Monday, May 28, 2007

Lorne Gunter reads my mind

Lorne Gunter's column in today's Post, Blame Urban Culture; Not Urban Guns contains many of my thoughts from the last few days regarding the murder of young Jordan Manners; especially the way His Worship (in Gunter's words) blames Ottawa "for letting law-abiding citizens own handguns."

...Apparently, the problem couldn't be the prevalence of father-absent upbringings in the Jane-Finch area of Toronto, or the glorification of gangsta, drug and gun culture that liberals and social democrats such as Mr. Miller have been loathe to denounce out of a politically correct fear of being called racists.

Nor could it be the every-boy-a-good-boy approach to juvenile crime, also favoured by the Millers of the world, that has eliminated nearly all punishment for young offenders in favour of touchy-feely counselling that hardened young criminals -- such as those who would shoot down a student in the hallway of a high school--just scoff at.

It couldn't be the way courts have hamstrung police investigations or lefty city councils have pared back police budgets and reassigned beat patrol officers to traffic safety campaigns and police- minority relations teams.

Nope. If we follow Mayor Miller's logic, the only reason Jordan Manners is dead is the federal Conservatives' unwillingness to ban handguns...


Gunter's whole article is well worth the read. At the end of the column he highlights some interesting facts on gun control, demonstrating that it is dangerously naive of Miller et al to assume that tighter gun control would somehow be a magic bullet:

Since Britain implemented a near-complete ban on civilian handgun ownership a decade ago, handgun possession among criminals has soared by an estimated one million to three million guns, and handgun crime has almost tripled.

Why don't we start with a focus on handgun bans in schools, and actually have school boards back up the policy with practical measures and consequences?

Then let's talk about how we can deal with urban ghettos or "Apartheid-lite", as Lorne Goldstein refers to the problem.

To be sure, there are many issues that contribute to the type of situation found in the Jane-Finch areas of large urban centres in Canada. I don't believe that there is a simple root cause. But willful blindness is not going to help kids like Jordan Manners.


* * * *
Update - 'Friends' shot Jordan: Police.

Red Tory seems to be under the impression that I am a politician. He is accusing me of hypocrisy - It's the (Black) Culture, Stupid. The post is worth reading, BTW, if only for this great link from "Closet Liberal", Growing up without Men.

On second thought, don't waste your time (going to Red's, that is).

* * * *

Tuesday Update: From the Post - One of the accused is apparently a father. Yet he is protected under our Youth Criminal Justice Act. Somewhat ironic, isn't it?


Oh, and thanks to Red Tory for boosting my daily "page views" count to a record 765 yesterday!


110 comments:

Sara said...

THanks for your comment Jo, I loved being on the radio. I feel guilty for it lol.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

You were awesome Sara!

PGP said...

Miller's response to the shooting was completely predictable and predictably shallow! It doe not take a lot to show how far from reality he is or how incapable of simple root cause analysis. But it is still good to know that there are a few MSM writers that are willing to call his BS.

Oh yes and Sara! Good for you.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

But it is still good to know that there are a few MSM writers that are willing to call his BS.

Yeah, Lorne's one of the good ones, that's for sure.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Lorne Gunter is on Newstalk 570 right now.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It seems that these murderous thugs just run rampant on the streets and no one does anything about it. Its time to crack down and we start saying that it is the way they are raised. They are born to welfare mothers and crack addicts. They listen to rap music and it only makes them worse. They settle their problems with guns and knives because that is how their parents did it. Its a culture problem not a gun problem. The culture is a wrong and its leading to the needless deaths of our children. Everyone is allowed to just wander into our city with the ideas they brought from "home" - home being the rampant gun culture in Jamaica and Africa. Here is where we have the problem.

Lord Omar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lord Omar said...

Oh, and I'd like your take on the above as well.

thanking you in advance.

Lord Omar said...

you have got to be kidding.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Oh, and I'd like your take on the above as well.

My blog, my rules.

teej said...

Let us not bs around here. Let us just come out and say it: it's a black problem.

I do not see white kids shooting each other in record numbers in public schools. This wouldn't have happened in Burlington or Vaughn or Ajax or even nicer area's of Toronto. It happened in a black area of the city. Thats a fact.

Can the PC crap. The sooner we're honest with ourselves and actually address the issue the sooner we'll be on the right track to solving the problem.

Gayle said...

"I do not see white kids shooting each other in record numbers in public schools. This wouldn't have happened in Burlington or Vaughn or Ajax or even nicer area's of Toronto."

Two white kids killed a whole slew of people in a high school in Columbine - or did you forget that? Seems to me it was a pretty nice town too...

The only school shooting in Edmonton involved a white kid.

I did a tour of the Edmonton Remand Centre a few years back, and the unit that housed the most serious repeat offenders was populated largely by, you guessed it, white guys.

Let us not BS - you are a bigot.

Gayle said...

By the way, what are those record numbers of school shootings anyway?

Lord Omar said...

Joanne, I wasn't questioning your "My blog, my rules" edict, my question was why a hateful racist remark was allowed to stand while another was deleted. Granted the second was more vile, but they were both out of bounds.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This one? "The black community gives its children the freedom to shoot each other. They're okay with it as long as whitey doesn't get involved."

There is a grain of truth there, but after you mentioned it, I deleted it because frankly, I'm too tired and disillusioned to debate it. The other one was clearly racist.

tori said...

was watching a documentary on the cbc (yes, I know!) a few days ago. The filmmakers followed to gangsters (under 20)around and filmed their activities. I believe the filmmakers grew up in the jane/finch area and that the documentary focussed in that location.

quite scary stuff. I do not live in that area. I have no idea what makes a kid say that the only way to make something of himself is to deal in drugs and guns. I do know that a Mcd's job and a basketball court will not be much of a lure away from illegal activity that will net him more money than I've seen in my lifetime.

