Crime fighting, will continue to fall into three categories: reducing the opportunity for crime (technology), changing the motivation of people who commit crimes (incarceration/accountability and punishment), and altering people’s fundamental values (psychological manipulations and presentment)—including nurturing positive values in young children—to minimize the likelihood of future criminal behavior in its system
Technological advances will also have a great influence on crime fighting. future strategies reported that they are deploying a wide variety of technological advances to improve services, and in some cases to save money.
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Policies and technologies are based primarily on reports from practitioners about what they have found to work or not work. Sharing approaches and programs that seemed to work in one community with another community allows for quick and expanding application of successful ideas.
Many agencies have established Real Time Crime Centers that quickly provide information to officers in the field. When police receive a high- risk call, a team of analysts works quickly—within minutes—to provide officers with any information that could help resolve the call safely. The information that analysts find is delivered to the officers’ mobile data terminals and their smart phones. The information might include mapping or floor plans of the location of the call, criminal histories of residents at the address, any restraining orders, prior contacts with law enforcement
Today, our nation has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population. The United States is the world’s most prodigious incarcerator.
The high incarceration rate can have profound effects on society; research has shown that incarceration may impede employment and marriage prospects, increase poverty and behavioral problems among children, and amplify the spread of communicable diseases
Incarceration is so concentrated in certain communities that it has disrupted the gender balance and marriage rates. The costs are intergenerational. There are 2.7 million minor children with a parent behind bars. More than 1 in 9 black children have a parent incarcerated.
California has decarcerated under Realignment. The state prison population has decreased by 29,886 people since 2010, while the jail population has modestly increased by 8,229 people. A sort of reallocation of responsibility if you will.
National Research Council., 2014
“The study assesses the evidence and its implications for public policy to inform an extensive and thoughtful public debate about and reconsideration of policies.”
A Sensible Way Forward
No one factor brought down crime. Today, incarceration has become the default option in the fight against crime. But more incarceration is not a silver bullet. It has, in fact, ceased to be effective in reducing crime—and the country is slowly awakening to that reality. Incarceration can be reduced while crime continues to decline. The research shows this and many states are watching it unfold.
Where do we go from here? As President Obama said it in his State of the Union last month, “Surely we can agree that it’s a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, crime and incarceration have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America’s criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us.” And indeed,...