What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Fun with supply and demand.
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Lance Kennedy
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What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed May 30, 2018 8:36 pm

Just some musing on my part, and some unanswered questions.

Thinking about political corruption and about crime.

When a person is put into prison, it will cost society about $US 100,000 per year to keep that person safely incarcerated. Plus or minus a significant amount of money depending on how secure the prison is. The question is, is that $100,000 a good investment ?

I suspect that locking up a burglar or a corrupt official is, indeed, a good investment, since those people will cost society more than $100,000 per year if let loose.

What about a murderer or rapist ? Is it a good investment to spend $100,000 a year keeping them out of harms way ?
Last edited by Lance Kennedy on Wed May 30, 2018 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What does corruption and time cost society ?

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed May 30, 2018 8:40 pm

How does time cost society?
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

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Re: What does corruption and time cost society ?

Post by TJrandom » Wed May 30, 2018 8:59 pm

I believe `time` refers to the sentence - as in `doing time`.

In addition to the prevention of additional crimes by the imprisoned person during the period they are incarcerated - is the deterrent value of the publicity on like-minded criminals. Having no imprisonment, might lead to worse conditions – such as anarchy and vigilantism.

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Re: What does corruption and time cost society ?

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed May 30, 2018 10:22 pm

TJrandom wrote:I believe `time` refers to the sentence - as in `doing time`.

In addition to the prevention of additional crimes by the imprisoned person during the period they are incarcerated - is the deterrent value of the publicity on like-minded criminals. Having no imprisonment, might lead to worse conditions – such as anarchy and vigilantism.
Why do you equate 'no imprisonment' with 'no consequences'?

Negative reinforcement is the least effective teaching tool in the arsenal.
. . . with the satisfied air of a man who thinks he has an idea of his own because he has commented on the idea of another . . . - Alexandre Dumas 'The Count of Monte Cristo"

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Re: What does corruption and time cost society ?

Post by TJrandom » Wed May 30, 2018 11:29 pm

Of course imprisonment doesn`t need to be the only punishment, it was just that the OP started with imprisonment. Fines, public humiliation, public service, etc. have their place. Personally I wouldn`t go as far as branding or limb severment...

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Re: What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed May 30, 2018 11:40 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:How does time cost society?
Sorry guys. Mea culpa. I meant crime, not time. A silly typo, now corrected ( I hope. ).

On deterrence.
A number of studies have shown that prison has little deterrent effect. What DOES work is getting criminals to believe they WILL be caught. Mostly that requires good police work leading to most criminals in fact getting caught. Some crimes are rarely solved (like burglary) which means those criminals are not deterred. They commit their crime believing they will get away with it.

That is a reason why I am inclined to throw away the key when burglars are incarcerated. I suspect that an active burglar, unlikely to be caught in a hurry, will cost society millions in damage. Spending
$100,000 a year keeping that burglar off the streets may be the most economical approach.

Interestingly, murderers rarely commit a second murder (there are exceptions to this rule). So if a person commits a murder, is locked up for a time, is there any reason to make that prison sentence lengthy ? Assuming, of course, that revenge against the murderer is not a motive.

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Re: What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by TJrandom » Thu May 31, 2018 4:30 am

If the criminal is `paying for his crime` through imprisonment on a cost to society scale - then I would throw away the key for the murderer, no matter that he may not reoffend - simply because the cost of his crime was infinitely expensive. At least for the diseased and his loved ones. I wonder – might this be the logic behind sentence lengths?

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Re: What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu May 31, 2018 5:25 am

That is understandable from an emotional viewpoint. Not so much from a practical and rational calculation . Even if a murder is infinitely costly from a subjective and totally personal view, when you get outside that emotion bounded box, and look at it objectively, there seems to be little to gain from throwing away the key.

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Re: What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by TJrandom » Thu May 31, 2018 7:38 am

But since we are emotional beings...

Plus - I`m not sure that in all (or even most) cases, one can accurately predict who will reoffend, or even if they already have. The killer of the little girl - a first? A sick puppy? We had one such here about a month ago - previously slapped on the wrist but not imprisoned for `touching`, but a month later a killer. And just a couple of days ago - an imprisoned little girl attempted killer was finally ID`d and re-arrested for a cold case.

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Re: What does corruption and crime cost society ?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu May 31, 2018 9:19 am

That is true, but there is very little in life that is accurately predictable. A rational thinker goes by probability.

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