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Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:18 pm UTC
by Sleeper
Here's three graphs from Wikipedia:

Image
Above: The quadrupling of the number of Americans incarcerated since 1980. There's many more who are on parole but not incarcerated.

America imprisons more people per capita, and as a total sum, than any other country in the world. Even though China and India have arguably less responsible/more corrupt governments, and populations about 4 times higher, they imprison fewer people and at a lower rate.

Image
Above: The rise of the number of US property crimes since 1960 and the reduction since 1980, per 100,000 population.

Image
Violent crimes have declined since 1990, not 1980.

Is the reduction of crime rates due to the higher incarceration rate? Or is it part of the explanation? What else is part of it?

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:21 pm UTC
by sje46
Rise of crack epidemic, fall of crack epidemic.

If anything, the increased amount of prisoners means more crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:32 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
There is also a correlation between the changes in crime rates and the availability of abortion. Does that equate to causation? Depends on whom you ask.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:56 pm UTC
by tankman
sje46 wrote:If anything, the increased amount of prisoners means more crime.


Not necessary. I think we should also include population changes, changes in laws, and changes in prosecution. The graphs look at the number of people being incarcerated not the percentage of the population. Perhaps if we look at percentages it might give us a better idea if they are related. DNA evidence first started being used in the late 1980s. This could be a reason for the sharp rise in the number of people incarcerated.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:51 pm UTC
by Dark567
There are 4 mains reason crime has been low since the mid-90's:
  • Better policing- Broken window policies and heavy use of quantitative methods
  • Access to abortion
  • Longer prison terms, prisoners have a high rate of committing crimes when they are released. Putting more time between sentences decreases the opportunity to commit crime
  • End of the crack epidemic

The more interesting thing is the apparently falling crime rates during the recession...

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:55 pm UTC
by LaserGuy
Over the long term, incarceration rates seem have little effect on crime rates. Here's an article that looks at the phenomenon in some detail. I think this figure 5 pretty much says it all: incarceration rates have been increasing pretty much continuously since 1970, yet the crime rate has gone up some years, and down some others. While I don't have data on hand, my understanding is that crime rates are also falling throughout much of the developed world.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:03 pm UTC
by Dark567
LaserGuys article wrote:“About 25% of the decline in violent crime can be attributed to increased incarceration. While one-quarter of the crime drop is not insubstantial, we then know that most of the decline — three-quarters — was due to factors other than incarceration.”


That article actually almost identically labels the same things I did as the reasons for the decrease...although it leaves out abortion.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:45 am UTC
by CorruptUser
Dark567 wrote:The more interesting thing is the apparently falling crime rates during the recession...


Harder to fence stolen goods? Electronics are cheap(er than in 1980) and become obsolete fast, so fewer people would buy used electronics.

I still agree with Freakanomics, where legalized abortion lowers the crime rate.

Also, those statistics are reported crimes. Quite sure rape wasn't likely to be reported in 1960. Murder is hard to hide, unless NOTE: CRACKPOT CONSPIRACY THEORY AHEAD you are Japan and claim most murders are 'suicides'.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:29 am UTC
by Thesh
You can't just look at numbers like that, you have to look at what the incarcerations are for, you need offender demographics. What I would like to see is what percentage of offenders are under 18, and what are the incarceration rates for people under 18. I'm willing to bet that juvenile crime rates have dropped off, despite an insignificant change in incarceration rates for juveniles. This would suggest the incarceration rate is not the primary factor in the drop in crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:58 am UTC
by BattleMoose
I would expect social and economic societal issues would have a much higher impact on crime rate than incarceration ever could. Certainly I think incarceration and law enforcement has an impact but it would be very difficult to quantify considering the larger societal impacts and economic impacts on crime rates.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 11:50 am UTC
by Elliot
Crime statistics don't tell you the number of crimes. Depending on the source, they might be numbers of convictions or arrests, or the number of crimes known to police (i.e. detected or reported). There are lots of reasons why those things might change, other than a change in the actual number of crimes. For instance, the prevalence of insurance is going to have an effect on crime rates, because often people only bother to report a crime so they can file an insurance claim. Also, certain types of crimes tend to be greatly underrepresented in official criminal statistics, either because they're not reported (like domestic violence) or because they're often not treated as crimes (industrial 'accidents'). So you can't just rely on those statistics as being a measurement of the number of crimes that are committed.
And in any case, those statistics seem to show that crime rates are much higher than they were 50 years ago, when the US prison population was much lower. There was a period of greatly increased crime rates that seems to be coming to an end, but that's not exactly what the 'incarceration reduces crime' hypothesis would predict. Indeed the period at which incarceration started to rapidly increase (around 1980) is followed by a decade of very high crime rates. You say that property crimes started to decrease in 1980, but that's quickly followed by an increase between 1984 and 1991.

