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Are people that do crime really responsible? 

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6 minutes ago, drumbo said:

The practical question is, if people that do crime are not responsible for their behavior should we still punish them?

An even more practical question is whether punishment really reduces crime and actually improves our society, or if instead our money would be better spent on rehabilitation and anti-poverty programs. 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/4/2020 at 7:14 PM, Ten oz said:

You did not make an attempt to define crime. What is or is not a crime varies by locality. That said there are studies that look at the impact exposure to violence (many forms of violence are criminal throughout the world) has on the brain as it develops. Exposing a child to violence does impact brain development, increases adult health risks, and increase the likelihood the child with be violent.

Witnessing domestic violence as a child limits said child's attachment to parents and is associated with lower IQ. HERE

Another study links violence exposure at a young age to inflammatory issues than lead to increased health risks from cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and dementia, HERE

And of course exposure to violence at a child increase ones likelihood of being incarcerated as an adult. HERE.

 

 

Wow I did not know that.

But is most of the public and court system going to have the knowledge about these studies?

Or are they just going to say they are bad person or devil person?

That is problem when courts are made up of non doctors and Scientists. So How can this be fixed?

20 hours ago, Strange said:
!

Moderator Note

This is a science forum. Do you have any evidence that these are important factors in crime? 

 

I’m not sure if they would made up 1% of people in jail or 70% of people in jail.

Unless one can map the person brain to see if there is any brain abnormalities or the brain is just wired different. If it confirmed these people may have very hard time not doing crime or it may be impossible not to do crime.

And again not sure if they would make up 1% or 70% of people in jail.

Same thing with chemical imbalance.

Edited by nec209

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1 hour ago, nec209 said:

I’m not sure if they would made up 1% of people in jail or 70% of people in jail.

Unless one can map the person brain to see if there is any brain abnormalities or the brain is just wired different. If it confirmed these people may have very hard time not doing crime or it may be impossible not to do crime.

And again not sure if they would make up 1% or 70% of people in jail.

Same thing with chemical imbalance.

Why does it matter?

Other than perhaps a clue, for a small percentage of prisoners, as to what is needed to aid his/her rehabilition, but why waste money on machines?

When a well designed rehabilitation program will aid a high percentage of prisoners.  

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5 hours ago, nec209 said:

That is problem when courts are made up of non doctors and Scientists. So How can this be fixed?

I do not feel you have defined crime yet. There is a huge difference between the behavioral reason and possible genetic precursors for breaking various laws. Serial killers and people who avoid paying their taxes are very different yet both commit crimes. Even with a specific category of crime I see broad differences. Take statutory rape. A 20yrs engaging in such an act with a 17yrs in a locality where 18yrs old is the limit is committing that crime. However in my opinion the motives for doing so, underlying mental issues, threat to the community, etc are different for that 20yr old than say a 55yr old who does the etc same thing. Both are bad but I think one is far worse yet legally they are identical in many place.

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46 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

I do not feel you have defined crime yet.

Crime is arbitrarily defined by whoever possesses a credible threat of force. Aron Nimzowitsch said something to the effect of "The threat is greater than the execution." A crime is any act that is forbidden by some authority that possesses a credible threat of force to enforce their rule. For example, I can draft my own law right now, the drumbo law, anyone who disagrees with me shall be imprisoned. However, since I do not possesses a credible threat of force to enforce that rule you will probably not obey it. On the other hand if I was a dictator and had control of the army and police then you would be much more likely to comply, since I would possess a credible threat of force. Not paying your taxes is a crime, since if you do not your paychecks may be garnished forcefully, if you contravene that somehow then your property may be seized, if you try to contravene that physical force will be used against you to seize your property, and if you try to resist that you may be injured or killed. Therefore not paying your taxes is a crime, since it is enforced by a credible threat of force. The execution controls one man, but the threat controls a million.

