crime

Stop and Frisk

A visually beautiful summary of Broken Windows policing with art by Molly Crabapple.

Jessica Williams points out the classism and racism innate to Stop and Frisk policies.

And the story and video from The Nation eluded to in the Broken Windows video.

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Trends in US Corrections, 2016

The Sentencing Project is a non profit organization that collects data about prisoners and suggests policy reforms. The 2016 Trends in US Corrections data sheet has been released and can be found here.

Information includes prison population, rates of international incarceration, state expenditures, population by offense, population for drug offenses, and female, racial, and youth population in prisons.

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Pedophilia as Mental Disorder?

When we argue that an act of deviance is committed because of a mental disorder it changes who responds (doctors v. police), what the response should be (treatment v. punishment), and their responsibility for their actions (not their fault v. their fault).  If this is the case, then we treat pedophilia in contradictory ways in our culture.  We tend to think of pedophiles as ‘sick,’ yet we do fault them.  In doing so, we conflate the attraction with actions.  As such, we do not offer any preventative treatment.

In “You’re 16.  You’re a Pedophile.  You Don’t Want to Hurt Anyone.  What Do You Do Now?” Luke Malone interviews a number of people who are attracted to but have not abused children.  The US approach can be compared to that of Germany, where there is no mandatory reporting. As a result they concede punishing some who have abused in exchange for providing others care before abuse occurs.

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Poverty and CJS

Last Week Tonight has covered some of the consequences of the criminal justice system for poor people.  First, municipal violations, or small infractions typically resulting in fines.

Many are also in prison because they can not afford to post bail.  Up to 40% of prisoners at Rikers are there because they can not pay amounts of $5,000 or less.

Incarceration v Education

Despite drops in crime, the number of prisoners in the US has continued to increase.  The US locks up more people per capita than any other country; we are 5% of the world population with 25% of the world’s prisoners.  The number of people in prison has quadrupled since 1980, currently roughly 1 in every 100 adults.  

Prison spending now costs states an estimated $80 billion annually, or $260 per resident.  In at least 40 states, more is spent annually to imprison an individual than to educate an elementary/secondary student.  The following chart can be found at CNN Money.

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