As for other factors involved in reducing crime, things have changed a lot since the '80s. There are a lot more cameras, alarm systems and immobilisers. This provides a reason for criminals to commit as few burglaries, robberies, et cetera as possible, since there's a greater difficulty and a greater chance of being caught. At the same time, a lot more people have small, expensive items in their pockets, houses and cars, so one can steal from fewer people and still gain the same value of loot (it would be interesting to compare statistics on the value of stolen property, rather than the number of thefts). A reduction in the murder rate is to be expected following advances in emergency medical services, since people are more likely to survive when attacked.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:02 pm UTC
by BattleMoose
Typically when considering crime trends, murders are focused on, as those have the highest rate of being reported. There's always a body, that usually someone at least wants taken away or a missing person.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:05 am UTC
by Elliot
It's more commonly homicides, rather than specifically murders. For these sorts of analyses there's not a big difference between murder and manslaughter, and in reality the difference might be attributable to a plea bargain rather than any actual difference of conduct.
But even with homicides, it's not really straightforward. If a person dies working on a construction site, because some legally required safety measure is absent, is that a homicide? Morally, of course it is. Legally it's a bit complex, but it certainly can be. But in practice there's a good chance it will be recorded as an accident. Our criminal statistics are influenced by dominant discourses of crime which emphasise the criminality of the proletariat, while seeking to ignore or justify the crimes of the ruling class. So even when you focus only in homicide, what we might morally consider homicide is not necessarily what the law considers homicide. And what the law considers homicide, is not the same as what the police consider homicide.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:56 am UTC
by Warren Dew
Sleeper, the main problem with that idea is that incarceration does not explain the increase in crime in the 1960s and beyond. However, perhaps including other forms of detention explains both the historical increase and decrease in crime:

http://www.volokh.com/files/bernardharcourt-volokh_graph.1.JPG

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:19 am UTC
by Laserdan
Well how do incarceration rates for specific crime correlate with that specific crime (using suitable avaible data for that, which may be not that easy), simply because if I interpret the section in the same Wiki article the OP had his data from has a section about types of crimes that explicitly talks about how the percentage of inmates convicted for violent crimes seemed to stay generally stable.

If you however compare the fact that since 1980 (basically, after the War on Drugs gained momentum), the amount of inmates convicted for drugs rose twelve-fold, while drug use and addiction are generally relatively stable over long times (we've got about 1% addicts before Harrison and Anslinger, and today where still at about 1%, data due leap.cc) outside of epidemics, which correlate more with newly-avaible drugs and drug purity on the street (need to find the data, but there was for example a graph that clearly showed correlations between pseudoephedrine avaibility (especially in South East Asian chemical plants), purity and meth usage in the case of meth epidemics. I'll try to find it).

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:00 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
CorruptUser wrote:
Dark567 wrote:The more interesting thing is the apparently falling crime rates during the recession...


Harder to fence stolen goods? Electronics are cheap(er than in 1980) and become obsolete fast, so fewer people would buy used electronics.

I still agree with Freakanomics, where legalized abortion lowers the crime rate.

Also, those statistics are reported crimes. Quite sure rape wasn't likely to be reported in 1960. Murder is hard to hide, unless NOTE: CRACKPOT CONSPIRACY THEORY AHEAD you are Japan and claim most murders are 'suicides'.


All of this is reasonable, and in addition, we have an aging population. Crimes, especially violent crimes, are typically committed by the young, not the granny on social security. So, a certain decrease of crime is to be expected as age demographics change.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:05 pm UTC
by morriswalters
So little time to commit crime, what with having a phone, and video games and, and cable TV, and fast food, and the thousand other distractions that befuddle us. Someone actually did some research.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:41 pm UTC
by Adam H
I think one interesting thing to keep in mind is that an increase in crime should directly cause higher incarceration rates, and a decrease in crime should directly cause lower incarceration rates.

I have no idea what to conclude from that though. I'm just talking for the sake of talking.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:31 pm UTC
by idobox
I have no idea how to measure it, but the birth control idea really appeals to me.