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34 minutes ago, drumbo said:

Crime is arbitrarily defined by whoever possesses a credible threat of force. Aron Nimzowitsch said something to the effect of "The threat is greater than the execution." A crime is any act that is forbidden by some authority that possesses a credible threat of force to enforce their rule. For example, I can draft my own law right now, the drumbo law, anyone who disagrees with me shall be imprisoned. However, since I do not possesses a credible threat of force to enforce that rule you will probably not obey it. On the other hand if I was a dictator and had control of the army and police then you would be much more likely to comply, since I would possess a credible threat of force. Not paying your taxes is a crime, since if you do not your paychecks may be garnished forcefully, if you contravene that somehow then your property may be seized, if you try to contravene that physical force will be used against you to seize your property, and if you try to resist that you may be injured or killed. Therefore not paying your taxes is a crime, since it is enforced by a credible threat of force. The execution controls one man, but the threat controls a million.

I don't disagree. I just need nec2009's define to better address the question they ask.

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4 hours ago, Ten oz said:

I do not feel you have defined crime yet. There is a huge difference between the behavioral reason and possible genetic precursors for breaking various laws. Serial killers and people who avoid paying their taxes are very different yet both commit crimes. Even with a specific category of crime I see broad differences. Take statutory rape. A 20yrs engaging in such an act with a 17yrs in a locality where 18yrs old is the limit is committing that crime. However in my opinion the motives for doing so, underlying mental issues, threat to the community, etc are different for that 20yr old than say a 55yr old who does the etc same thing. Both are bad but I think one is far worse yet legally they are identical in many place.

I think in the context of this thread we are talking about bigger crimes than crimes that just may be social taboo crimes.

Crimes like robbery, burglary, assault, rape, car jacking, stealing, theft or shoplifting is very  universal and these crime can be put into two groups like property crime and violent crimes.

Crimes like public loitering, drinking in public, littering , parking in no parking zone, gambling, sex and drugs so on are more social taboo crimes that may be legal or not legal in some areas.

But property crimes and violent crimes are universal crimes and are the biggest factor in large prison population and repeat offenders.

One of the posters above said when kid growing up has exposure to family fights, domestic violence and people fighting the kid grows up being violent. Be it the kid learns and thinks this is okay to do or some how it has an effect on the brain and the kid that grows up the brain cannot understand right from wrong. So not sure what is going on here on the brain.

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1 hour ago, nec209 said:

Crimes like robbery, burglary, assault, rape, car jacking, stealing, theft or shoplifting is very  universal and these crime can be put into two groups like property crime and violent crimes.

 I accept this is your definition as context for questions and statements posed in this thread. However I worry we'll read into some struggles.

2 hours ago, nec209 said:

Crimes like public loitering, drinking in public, littering , parking in no parking zone, gambling, sex and drugs so on are more social taboo crimes that may be legal or not legal in some areas.

 Kleptomania  is a known mental disorder. It is also stealing. Which fits into your definition for crime. I would argue that psychologically Kleptomina is more akin to gambling than rape, murder, etc. Kleptomania is a compulsive disorders. Gamble too can be as well. One is a crime and the other a taboo, I suppose, because of the amount of inconvenience they cause others?

2 hours ago, nec209 said:

One of the posters above said when kid growing up has exposure to family fights, domestic violence and people fighting the kid grows up being violent. Be it the kid learns and thinks this is okay to do or some how it has an effect on the brain and the kid that grows up the brain cannot understand right from wrong. So not sure what is going on here on the brain.

Right vs wrong are constructs society creates. In some societies it is acceptable (Right) for parents to use violence on their children as a form of punishment. In other societies is not (wrong). So in discussion the effects on the brain that anything (drugs, violence, etc) has I think it is best to remove subjective stuff like right vs wrong.

There are stages to the Human brains development. Stress creates fight or flight responses in the brain that impact the way a developing mind develops (stress isn't limited to violence of course. There is research out there suggesting the daily struggles of poverty too impacts brain development, here.). The impact can result in a person being more prone to fight than flight or vice versa. For that matter one can development a greater sensitively to stress and respond aggressively to what society would broadly view as mild stress. Here is an interesting study about the potential impacts on the brain, here.

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So any exposure to violence is bad? Seeing people fight,  parents fighting, neighbor fighting, people fighting at school, violence in movies or TV or violence in video games.