I have no idea why some turn to this life. I know that I would love to have more money, but the idea of doing what they do for the money is not an option for me. What makes me stop and them continue?

The two gangsters were friends, watched them play with their guns, attack other gang members. One of them actually made the conscious decision to stop, after another gang broke into his house, pointed a gun to his head and roughed up his mother. I did not see a father.

I suspect that perhaps it's a huge litanny of things...socio-economic status, lack of parents and discipline, lack of strong role models, lure of "easy" money.

In the area of jane/finch, flemmingdon park, regent park, malvern, and other at risk areas in TO, it is a culture. I've heard of families trying to "take back" their neighbourhoods, but they are fighting upstream.

It's hard when you have these pockets of areas that encourage poverty.

I do know one thing...enabling them to continue to commit crime is not doing them any favors. It's a simple classical conditioning model...act one way and have no repercussions or consequences, and humans will act that way again. We are animals that live for pleasure and avoid pain. How does slapping wrists and giving out lenient sentences deter these kids from this lifestyle?

Of course, you need to show them alternatives. But to just show alternatives without the punishment is like trying to lose weight by exercising but not eating sensibly- you're not going to see any results.

sorry for the babling

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tori, what you say makes perfect sense to me. It's not "babbling" at all. I've studied psychology too and you're right about the classical conditioning model.

The only thing that is going to appeal to a move from a lower ethical level to a higher one is the intervention of some role models as you say, and some kind of consequences to make the child see that there is a negative to this kind of behaviour.

Having said that, I'm not sure that these kinds of dynamics were directly involved in the Manners case. The more I read about it, the more it seems that it was some horseplay gone horribly wrong. That of course does make a case for tighter gun control, but please tell me how guns are getting into the schools?

Why are school boards so resistant to metal detectors? And where are the parents? Why are they not more plugged into what's going on in their kids' lives?

Gayle said...

"How does slapping wrists and giving out lenient sentences deter these kids from this lifestyle?'

I would be interested in what you actually know about the youth justice system, other than the derogatory comments found in Gunter's comments or the Sun editorials.

Do you know what kinds of sentences are imposed on youth? Just wondering if you have any facts to back this statement up.

While we are at it, do you have any evidence tougher sentences work to deter crime? See, last time I checked there was no credible studies to show this is the case. In fact, I seem to recall reading that on the Justice Canada website in relation to the conservatives tough on crime bills (even THEY know it does not work).

Are you aware that in Texas they kill people who commit murder? Are you aware that this punishment has not deterred murders, and in fact people are murdering people there (and getting the death penalty for it).

You want things to change, stop pointing your fingers and start looking at what you can do instead.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gayle, when they're in prison, it's harder to commit crimes.

The other problem is judges who send convicted criminals back into the community on house arrest. I don't see how this is much of a deterrent.

I know your comment wasn't addressed to me specifically, but I thought I'd throw that in.

tori said...

i figured gayle would come out to play.

Actually, my knowledge is in theft under. I would see kids stealing, getting caught, taunting police because they knew the laws and then after they got processed, I few weeks later, we'd see them again.

Why do you think they get the kids under age to do the dirty work? Because they know the penalty is lenient. Why do they contnue to do it? Because they know they can get away with it.

Although it is "only" theft under, I suspect a similar situation is found in more serious crime.

Although I can't speak of a more general nature, I can remember specific cases: Jane Creba's alleged killer was out on parole from a prior gun-related offense. I know a boy (teen then, man now) who was beaten to an inch of his life and has sustained pretty serious brain injury and his perpetrators (who were under age) got a slap on their wrist- the poor victim spent years to rehabilitate himself and his life is forever changed. His father now advocates for victim rights in Ottawa.

Dollars to donuts, I bet this is not the first time the two suspects have had run ins with the law.

As you ask me for studies that show more punishment= less crime, I'd like to ask you for studies that show that being lenient to offenders leads to rehabilitation..a change in their ways. Of the police officers I've talked with, it seems there is more likelihood of repeat criminal behavior, with each incident rampinng up the seriousness of the crime.

I will agree that although criminals in jail keeps them from committing more crime for a time, there is no punishment in jail. Criminals in jail get more rights than homeless people. And they learn more ways to be "criminal" and more ways not to get caught the next time. Giving them access to courses, entertainment, voting, and the like is not punishment.

tori said...

and you know what gayle? I'm getting a bit upset and the presumptions that you make of me. You tell me to stop pointing fingers and think about what I can do to help.

I love how you automatically think because I am a "conservadroid" that I don't help, volunteer, or do any of the sort. Why is that? You know nothing about me, and just to give you a heads up, you'll be hard pressed to put me in a neat little "conservadroid" box, full of all the stereotypes that I'm sure go along with that cute little label.

nomdeblog said...

Adding to Tori’s excellent comments, we need to understand that a life of crime is an economic choice, crime is a real economy. It happens the world over, just because we are “nice” Canadians does not make us immune.

For some of our youth, they don’t think long term (beyond a week). They don’t plan to go to college and get married and have a family at 30 because they don’t plan to live that long. For these sad cases, then crime is an economic option more attractive than a low paying job and having high moral standards.

The rewards of youth crime are high and the risks are low because our sentencing sends gun carrying offenders to basketball courts instead of jail. Banning guns won’t help in a world awash with guns; we need to increase the risk/reward ratio for participants in this criminal economy.

Like any other business enterprise, higher risk will reduce participants. But nothing will completely eliminate participants; some will take even the high risks, so if the goal is to only find the perfect utopian solution, then read no further.

However, it’s time to get real about this criminal economy that exists in every part of the world and usually gets brought under control when the middle class finally react and say “enough”.

