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What does DTK need?
(02-17-2024, 04:30 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: The problem is that the deterrence effect of punishment changes depending on the crime and the motivations for it.

Punishment has little effect on a persons crimes of passion or crimes of desperation (the types of crimes we're most often talking about here).

But they do have significant effect on crimes of convenience (which are the types of crimes that most people, like you and I) are almost exclusively contemplating committing. The most obvious example is traffic violations:

Another category which I believe can be affected by sentencing is economic crimes, typically although not always committed by wealthy individuals. Essentially I mean businesses whose operations depends on committing crimes. For example, bulk shoplifting, where a whole gang of people goes into a store and cleans out a section, or fraudulent educational institutions. I think well-off people who have the ability to run a business will think carefully about the penalties, and are likely to stay away from anything that has a good chance of putting them in prison.
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(02-17-2024, 06:23 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I think well-off people who have the ability to run a business will think carefully about the penalties, and are likely to stay away from anything that has a good chance of putting them in prison.

Isn't that likely to be the case, though, regardless of sentence length? I doubt any of them want to answer "yes" to the conviction question on an application or have that pop up in their background search.
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(02-17-2024, 06:46 PM)Bytor Wrote:
(02-17-2024, 06:23 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I think well-off people who have the ability to run a business will think carefully about the penalties, and are likely to stay away from anything that has a good chance of putting them in prison.

Isn't that likely to be the case, though, regardless of sentence length? I doubt any of them want to answer "yes" to the conviction question on an application or have that pop up in their background search.

I think you’re saying the sentence lengths don’t need to be excessive to get the point across? You’re probably right, and I’m not necessarily calling for heavy sentences in all cases, although repeat offences need to be handled more strictly.

My point is that these types of criminals can be assumed to think about the consequences; if they still do the crime it’s because they think they won’t get caught or because the penalties are insufficient, not because they really need that extra $1M in fraud proceeds to keep warm tonight. But it’s at least as much about the system being willing to investigate, prosecute, and convict them, and then sentence them to something real, not some nonsense suspended sentence or whatever, as it is about the de jure penalties.
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Well, I already gave one link showing that longer sentences do not reduce crime, specifically recidivism.

More evidence that longer sentences simply do not work:

https://www.vera.org/news/research-shows...ove-safety

https://ccla.org/criminal-justice/no-lon...uce-crime/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf...10.00680.x

and on, and on, if one simply wishes to look for it and be educated.
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Long prison sentences should only be reserved for specific crimes that are very severe or if the person would be at risk of doing similar offences if released. That could include violent crime (murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, slavery, non-sexual child abuse, animal abuse [we basically do nothing about this]), sexual crimes (assault, rape, voyeurism, sexual slavery, anything involving children), organized crime, high profile drug trafficking (from major local drug dealers to people who are involved in importing large amounts of drugs across the border), crimes against the state (espionage, treason etc), interfering with the judiciary system (obstruction, perjury) and so on.

Short jail sentences should be reserved for small things, essentially a "you done fucked up" and which warrants some degree of punishment that acts as a really hard slap on the wrist. It needn't be a long sentence, just enough to make things miserable for them. Enough to send the message that if you think fraud or selling vapes to kids is okay, you'll spend a few weeks or months in jail. A criminal record will follow them afterwards too. Probation and similar things can also be used after release. Interviews with social workers, psychiatrists and other professionals would also be good, in order to determine why someone committed a crime and to figure out ways to steer them away from ever doing that again.

And while it's true long imprisonments tends to not reduce crime in any way, it's evident short sentences - or no sentence - is also not helping much. Crime rates have been rising in many parts of the country. Clearly we need some changes to fix that. The causes for rising crime seems like it can often be explained by socioeconomic issues that are impacting everyone. When life gets hard - especially financially or if one's mental health completely shatters - then people are tempted to do things they think will help (stealing, fraud etc) or make irrational choices (just look at the incel crowd...heh). I think it could also be used for drug addiction, though perhaps not imprisonment in a jail, but being legally obliged to go into detox. We routinely hold people in psychiatric care when it is determined they are a harm to themselves or others, so why not drug addiction? That is an even greater harm to the individual, but also the general public because it has created a widespread, complex public health issue. It also costs the nation millions of dollars per year. I don't see why we just turn a blind eye to it all and let them abuse drugs. You can't go anywhere these days without seeing an addict. We need to find a way to fight that, but unfortunately we are stuck with this hands off let them do what they want approach thanks to the bleeding heart liberal crowd hijacking public policy. That bullshit isn't working.

As for public safety - or rather the perception of it - police patrols may help. Have more beat cops downtown/uptown. Have police do patrols of neighbourhoods, even if it doesn't really do much. Feels like the only time you see a cop is when they're parked somewhere doing paper work, chatting with another cop or driving somewhere. All cops are bastards, but they can at least have an impact on the perception of public safety, even if ultimately they are an awful concept that exists. It sucks, but we don't have any alternatives that fill the role of public safety - yet.
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