And exposure to this the person is more likely to be violent and get in trouble with violent crimes.

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“Be cruel to be kind”

- From Shakespeare 's Hamlet: act towards someone in a way which seems harsh but will ultimately be of benefit. 

Rehabilitation is of critical importance. But rehabilitation and punishment are not contradictory or mutually exclusive. The concept of rehabilitation most certainly forbids any disproportionate vengeance. But the justice system must impress upon people who commit evil actions the wrongness of their crimes. The following link is a logical extreme which doesn’t in any way disprove rehabilitation. But it does show that rehabilitation is not synonymous with undue leniency. Where multiple lives are lost, long term use of restraints such as leg cuffs and handcuffs are necessary to further confine them.

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0420/Anders-Breivik-Can-Norway-be-too-humane-to-a-terrorist

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1 hour ago, Michael McMahon said:

“Be cruel to be kind”

- From Shakespeare 's Hamlet: act towards someone in a way which seems harsh but will ultimately be of benefit. 

Rehabilitation is of critical importance. But rehabilitation and punishment are not contradictory or mutually exclusive. The concept of rehabilitation most certainly forbids any disproportionate vengeance. But the justice system must impress upon people who commit evil actions the wrongness of their crimes. The following link is a logical extreme which doesn’t in any way disprove rehabilitation. But it does show that rehabilitation is not synonymous with undue leniency. Where multiple lives are lost, long term use of restraints such as leg cuffs and handcuffs are necessary to further confine them.

https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0420/Anders-Breivik-Can-Norway-be-too-humane-to-a-terrorist

I agree,  while as you say we as a society we need make it clear they have done wrong,  the rehabilitation could be about teaching them the skills they need to contribute to society in a positive way, which is what we want.

There is no point taking someone who can't read and write, who commits crimes,  to one side, put them in jail,  releasing them only for them to go back to what they were doing before, because they lack literacy skills for example.  Surely this is a barrier to them getting a good  job, decent accomodation   and adult education courses may not be available or there could be other barriers.

So yes,  jail needs to send a strong message,  but also perhaps help people back on track but not be seen as a free ride to a free 2nd chance education you are till locked up in your cell, still denied freedom to come and go, and still subject to rules.

Lets find out why that person in jail, clearly there are some crimes that warrant locking up for a very long time,  but it seems for many,   prison is a revolving door, we also need to perhaps fix the system so ex offenders can actually work in certain posts,  perhaps having been on the wrong side of the law,  been in jail,  but took the  chance and  to work hard, and gain a good set of qualifications to turn their life around,  that person could mentor people and steer them away from jail which from experience they would not want any one else to have to go through.

 

Jail should not be the only way to turn lives around, we need proper funding of adult education and homeless / addiction / other groups who take people who have fallen off the radar and actually help them,  that may stop them falling in to the revolving door mentioned above.

Also no reason really why some ex offenders should not be able to say join the army, police or other services,  for the same reason,  as a community officer you perhaps are there to prevent and help people to stay on the right track.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2020 at 1:52 PM, Michael McMahon said:

“Be cruel to be kind”

There's nothing wrong with results oriented thinking, but to actually carry it out when it involves cruelty requires the recognition of onlookers that you are actually behaving in the best interests of the recipient. Good luck convincing people.

Edited by drumbo

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drumbo: “Good luck convincing people.”


“Expected Loss — estimated loss frequency multiplied by estimated loss severity, summed for all exposures.” 
- irmi 

A perpetrator’s low risk of recidivism is rightfully a big mitigating factor. But there is another aspect to consider besides their risk of reoffending (failure probability); namely the severity of the crime that they might be capable of committing if they ever deteriorated and carried out another crime (damage related to the failure). So I think both variables are important in the context of rehabilitation. There is an enormous difference between a serial thief being released only to subsequently steal than there is a person who killed someone being released from jail and committing murder again.

“The formulation "risk = probability (of a disruption event) x loss (connected to the event occurrence)" is a measure of the expected loss connected with something (i.e., a process, a production activity, an investment...) subject to the occurrence of the considered disruption event. It is a way to quantify risks...You may also rephrase as "risk = failure probability x damage related to the failure".”