When this happens, as with a Jane Creba event, the middle class will vote to get rid of utopian judges and our utopian Mayor and most of his councilors who are simply out of touch with reality. The middle class will soon be supporting Harper’s measures to bring in tougher laws and sentencing and when all that happens we will see reduced violent crime in middle class neighborhoods.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Great comments from both Tori and Nomdeblog.

Criminals in jail get more rights than homeless people.

I was listening to a talkshow yesterday. A spokesperson from a Victims' Rights group mentioned how well criminals get treated; eg. Karla Homolka gets a university degree courtesy of the taxpayer.

So, I guess if you can't afford university, it is worth considering committing a terrible crime, right?

nomdeblog said...

“So, I guess if you can't afford university, it is worth considering committing a terrible crime, right”

I know that’s sarcasm. But the whole point is, these youth criminals aren’t thinking beyond the next cell phone model or Civic with big tail pipes; let alone 4 years of university. We can’t fix that; however, that’s what liberal judges and our Dipper Mayor focus on, along with banning guns that are already banned.

It’s really important to recognize that crime is a real organized economy in Toronto and that we need to put more risk into it to reduce the attraction to it. Currently the risk/reward ratio is simply irresistible to our youth and they are recruited like Islamofascists recruit young males into a death cult by promising them 72 virgins.

If we want to save our youth and allow them to live to be old enough to think about their future then we need to increase the risk of entry into a life of crime. Basketball courts won’t work. But that’s not what most academics in the humanities teach; it’s politically incorrect to even talk about it. Fortunately the middle class can see through the elitists’ PC.

Gayle said...

"I love how you automatically think because I am a "conservadroid" that I don't help, volunteer, or do any of the sort. Why is that? You know nothing about me, and just to give you a heads up, you'll be hard pressed to put me in a neat little "conservadroid" box, full of all the stereotypes that I'm sure go along with that cute little label."

Did I say this about you? Care to point out where?

As for this:

"I'd like to ask you for studies that show that being lenient to offenders leads to rehabilitation."

They are out there, but as I am in meetings all day I cannot find them all for you. For now, start with this book review:

http://www.cjsonline.ca/reviews/youthcrime.html

Which quotes the book as finding this:

"The book, however, does more than simply dispel myths (i.e., youth crime is on the increase; females are becoming more violent; short, sharp shocks, such as boot camps, are an effective means to reduce recidivism; and that the gang problem is out of control in Canada)...

...

the book does a skillful job presenting research-based evidence that questions the commonly held belief that changes in the criminal justice system will solve the youth crime problem. In fact Doob and Cesaroni argue that the level of youth crime, and the severity of official measures that are directed at controlling it, are quite independent from each other..."

I know Tony Doob only has a PhD in the topic, and has made crime research his life's work, but maybe you can listen to him and learn something anyway.

There is also my personal experience working with young offenders for the past 13 years or so.

Anyway, must dash now.

Gayle said...

"If we want to save our youth and allow them to live to be old enough to think about their future then we need to increase the risk of entry into a life of crime."

This is true. Maybe it would help if we gave them some options?

Just a thought...

Gayle said...

Whoops, forgot this quote:

"Finally, the conclusion offers a thoughtful and timely discussion of progressive interventions that are intended to prevent and respond intelligently to youthful offending. In it the authors argue that effective programs that deal with youth crime are most likely to reside outside of the correctional system, and not in the drill halls of boot camps, for example."

Now I really do have to go.

tori said...

gayle said:

"You want things to change, stop pointing your fingers and start looking at what you can do instead. "

nomdeblog said...

“This is true. Maybe it would help if we gave them some options?

Just a thought...”

Actually that's "a thought" that is overworked. This is Toronto not Baghdad. They have options. Again , what we need to do is reduce the option of crime by putting more risk into it.

Too many choose the Civic and Cell phone .. now!!!

Anybody that cannot succeed in Canada has to take some responsibility for that. If they are mentally ill, then I have some sympathy.

Our politicians need to stop it with the “basketball courts are what young male youths need to divert their testosterone.” We need more cops on the street and tougher sentencing. Thankfully our middle class do not all suffer from a BA in the humanities taken at a liberal university with tenured utopian Profs.

We need a Mayor like Giuliani, fortunately he will be the next President and he can fix Baghdad the same way he fixed Manhattan.

tori said...

gayle, my god, can we at least drop the elitist sarcasm? please. it's annoying. "I just might learn something?" I hope you don't talk down to your YO's like that.

so the book was published in 2004. It usually takes a year or so to go from manuscript to publication, with edits and such.

The actual writing of the book may have taken a few years. Any citations from this book are probably based on research done in the late 90's at the latest.

I'm sure you know a bit about research. It is not static. What happened in the 90's may not be happening now.

That is not to say that the research is bogus or that there are not any other studies that support your views. I'm just pointing out that this tome may already be dated.

And the quote you gave describing the book was written by a colleague...just one man's opinion.

There was an interesting point in it, though.

"Nevertheless, taken as a whole, the book does a skillful job presenting research-based evidence that questions the commonly held belief that changes in the criminal justice system will solve the youth crime problem"

My point being that obviously the "progressive" idiology in dealing with crime is not helping, either. Or else crime will have been erased.

It is hard to do social science research. Most, if not all studies rely on surveys, interviews, observation and open ended statements. Combine that with this particular group of people you are studying (young criminals/offenders) and you can see there is a small problem of trust. People lie. People who commit crimes even more so.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I know that’s sarcasm. But the whole point is, these youth criminals aren’t thinking beyond the next cell phone model or Civic with big tail pipes; let alone 4 years of university.