As for incarceration, I don't think (totally unsupported claim) that it's very efficient.
On one hand, you have people who are afraid of prison, and whether they risk 1 or 2 years shouldn't the rate at which they commit crimes much.
You have the people who don't really project in the future, or are more scared of something else (junkies, people who owe money to loansharks).
Then you have the whole population that isn't afraid at all, or even consider it a rite of passage. I don't have any data to support my claims, but I suppose quite a lot of bad guys first went to prison for smaller crimes (dealing canabis, stealing bags), met tougher criminals, joined a gang to survive prison, made a bunch of contacts, and then switched shooting rival meth dealers or robbing banks.
Keeping people in prison longer reduces the number of crimes they can commit outside, but a lot of crime is committed in prison too. That changes the nature of crimes, but I'm not sure it would have a huge impact on numbers.

I don't think criminals think something like "if I burgle a house, I risk to go to jail for that long, and can earn that much, but if I break in and beat the owner up, I can get earn that much more, but also risk that much more".

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:42 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
Adam H wrote:I think one interesting thing to keep in mind is that an increase in crime should directly cause higher incarceration rates, and a decrease in crime should directly cause lower incarceration rates.


It *should*, in a perfect world. But realistically, there's a million complicating factors. Reporting rates, arrest rates, conviction rates, changes in what is illegal. At a certain point, the conclusions you can draw between the two are...limited.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:03 pm UTC
by Adam H
Tyndmyr wrote:
Adam H wrote:I think one interesting thing to keep in mind is that an increase in crime should directly cause higher incarceration rates, and a decrease in crime should directly cause lower incarceration rates.


It *should*, in a perfect world. But realistically, there's a million complicating factors. Reporting rates, arrest rates, conviction rates, changes in what is illegal. At a certain point, the conclusions you can draw between the two are...limited.
Sure. And one of those complicating factors is that crime rate and incarceration rate are interdependent in an opposite way than you'd first expect.

In a "perfect world", high crime leads to high incarceration which leads to low crime which leads to low incarceration which leads to high crime, etc... so the hypothetical thought experiment is FUBAR without even considering other factors.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:37 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
idobox wrote:I don't think criminals think something like "if I burgle a house, I risk to go to jail for that long, and can earn that much, but if I break in and beat the owner up, I can get earn that much more, but also risk that much more".


I would imagine that anyone who's very carefully engaged in long term planning and risk/reward evaluation would be steered away from a life of crime, yes.

That, or he'd be very, very good at it, and in a subsector of it with high potential rewards and low risks, like white collar crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:19 am UTC
by Laserdan
Tyndmyr wrote:
idobox wrote:
I would imagine that anyone who's very carefully engaged in long term planning and risk/reward evaluation would be steered away from a life of crime, yes.

That, or he'd be very, very good at it, and in a subsector of it with high potential rewards and low risks, like white collar crime.


If you're consisently that good, you'd probably be making much more (and safer) money in the private sector or be really sure you are gonna be a boss in your crime syndicate. Profit ranges in contraband dealing etc. is hugely profitable, but the lower ranks carry disproportionaly high risks with low rewards.

Other than that, incarceration is not a good system in my view. First, as someone said, it's basically the college where you get your bachelor of crime. It's a great place to meet other criminals who were caught and learn from each other how to be a better criminal. Second, the whole punishment system seems strange to me, and pointless. I do have an idea for a system in mind but that's way too much off topic.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:10 pm UTC
by Zamfir
It's not as if 'good at planning' is written on your forehead, or a universally applicable skill. Someone has to give you the opportunities to build experience in a well-paying private sector, and as a rule they don't give you those opportunities if your CV says 'burglaries and car theft', even you were actually fairly good at it.

At some point, most of the vaguely prestigious white collar careers (including crime) are just not open to you anymore.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:41 pm UTC
by willaaaaaa
Adam H wrote:In a "perfect world", high crime leads to high incarceration which leads to low crime which leads to low incarceration which leads to high crime, etc... so the hypothetical thought experiment is FUBAR without even considering other factors.


Would low incarceration really lead to high crime? In this hypothetical perfect world, the probability of being punished for one's crime is always 100%, so the fact that there are fewer people in jail wouldn't make it any easier or more desirable to commit crimes. In fact, the only people committing crimes would be those who value the reward from the crime higher than the cost of certain incarceration.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:50 pm UTC
by Adam H
willaaaaaa wrote:
Adam H wrote:In a "perfect world", high crime leads to high incarceration which leads to low crime which leads to low incarceration which leads to high crime, etc... so the hypothetical thought experiment is FUBAR without even considering other factors.