- researchgate

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50 minutes ago, Michael McMahon said:

There is an enormous difference between a serial thief being released only to subsequently steal than there is a person who killed someone being released from jail and committing murder again.

That's why we have rehabilitation, coupled with incarceration; a serial theif is less likely to kill and more likely to be rehabilitated; a big difference.... 

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On 8/19/2020 at 4:16 PM, dimreepr said:

That's why we have rehabilitation, coupled with incarceration; a serial theif is less likely to kill and more likely to be rehabilitated; a big difference.... 

Well that is why the justice system needs hand out justice that fits the crime or crimes that have taken place.  One size can't fit all.  If you look at the 3 that killed PC Harper,  we are looking at burglary,  theft of a car,  and dragging PC Harper behind for over a mile,  causing horrific fatal injuries.  Odd how none of them noticed.  Then they just laugh about it,  showing contempt for everyone including the family and friends of the victim. 

So while I agree with longer jail terms, surely those who show remorse, or admit their crime (say they do the same thing) that remorse and or admission should be taken in to account.   Those who show no remorse and laugh clearly need the laugh wiped from their faces.  The 3 who killed PC harper are apparently now appealing against their sentence.   Give judges the power to hand out very harsh and long terms,  so they then have the power and option to also commute that to shorter terms.  

For petty theft, perhaps the jail term could be determined by treatment and then education so people  are helped back in to society and are less likely to offend again,  jail should not be a place they would want to go back to,  but the education and treatment leaves them in a better place.   So if that programme takes 3 years then you have 3 years for petty theft, it depends on the individual,  but that can be start off in a medium security prison which has access to proper training and funding.  Perhaps the last six months they can be released for work, and return for the evening and night,  special wings to allow for that.  

And yes some prison terms should not prevent you from going in to the police, in fact having been inside, it may make you a better candidate to talk to groups of people about choices and consequences.  

Very complex, but maybe we need to make tough decisions to get to the best outcomes for people.

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16 hours ago, paulsutton said:

Well that is why the justice system needs hand out justice that fits the crime or crimes that have taken place.  One size can't fit all.  If you look at the 3 that killed PC Harper,  we are looking at burglary,  theft of a car,  and dragging PC Harper behind for over a mile,  causing horrific fatal injuries.  Odd how none of them noticed.  Then they just laugh about it,  showing contempt for everyone including the family and friends of the victim.

I disagree, you've just presented an emotive case. The justice system, when working correctly, will overlook an emotive argument as it will necessarily prejudice any mitigation.

One size has to fit all, if it's going to be fair to all; for instance in your case, the police will be highly motivated to exact revenge, if their "one size fits all" philosophy isn't to treat every suspect is innocent before they go to trial.

Remember, revenge is not justice...

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On 8/8/2020 at 8:17 PM, paulsutton said:

I agree,  while as you say we as a society we need make it clear they have done wrong,  the rehabilitation could be about teaching them the skills they need to contribute to society in a positive way, which is what we want.

There is no point taking someone who can't read and write, who commits crimes,  to one side, put them in jail,  releasing them only for them to go back to what they were doing before, because they lack literacy skills for example.  Surely this is a barrier to them getting a good  job, decent accomodation   and adult education courses may not be available or there could be other barriers.

So yes,  jail needs to send a strong message,  but also perhaps help people back on track but not be seen as a free ride to a free 2nd chance education you are till locked up in your cell, still denied freedom to come and go, and still subject to rules.

Lets find out why that person in jail, clearly there are some crimes that warrant locking up for a very long time,  but it seems for many,   prison is a revolving door, we also need to perhaps fix the system so ex offenders can actually work in certain posts,  perhaps having been on the wrong side of the law,  been in jail,  but took the  chance and  to work hard, and gain a good set of qualifications to turn their life around,  that person could mentor people and steer them away from jail which from experience they would not want any one else to have to go through.

 

Jail should not be the only way to turn lives around, we need proper funding of adult education and homeless / addiction / other groups who take people who have fallen off the radar and actually help them,  that may stop them falling in to the revolving door mentioned above.