How true. Of course that was a tongue-in-cheek comment of mine. You're right. These kids want instant gratification.

paulsstuff said...

First, my disclaimer. I'm white. Live in Ajax. My best friend is black. My daughters boyfriend is black. My best man and usher at my wedding were black. So save the racist/bigot comments in regards to this post.

Yes, there is a major problem in the black community, particulary in the Toronto area.That is a factual comment. Our local newspaper recently ran a story on gangs identified in Ajax, which is still small enough to be a town. Their were 9 known gangs identified by police. 7 black gangs and two Asian gangs. Police estimate these gangs are involved in a vast majority of the crimes here. Of the crimes not involved in many are attributed to black gangs from Scarborough who come here to commit their crimes before going home.

Cruise Ajax at 2 in the morning and ask youself why 10-12 year olds are out roaming around. It's called lack of parental control. It's not lack of basketball courts, Mike Harris, American guns, etc. Your child is shown how to live life by you. Let a kid run amok, and they will.

As for Gayle's comments, I don't really know what colour kids are that are shooting each other, due to the young offenders act. Glad to see you are so up to date on crime in Toronto.

In fact, i would like to start a pool to collect money for Gayle to fly to Toronto. Once here you can roam the Jane/Finch area late at night. I'll start things off by pledging $100.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Paulsstuff, I'm really looking forward to reading Gayle's response to that one!

Gayle said...

tori - as asked I provide evidence and you still provide none. So, at a minimum I guess we can agree that I can at least back my statements up.

By the way, you still have not told me what you know about sentencing under the YCJA (these youth, for example, are potentially facing life imprisonment for this crime - I would say that is not a slap on the wrist. I do not know what you call it.)

paulsstuff - I have been to Toronto, and have many colleagues from Toronto. There is a problem in the black community there, as there is in the Asian community in Edmonton, and the native communities across the country. There are also problems in white communities. The problem is not due to their race - it is due to socio-economic conditions. For example, I work with a lot of youth who spent many years in refugee camps in war-torn African countries. Many of them have been greatly traumatized by these events. These youth come here believing violence is "normal" behaviour. Do we say we are going to leave them in the camps, or do we bring them here and actually try to help them, rather than placing them in communities and leave them on their own to adjust to our societal norms.

(By the way, in case you missed it Edmonton has the highest per capita murder rate in the country. I know we are not big, bad Toronto, but we actually have gangs here too).

That said, if you would like to raise money to send me to Toronto I will happily accept it. I have family there and would love to visit them.

nomdeblog - like tori, I would like to see you back your statements up with some evidence rather than just your opinion.

nomdeblog said...

Gayle, as I’ve said, the evidence is Giuliani succeeded in bringing down the rate of crime in New York multiples faster than anywhere else in America. I lived there, I saw it happen … crime on the way up in the 1970’s and then I saw Giuliani tackle it. It wasn’t just putting everyone in the slammer.

For example, in 1991 there were 49,000 NY children in foster care, by 2001 there were 29,000 because adoptions under Giuliani were successful.

But all the New York Times wanted to do was vilify Giuliani daily for his harsh treatment of criminals.

The evidence is in; I can now walk Broadway at midnight with my family and feel totally safe whereas in NYC in the 70’s I felt like I do now at midnight in downtown Toronto, where I will not take my family.

That’s the evidence!

Gayle said...

Crime went down elsewhere during that time too. In fact, here in Canada crime went down dramatically during the 1990's.

I have heard about the NYC example, but crime went down in places that did not employ the same tactics, so it would not be correct to say his reforms were the cause of the crime reduction.

The whole adoption/child welfare thing is interesting though. I believe very strongly that children need to grow up in homes. Right now many children grow up in group homes, which are really institutions. Children learn behaviour from the people who love them - when they have no one to love them what do they do?

paulsstuff said...

"Crime went down elsewhere during that time too. In fact, here in Canada crime went down dramatically during the 1990's."

Of course there is a better way of using statistics when discussing crime rates. A better guage of actual crime rates is the Criminal Victimization Surveys undertaken by Statistics Canada, the U.S. Justice Department and the United Nations. These show we have a serious problem. This year alone, one Canadian in four will be a victim of crime — one in 10 will be a victim of violent crime.

Here's some intersting reading:

http://www.boardoftrade.com/Images2/Policy/CrimeBriefingNotes13mar07.pdf

paulsstuff said...

http://www.boardoftrade.com/Images2/Policy/CrimeBriefingNotes13mar07.pdf

paulsstuff said...

Doh! Stupid links.


http://www.boardoftrade.com/Images2/Policy/CrimeBriefingNotes13mar2007.pdf

nomdeblog said...

Gayle, I said the "rate of crime (went down) in New York multiples faster than anywhere else in America"

Much to your chagrin you will become an expert on this during the Giuliani campaign, you will be hearing all the "evidence" you bargained for.

Meanwhile, your turn, why wouldn't putting more risk into the crime equation work with young high testosterone males with no father or role model? Never mind the utopian argument that life isn't fair or equal, because it isn’t and never will be,
Simply dealing with reality ..
why wouldn't the middle class be safer and better off if we tried this? Why isn't the middle class entitled to protect itself? Forget the Liberal Limo set who live in gated communities, I'm just talking about the middle class like Jane Creba who shops at the Eatons Center.

Gayle said...

paulsstuff:

I suggest you check this out:

http://www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/85-002-XIE/85-002-XIE2006004.pdf

In it you will find that stats can records reported incidents of crime.