Would low incarceration really lead to high crime? In this hypothetical perfect world, the probability of being punished for one's crime is always 100%, so the fact that there are fewer people in jail wouldn't make it any easier or more desirable to commit crimes.
Ah, no, by "perfect" i mean that people act 'rational' - if you don't think you'll get punished you should be more likely to commit a crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 7:03 pm UTC
by willaaaaaa
Adam H wrote:
willaaaaaa wrote:
Adam H wrote:In a "perfect world", high crime leads to high incarceration which leads to low crime which leads to low incarceration which leads to high crime, etc... so the hypothetical thought experiment is FUBAR without even considering other factors.


Would low incarceration really lead to high crime? In this hypothetical perfect world, the probability of being punished for one's crime is always 100%, so the fact that there are fewer people in jail wouldn't make it any easier or more desirable to commit crimes.
Ah, no, by "perfect" i mean that people act 'rational' - if you don't think you'll get punished you should be more likely to commit a crime.


Ah, sorry, I see. But you would still need to distinguish between incarceration NUMBERS and incarceration RATES (i.e. probability of being arrested given that you commit a certain crime). The number of people in jail could decrease (due to lower crime rates), while the percentage of criminals jailed remains the same. So a rational person shouldn't think that the low jail populations indicate that it's easier to get away with crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:56 pm UTC
by Adam H
willaaaaaa wrote:
Adam H wrote:
willaaaaaa wrote:
Adam H wrote:In a "perfect world", high crime leads to high incarceration which leads to low crime which leads to low incarceration which leads to high crime, etc... so the hypothetical thought experiment is FUBAR without even considering other factors.


Would low incarceration really lead to high crime? In this hypothetical perfect world, the probability of being punished for one's crime is always 100%, so the fact that there are fewer people in jail wouldn't make it any easier or more desirable to commit crimes.
Ah, no, by "perfect" i mean that people act 'rational' - if you don't think you'll get punished you should be more likely to commit a crime.


Ah, sorry, I see. But you would still need to distinguish between incarceration NUMBERS and incarceration RATES (i.e. probability of being arrested given that you commit a certain crime). The number of people in jail could decrease (due to lower crime rates), while the percentage of criminals jailed remains the same. So a rational person shouldn't think that the low jail populations indicate that it's easier to get away with crime.
Yeah methinks you're right. I guess I was using "incarceration" to mean both incarcerations per capita and incarcerations per crime.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:34 pm UTC
by Byrel
Adam H wrote:
willaaaaaa wrote:
Ah, sorry, I see. But you would still need to distinguish between incarceration NUMBERS and incarceration RATES (i.e. probability of being arrested given that you commit a certain crime). The number of people in jail could decrease (due to lower crime rates), while the percentage of criminals jailed remains the same. So a rational person shouldn't think that the low jail populations indicate that it's easier to get away with crime.
Yeah methinks you're right. I guess I was using "incarceration" to mean both incarcerations per capita and incarcerations per crime.


Hmmm. Actually I'm not sure that deterrence would scale with the actual chance of getting incarcerated (the rate) rather than with the availability of a memory of someone else getting caught (which would probably scale with the incarceration numbers.) It sounds like a classic condition for the Availability Heuristic.

Of course, then we have to deal with any damping on the system imposed by duration of incarceration. Perhaps we're looking at an over damped system after all: the incarceration numbers goes up as the crime goes up, and causes the crime rate to drop. The incarceration numbers lag behind the crime rate, as it takes some time for folks to get out of prison. This influences the crime rate stay low, despite the reduced incarceration rate, and allows the system to decay smoothly to equilibrium.

Or maybe the lag induced by people remembering old incarceration numbers is more significant, and the system is actually unstable: the incarceration numbers go up as the crime rate goes up, but the criminals haven't caught up to the new regime yet, and keep pushing the crime rate higher. Eventually they catch on, and are horrified by the number of their fellows incarcerated. They immediately swear off crime completely, and are utterly deterred from any anti-social activity. Although this drops the incarceration numbers to zero, they remember the dark days, and INSIST on helping old ladies across the street instead. This lasts until the next generation of criminals arrives, with no memories of a darker past, and eager to get into the game... which again drives crimes rate through the roof.

Simply put, negative feedback does not imply oscillation. Or, for that matter, stability. Given how often human societies devolve into dreadful dystopias, I'm not sure I'd put bets on inherent stability in any case.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 5:11 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
Another problem is that high incarceration rates make prison less of a mark of shame and more of a right of passage. Going to prison gives you 'street cred' rather than 'stay the hell away from this piece of shit cred'.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:09 pm UTC
by morriswalters
Incarceration rates elsewhere are not as high as here yet crime is down there also, for instance Canada.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:49 am UTC
by Laserdan
morriswalters wrote:Incarceration rates elsewhere are not as high as here yet crime is down there also, for instance Canada.