Also no reason really why some ex offenders should not be able to say join the army, police or other services,  for the same reason,  as a community officer you perhaps are there to prevent and help people to stay on the right track.

Agreed,   if not jail,   there are for example complexes of secure housing,  and secure, perhaps sheltered communities,  they are not locked up as such but are in a secure / safe environment.   Where they have access to the help they need.  

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16 hours ago, paulsutton said:

Very complex, but maybe we need to make tough decisions to get to the best outcomes for people.

It's really rather simple, a King Solomon type deal.

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

It's really rather simple, a King Solomon type deal.

I will need to look that up,  but may be we need to make some tough decisions somewhere.   Like how do we fund social care and adult education,   if that means higher taxes, or other funding streams these are tough decisions,  that may be unpopular unless people see results from these policies.

Maybe it is people and their needs that are different,if we are all unique and different needs and level of needs then we all need help in different ways.  hence the complexity.  

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

 

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6 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

Maybe it is people and their needs that are different,if we are all unique and different needs and level of needs then we all need help in different ways.  hence the complexity. 

We're all human, hence the simplicity.

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On 8/7/2020 at 7:10 PM, nec209 said:

I think in the context of this thread we are talking about bigger crimes than crimes that just may be social taboo crimes.

Crimes like robbery, burglary, assault, rape, car jacking, stealing, theft or shoplifting is very  universal and these crime can be put into two groups like property crime and violent crimes.

Crimes like public loitering, drinking in public, littering , parking in no parking zone, gambling, sex and drugs so on are more social taboo crimes that may be legal or not legal in some areas.

But property crimes and violent crimes are universal crimes and are the biggest factor in large prison population and repeat offenders.

One of the posters above said when kid growing up has exposure to family fights, domestic violence and people fighting the kid grows up being violent. Be it the kid learns and thinks this is okay to do or some how it has an effect on the brain and the kid that grows up the brain cannot understand right from wrong. So not sure what is going on here on the brain.

A child learns from the parent or their environment,  and this seems to apply to the animal kingdom too,  a adult chimp for example uses a stick to get food (termites) from a hole in the ground or tree,   the youngster copies the adult.   I think we are finding animals and their social structures are far more complex than first thought but in a way they are also remarkably similar they can feel loss, grief,  and well as happiness.

I can't find the reference to what I may have refereed to earlier, (it's on a poster somewhere)  I did find this

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/researchweek/ResearchWeek2020/All2020/37/

I think we are seeing increasing evidence that the first few years of a child's life are essential,  not just with what the are exposed  but their diet and stimulation is also important, for development.   

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3 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

A child learns from the parent or their environment,  and this seems to apply to the animal kingdom too

At what age, does the child learn? 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2020 at 2:14 AM, iNow said:

An even more practical question is whether punishment really reduces crime and actually improves our society, or if instead our money would be better spent on rehabilitation and anti-poverty programs. 

In terms of anti poverty, Would a universal basic income be far better for society,  ?   If you increase taxes then you get accused of punishing the rich. 

This is from Jan 2020

World’s billionaires have more wealth than 4.6 billion people

https://www.oxfam.org/en/press-releases/worlds-billionaires-have-more-wealth-46-billion-people

I wonder what the Covid 19 pandemic has done to these figures,   we know that Amazon and Facebook have done very well from the news.   But the cost is to the millions facing job losses, evictions,  and poverty.

In other news

Both Bill Gates and Mark Zukerburg are apparently now centi-billionaires,  so worth something like $ 100 Billion Dollars,    meanwhile there are people who use Facebook who can barely afford to make ends meet and buy food.  

5 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

At what age, does the child learn? 

Maybe we need to define the term 'learn'  and bring in some child development experts in to this.

https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/ages-stages/#gs.dho62l

Edited by paulsutton

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4 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

 If you increase taxes then you get accused of punishing the rich. 

The poor old rich people, imagine being accused of having enough...

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2 hours ago, paulsutton said:

Would a universal basic income be far better for society,  ?  

Better than what?

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