It also indicates that a straight accross the board comparison between the US and Canada is statistically flawed:

"To place Canada’s crime rate in perspective, crime comparisons
are often drawn to other industrialized countries, particularly Canada’s largest trading partner and neighbour, the United States. To accurately and reliably compare rates between Canada and the United States, it is important to acknowledge and account for any methodological differences in the two national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) programs, the administrative surveys used to collect police-reported data in the two countries. Based on the fi ndings of a study conducted to assess the comparability of offence types, it is possible to compare rates for seven offence types captured by the
UCR programs (Gannon, 2001). These offences include homicide, aggravated assault, robbery, break and enter, motor vehicle theft,
thefts, and arson. Consistent with previous years, police-reported crime data show that the United States had much higher rates of violent crimes, while Canada generally had slightly higher levels of property crimes. In 2004, the rate of homicide in the U.S. nearly tripled the rate recorded in Canada. There were 5.5 homicides per 100,000 population in the United States, compared to 2.0 homicides per 100,000 in Canada. The difference in rates was slightly less pronounced for the other violent crimes. The U.S. recorded a rate of aggravated assault 85% greater than Canada and a rate of robbery that was 59% higher.

Canadians were more likely than Americans to be victims of two of the three types of comparable property crimes. The Canadian break and enter rate of 863 break and enters per 100,000 population was 18% higher than the American break and enter rate of 730 per 100,000. Similarly, the rate of motor vehicle thefts was 26% greater in Canada than in the U.S. Other thefts, which in Canada includes thefts over and under $5,000, was 9% lower compared to the rates in the U.S."

I did notice the board of trade link to a study on preventing youth crime bears out what I have been saying.

Gayle said...

"why wouldn't putting more risk into the crime equation work with young high testosterone males with no father or role model?"

If by risk, you mean punishment, then I can say we have tried that. Before teh YJCA Canada had one of the highest incarceration rates for young offenders in the world. Since enacting the YCJA, which reduced the availability of custody, the youth crime rate dropped dramatically (though I am not trying to say reducing custody is the only reason for that drop).

Your theory is based on the notion that people will be deterred from committing crimes because of the penalty they will receive if they do so. It does not work. If you want to see some studies on it here are a few:

P.H. Robinson and J.M. Darley, “The Role of Deterrence in the Formulation of Criminal Law Rules: At Its Best When Doing Its Best” (2003), 91 Georgetown L.J. 949

Law Reform Commission of Canada, Working Paper No. 3, The Principles of Sentencing and Dispositions (1974)

A.N. Doob and J.B. Sprott, “Protection of Society Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act” (2004)

A. von Hirsch, A.E. Bottoms, E. Burney and P-O. Wikström, Criminal Deterrence and Sentence Severity: An Analysis of Recent Research (1999)

I can also just give you a concrete example. If you are a drug addict, when you are committing that robbery you are not thinking about what your potential sentence will be, because all you want is money to buy drugs. The answer here is to address the drug addiction, and to do that we need resources and access to residential drug treatment.

All that said, I believe I have already agreed with you that positive role models are necessary to keep our kids safe and away from crime.

I do not know about you, but I would really like to protect the poor from crime as well as the middle class - particularly since the poor are more likely to be victimized.

nomdeblog said...

“If by risk, you mean punishment, then I can say we have tried that.”

No we haven’t. But Giuliani did and it worked. In Canada we ban guns instead of the people illegally carrying them. There are way too many gun totting offenders let off by liberal judges who need to be told that our society defends its middle class, we don’t have a society whose mission is to protect a bunch of perps that want to kill and maim innocent people.

A society that does not recognize the need to defend itself against such criminal elements will fail.

These principals have nothing to do with what happens in the USA versus any other part of the world; they are simply common sense, which we seemed to have lost sight of during decades of Liberal rule.

The poor will benefit from this too, they just won’t drive it, they are too busy surviving. The Liberal Limo upper class don’t care , they just leverage power from a culture of victimization. So it’s up to the middle class that tends to be conservative and have a lot of common sense about what it takes to get things done.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Wow, great arguments all around, and quite civil for the most part. Well done. I think everyone is learning something, and lots of references given, which is quite helpful.

Gayle said...

"No we haven’t. But Giuliani did and it worked. In Canada we ban guns instead of the people illegally carrying them. There are way too many gun totting offenders let off by liberal judges who need to be told that our society defends its middle class, we don’t have a society whose mission is to protect a bunch of perps that want to kill and maim innocent people."

You seem to think simply saying something makes it true. It doesn't. Repeating it without anything to back it up does not make it true either.

For example, in Canada we do not ban guns - we do ban people from carrying them.

Can you back up your assertions about "liberal" judges? Do you know anything about sentencing in this country? I mean, actual knowledge rather than your opinion.

You have the right to hold any opinion you want, but you should not be passing it off as facts.

By the way, I am a member of that middle class you are so interested in protecting.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Then there are the guns stolen from police officers...

I wonder if we should ban handguns from police? Maybe let them carry the billy club, but that would be it.

It might get stolen you see.

He is urging parents to talk to their children about the importance of coming forward with information.

"We believe there are certain individuals who have information on this case who have yet to come forward," he said. "We urge them to come forward."


I see a pattern here.

nomdeblog said...

“Can you back up your assertions about "liberal" judges? Do you know anything about sentencing in this country? I mean, actual knowledge rather than your opinion.”

Sentencing in this country is pathetic. Friends of mine were broken into in the middle of the night by perps out on parole for having done the same thing earlier. They proceeded to do the same thing again. One got shot and killed by police the next time.

Therefore my “actual knowledge” says our judges are way too liberal and there was plenty of evidence to put those perps away in the first place. This is not an isolated example. As tori posted earlier “Jane Creba's alleged killer was out on parole from a prior gun-related offense.” But you skim over that because it conflicts with your mantra of all the world needs now is more basketball courts instead of courts that met out appropriate sentencing for violence.