Well, Canada does have a different culture, too. I don't know it but my conjecture is that Canada is kind of "the part of Europe attached to America".

There isn't any obvious connection, and I think the subject dips its toes into everything (social, economic, education, culture). And I think the prison system is completely incapable of being helpful here in its current incarnation. Jail is kind of the College system for criminals, only cheaper, and credits are much more enforced. It's an accepted carreer step. And that's with an already kind of brutal system, which serves to show that undirected, freely projected force hardens people and alienates them even more from society.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:16 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
Well, jail also reduces opportunity to get not-criminal jobs. I've seen "have you ever been convicted of a felony" questions on job applications before, and I can't imagine that a "yes" would help your case at all.

So, a higher incarceration rate could potentially feed a higher crime rate to some degree. Not saying that it does for sure right now...lots of variables at play here, merely that I can see situations in which it could.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:00 pm UTC
by morriswalters
A lot of crime doesn't need street cred, it's the ordinary, hit somebody in the head and rob them, or break into unoccupied homes and loot them. Incarceration may reduce crime in some locations simply because there are less people to commit crimes extant in that location. It would be interesting to add the crimes committed in places of incarceration to the tally, and see where that leads.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:07 pm UTC
by CorruptUser
morriswalters wrote:A lot of crime doesn't need street cred, it's the ordinary, hit somebody in the head and rob them, or break into unoccupied homes and loot them.


What I meant is that a higher incarceration rate makes it more socially acceptable to be a criminal...

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:36 pm UTC
by morriswalters
I believe I get what you mean, but I've never noticed that anybody that moves in the circles that crime comes out of have ever cared about their status. Being popped for possession or burglary, or in fact most petty crime is not a social factor to any great degree. Those people will never in most cases move in circles where it matters. It's a fact of life that goes with being poor. It's interesting to the people they move around in the sense of knowing who is safe and who isn't. It's a fact among other facts. Major felons are people to avoid, like plague carriers. In the most part when they are incarcerated they have to prey on the people they are incarcerated with.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:33 am UTC
by ecce
Given there seems to be some confusion of terms above, I thought I should mention "incarceration rate" seems to refer to [population in prison]/[total population], while "arrest rate" seems to refer to [solved cases for a type of crime]/[total cases for a type of crime].

Nothing is simple of course- briefly checking Wikipedia, I can't say it's clear if arrest rate is based on total number of crimes or total number of criminals involved in the crime- for example say there are two bank robberies, one is a solo job while the other is committed by a team of 4; if the solo guy gets away while three members of that team are arrested, would you call it a 50% arrest rate (1 of 2 crimes led to arrests), 60% arrest rate (3 of 5 robbers arrested), or something else (can you say 50% of cases solved if you didn't nab the whole team)?

Regardless of the calculation method for arrest rate, one would "intuitively" assume a high incarceration rate would be caused by a high crime rate ([# of a type of crime]/[total population]) and/or a high arrest rate, while a high arrest rate would cause a lower crime rate. Such assumptions may not hold in reality, but at the very least they're the assumptions that tend to drive policy decisions, for better or for worse.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:50 am UTC
by Laserdan
I can't find the statistic I had just yesterday that shows how a while after the serious War on Drugs started under Nixon, incarceration rates for non-drug crimes dropped quite a bit while drug crime (usually simple possession, no violence) incarceration exploded.

So if that statistic was good (I'm trying hard to find it on my PC), I think that says a lot about policing and how it works. See The Wire. Statistics is everything.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:35 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
I can't speak to the former, but drug crime incarceration has been on a long term rising trend due to increased enforcement. I suspect that refocusing on violent crime might be a much more effective use of crime fighting dollars, myself. I'm not a huge fan of low level drug dealers/users....but I'm a lot more worried about violent criminals as a practical matter, and the two aren't exactly the same group of people.

Re: Is low crime due to high incarceration?

Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:38 pm UTC
by dg61
CorruptUser wrote:
Dark567 wrote:The more interesting thing is the apparently falling crime rates during the recession...

Murder is hard to hide, unless NOTE: CRACKPOT CONSPIRACY THEORY AHEAD you are Japan and claim most murders are 'suicides'.

Where does this come from, exactly? I mean, high suicide rates are not that much better-looking than high murder rates and a decent coroner should be able to tell the difference between suicide and murder(now suicide and "unfortunate accident" or death by misadventure might be trickier). Of course, Japanese culture tends to look more favorably upon suicide in certain respects but that cuts both ways.