posted on Facebook on World Poetry Day — but its verses were not welcomed by everyone.
Kelsey Therron Snell's comment, April 7, 2017 5:08 PM
This plays right back into my post regarding the image of Putin, but there are definitely some baseline differences between the two. This seems to be one cast seeking to dominate and control India by having political power in its most abundant and powerful area, which is something many can relate to; however, if the government sees his writing and work as "inciting religious outrage" then it is what they see it as, regardless of what the author says. I do not agree with it, but I guess at some point a line must be drawn by the power/government/ruling body and a stance must be taken on what is acceptable and what is not... I am glad it is not me making that decision.
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German man given life sentence over failed Bonn bomb attack

German man given life sentence over failed Bonn bomb attack | Criminology and Economic Theory |
A court on Monday sentenced a German man to life in prison for an attempted bomb attack on a train station in 2012, attempted murder of the leader of a far-right anti-Muslim party and for founding a terrorist organization.
Eric Villasenor's comment, April 9, 2017 3:27 PM
This is appropriate. Thank goodness it didn't go off. People who want to actively harm large groups of people have no business living in our society.