Your assertions are opinions. Simply, because some tenured Prof in the humanities comes up with a study to try and back up his bias does not make it a “fact”. The “fact” is that human nature is such that more risk will reduce an activity .. it’s a Pavlovian reflex. If that isn’t the case, as you opine, what is wrong with the person that won’t react to the logic of risk?

liberal supporter said...

I wonder if we should ban handguns from police? Maybe let them carry the billy club, but that would be it.

You mean like the English bobbies?

liberal supporter said...

In Kenya, the crime of robbery was greatly reduced, by having the death penalty for robbery.

Now of course, there are plenty of murders in the course of robberies, since killing the witness does not have a greater penalty. Now the murders during robbery are not counted as robbery. So "robberies" were reduced by tougher sentencing!

Gayle said...

"you skim over that because it conflicts with your mantra of all the world needs now is more basketball courts instead of courts that met out appropriate sentencing for violence.'

Did I say that? I am pretty sure I didn't. Can you address my actual argument rather than putting words in my mouth?

As for your attack on Professor Doob, to me that is proof you have no leg to stand on. The "attack the messenger and not the message" argument is typical of someone who has no credible argument to make.

Unless you can come up with facts and a credible argument, I guess this little discussion is over.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I never saw a law saying that blogging comments couldn't contain opinion.

One person's "authority" is often another's example of lack of credibility. As far as studies go, I'm sure anyone can find something to support their POV.

That doesn't mean that a debate shouldn't happen on a given issue, but I think we all need to remember to be respectful of another's opinion, which is often more linked to emotion than reason.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And no, I don't have any 'facts' to back that up.

nomdeblog said...

“Can you address my actual argument rather than putting words in my mouth?”

I have to put words in your mouth because I don’t know what your argument is other than to challenge me every time I say something to come with some facts and when I do you ignore it.

The fact remains:
Crime is a real economic choice for vulnerable young malesbbbbbb, particularly in our inner cities. Recruitment is done by globally organized criminals that sit at lunch as we speak in our fancy Toronto restaurants, while their youthful recruits carry out crime to pay for lunch.
The only solution that will have an impact on the criminal economy where young people are recruited to do what a man would get jailed for is ...to introduce more risk into the crime economy which will reduce the attraction of young males into it.

All the proof you need of the solution is the wide support Giuliani gets from extremely liberal Manhattan where Democrats voted him for mayor and who will vote for him for President, notwithstanding that he is one of those ‘scary” Republicans.

We need to replace McGuinty and Miller with leadership who understand that crime is a real economy recruiting our male youths to do an evil man’s job. Our poor neighbourhoods have understood this for a long time, now enough of our middle class is overcoming liberal brainwashing to do something about it.

tori said...

joanne,

absolutely LOVED the piece you put up from the Star that interviewed a teacher at Jeffries.

It describes essentially what happens when you implement "touchy feely" progressive ideas to combat crime. The society at school ends up in chaos.

I especially loved these :

"Plaskett and the other teacher said violations of the Safe Schools Act, such as swearing at teachers, threatening violence, or vandalizing cars, which usually merit automatic suspensions, were routine and went unpunished"

wow, go figure. you act a certain way and nothing is done about it. Tacit approval of the behaviour. It's like hearing someone say a racial slur and you don't speak up and say that it is wrong- tacit approval.

"In November 2006, about 50 lockers were broken into and emptied in less than 10 minutes, in what was clearly a co-ordinated theft. Plaskett said administration never called police."

wow. unreported crime. that never happens.

"Teachers who spoke to the Star expressed sympathy for the administration's progressive approach to punishment. But they said it veered off the rails when students quickly realized that apologies were cheap, and that misbehaviour rarely received serious punishments."

imagine.

So gayle, I could find studies that support my view, but you know what? I would trust these *facts* from the teachers in this article over any "facts" that a clinical, artificial study purports. Regardless of their results.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tori, Dave Plaskett must be an incredibly brave man to risk the wrath of the school board, the union and his fellow teachers.

He has my complete admiration.

tori said...

joanne,

the man has my resect for trying to teach under those conditions. I mean, teachers should at least have the right to teach without fear of being slapped across the face or be victims of vanadalism.

And for what? Whose rights win out? Do these kids have the right to harm others in a public place and to hell with the rights of other law abiding citizens, only because we are too PC and we don't want to offend peoples' sensibilities?

Has it really come to this???

tori said...

that should be respect :)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tori, exactly. Those teachers deserve a medal for trying to teach under those conditions, but from what Sandra Fusco said, many of them just end up taking the easy way out - hear no evil, etc. and are rewarded for it with lighter workloads.

What is wrong with this picture?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tori, did you happen to read this?

ET said...

I'm with nomdeblog on this one and against Gayle.

Gayle is using the typical leftist sociological argument which is that the criminal is 'basically good' but has been 'traumatized' by his surroundings into criminal behaviour.

I disagree. What Gayle is missing is that criminality is a choice, an actual decision made by the individual. Economic criminality, based around thefts, robberies, extortion, threats, etc, is an actual economic mode of life - which the individual has chosen. This choice is not passive, made because one was, as Gayle tries to tell us, traumatized by one's past refugee camp experience or whatever. Next thing w e'll hear that bullying caused my criminal behaviour??

As an economic mode, one enters this mode at a much earlier age than the majority economic mode in our society. The majority economic mode requires years of schooling and training; you often don't get into the economic stream until in your mid or even late twenties. And you might enter the stream heavily in debt.

For the criminal mode - you enter at about age 10 or younger, and your economic viability will often be over by the time you are 30. Or, you might have to move into a Retirement From Criminality Job, ie, welfare.

But, there are 'big bucks' to be made in drugs, guns, extortion. And a reasonable living in robberies and scams. Scams, for example, are a booming big business in condo land - where hapless residents will be scammed by people pretending to be carpet cleaners, electrical repairs etc.

People like Tony Doob, who has been around forever, are trapped in a particular mindset of the 1970-80s sociology of 'Hug a Thug'. Interesting - it hasn't worked; the criminal economy is alive and thriving and becoming more violent than it ever was. Thanks, Tony.

What this era of criminologists etc are missing, is that there will always be a criminal level of the economy. And it has zilch to do with trauma, bad parenting and so on. Lots of people have had traumatic experiences and bad parenting; it doesn't mean they then choose criminality.
That's a basic fallacy - to connect the two as 'necessary'.

The task of a society is to keep the criminal ratio as low as possible. How? By deterrents. Not hug-a-thug. Real deterrents that reduce the economic viability of that choice. Canada doesn't have these deterrents. Longer criminal sentences; that's a key one. It keeps the individual out of the network - so when he gets out, his 'turf' has been taken over by someone else or lost to him.

What does Canada do? It releases them - so naturally, they move right back into their normal economic mode. Ridiculous.

The strategy has to be, to keep this economic mode to a low ratio. By making the choice of this mode an economically poor choice.

And that's what Gayle is ignoring - that this criminality is an actual viable economic activity; it is chosen by various individuals; it has high returns for a certain period of time and then, IF one survives (and in some countries you don't; other gangs kill you); you move into welfare, or, must move into the lower ranks of a criminal gang.

The mainstream society has to acknowledge this economic mode and attempt to reduce the ratio. That's all it can do. Basketball courts won't do it; deterrents will help make such a choice too risky.

Gayle said...

joanne

I have no difficulty with people expressing opinions, It is when they advance those opinions as facts when I take issue. I could care less what people think - I do care about what they know.

Some people here have posted that they believe things need to be done to fix the crime problem in our country. I agree. The difference is that I believe in order to fix something you should try to figure it out first. That is why I research the issue.

I do not come to my opinion because I am a "liberal" first, and then just adopt their approach to crime. In fact, I used to be a conservative.

I care about the huge number of homeless, abused, mentally ill and otherwise dysfunctional children and youth in our society. I see how many of these children and youth turn to crime. I want to fix that problem so our children are safe, and in turn so our streets are safe. That is my priority, and my support goes to the political party that has the best crime reduction plan.

tori and nomdeblog

If personal experience is the basis for research, then I guess you can count the hundreds of young offenders I have worked with over the past 13 or so years. I know what works because I have seen it with my own eyes, and not just read about it in a newspaper.

Of those hundreds of kids, most of the ones we were able to find homes and supports for, get them into addictions counselling and school or employment programming turned their lives around and are crime free (and yes, we follow up).

The ones who are mentally ill or who have fetal alcohol will probably keep offending because Alberta does not have resources to sufficiently help these people.

A small percentage of functional youths remain entrenched in the gang lifestyle and will probably remain that way. Many of those individuals were recruited into gangs while they were in jail.

As for the ones we were unable to help, well, most of them are still out there, comitting crimes.

I have also lost many youth who were murdered because of gang involvement or because they owed money to drug dealers. I have lost many more due to drug addictions/overdose and suicide. I lost girls to Edmonton's serial killer, and many more are still missing. I have been the victim of violent offences. I have seen both sides of this coin, and I know of what I speak.

tori said...

yeah, joanne- I read it.

no big surprise.

you can not tell me that a 17 year old does not know it is wrong to purposefully kill.

From my understanding, and Im sure gayle will tell me if i am wrong, the YOA (or whatever acronym they use now) was meant as a means to deal with youth crime in a way that allows for protecting YOs who may not know the diff of right/wrong or have committed a crime once and instead of having it follow him or her for the rest of their life, it will not lead to a black mark on their name.

I get that. But this is not how it's being used now. YOs are not saying "thank god they are giving me another chance to get my act together"- they are saying "you fools! I know the law and there is nothing you can do to stop me from doing this".

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I want to fix that problem so our children are safe, and in turn so our streets are safe.

I think we all want that Gayle. Perhaps where we disagree is in the remedy.

tori said...

and gayle, Im not some cold hearted conservative ( i know you have not said this outright). Of course we should help those at risk kids from getting into a life of crime. There should be good role models, and show these kids what they can do with their life in a legal and legit way.

Unfortunately, it is hard. You have myself who volunteers with big brothers and sisters trying to make a difference, showing what hard work can do for one's life. On the flip side, they see other kids making money hand over fist, with power and the ability to instill fear. Without the hard work of being/going legit.

That being said, once you have kids committing repeated violent offences, I believe you need to get them off the streets. Yes, they have rights, but so too does the general population to a safe and secure society. Giving Joe another kick at the can to see if he will straighten out, for me, puts a huge segment of society at risk instead of one.

Like you said, there are kids who will always be involved in serious crime. These people should not be able to walk around otherwise law abiding citizens

ET said...

The problem I have with your latest answer, gayle, is that you merge categories of people and then seem to define this new 'set' as causal of criminality. I disagree with both your 'set' and your 'causality'.

You merge the group who have not or are incapable of making a choice with those who are capable of making a choice. That's a serious flaw in your analysis, because you have thereby defined your population set as incapable of choice.

So, you merge the 'homeless' (no definition - why not?); with the 'abused' (again, no definition - why not?) and the mentally ill. I suggest that is an invalid set. The first two are not defined by you and it is invalid to merge them with the mentally ill.

The second error in your analysis, I feel, is that you define these attributes as causal of criminality. I have a problem with that. Does being homeless (and please define how it happened and what it means) mean that one moves into the criminal economic mode?
Same with 'abused' as an attribute.

Mentally ill people are rarely key players in the criminal economic mode; you have to have brains to operate in this mode; and most certainly, anyone with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, is not active in this economy.

Then, you continue on with this 'merged set' and state that you want to help people off addictions, treat the mentally ill and those with fetal alcohol syndrome. All fine and good, but, I again suggest that you are creating an invalid set by merging these very different types of people, and by suggesting these are causal of criminality.

Then, you suggest, in a 'by the way' note, that jailing youths will possibly move them into criminality because they are recruited into criminal gangs while in jail. Does this mean that you consider that 'jailing is causal of criminality'? Obviously you do. So - no jail = no criminals?

What you are ignoring, by your limited collection of types into 'the criminal set' - and your merging of types that should not be collected into one set - is that most criminal behaviour in our society is carried out, not by the homelss, the abused or the mentally ill. Or those with fetal alcohol syndrome.

It is an actual economic mode - with high and rapid returns. And with varying risk levels. Rob a corner store as a youth, and you'll get, IF, IF, IF caught, a slap on the wrist. Get a gang together and rob quite a few - and the same thing; a slap and maybe, a new basketball court in your neighbourhood.

Rob at gunpoint, and you'll get maybe three months in jail with time off for 'good behaviour' and so on. Hmm. Not bad.

Kill someone? A few years.
After all, it was 'an accident'. Heh.

Gayle - how would you deal with the existence of a level of our society's economy that is what we call 'criminal'. In that it is not legitimate, it is high risk (but so is being a stockbroker); it has high returns; it has its own 'union' (the gangs protect each other and also, won't let you out of the union/gang); you start young and end young. The economy must deal with you in your 40s and 50s - the young ones must look after you, OR, you move into mainstream society and are defined as 'reformed' and are on welfare.

Many who are 'reformed' aren't; they have simply moved out of this particular economic mode, which only operates for around 20 years (10-30). And they move into welfare.

So, Gayle, I have a problem with your categories and your causality and your either ignorance of or rejection of, the criminal actions as an actual economic level in our society.

Gayle said...

Actually, I have never rejected the whole economics of crime theory, though with young offenders that is virtually exclusively drug dealing. Most drug dealers deal simply to make money, though some do so to feed their own habit. I have posted this somewhere - perhaps not on this blog.

If you are suggesting most youth criminals are involved because of the economics of crime, then I would disagree, and would ask you to tell me where you come up with that, because it is difficult for me to respond to something that at this point appears to be based on your opinion (sorry to get into THAT argument again). Note - I am not talking about adult offenders. I do not work with adults and would not speak to that.

There is certainly a cultural thing going on with crime, and I am not referring to race. Some youth do believe it is cool to be a gangster. I have conceded that.

Many youth do commit crimes to get money, but it is what they are using the money FOR that is at issue - which brings us back into that homelessness/drug addiction issue.

By the way I would think homelessness and abuse are self-explanatory - do you really need me to define that for you? Furthermore, I offer no "analysis" - I was speaking from experience. If you want analyisis then I have provided links to other, much smarter writers than I.

The biggest issue I take with what people have posted here is that young persons get a "slap on the wrist". If a young person commits murder, he could get life in prison.

The Youth Justice Act (it is a whole new act replacing the Young Offeders Act) decreased the availability of custody for non-violent offences. It INCREASED the availability of custody for violent offences, and increased the maximum penalties that may be imposed.

tori

"From my understanding, and Im sure gayle will tell me if i am wrong, the YOA (or whatever acronym they use now) was meant as a means to deal with youth crime in a way that allows for protecting YOs who may not know the diff of right/wrong or have committed a crime once and instead of having it follow him or her for the rest of their life, it will not lead to a black mark on their name."

Kind of. The YCJA reflects the fact that youth are immature and do stupid immature things, and they should not be burdened with criminal records for the rest of their lives because they are stupid and immature. It does not have anything to do with knowing the difference between right and wrong. Like adults, young persons who may be so mentally ill or mentally challenged that they do not know the difference will likely be dealt with outside of the criminal justice system.

Youth who are charged with serious violent offences, or are repeat violent offenders are liable to be sentenced as adults - and it happens. At the same time, some youth, even those who have been charged with serious offences, are able to turn things around. Those youth may not receive a harsh sentence. Those youth will probably not be back in the system either.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The Youth Justice Act (it is a whole new act replacing the Young Offeders Act) decreased the availability of custody for non-violent offences. It INCREASED the availability of custody for violent offences, and increased the maximum penalties that may be imposed.

What about the judges that don't impose those maximum penalties? Lorrie Goldstein made that point in a talkshow this afternoon. He said that even the judges that wish to impose a harsher sentence are hamstrung, because if it is too harsh it will be appealed. Better then to impose a lenient sentence that won't get overruled (if I understand him correctly).

BTW, Gayle, what do you suppose would be a valid reason why a youth wouldn't turn to crime for the bling, and the drug money and the nice cars? What in your opinion would make a youth say, "Hey, I'm going to try to get into MacDonald's"? Just curious.

nomdeblog said...

Gayle don’t exaggerate, nobody “gets life” in Canada. Look at the horrific crimes of Helmolka, she’s out. Besides, most of the discussion has been about guns used in violent crimes and that those perps need to dealt with more severely not simply placed under house arrest.

Joanne is right; we all want a good outcome for our kids. But there’s clearly a politically correct culture within school administrations as evidenced today by comments from the brave Mr Plaskett. His school suffers from “hug a thug”, as ET appropriately called it, now a child is dead. The blame rests squarely at the bottom of the slippery slope of political correctness which deems everybody free of responsibility for their actions.

Gayle said...

joanne

I have to disagree with Lorrie on this one. Maybe he can come down to youth court some time and see what goes on. I think most judges are pretty well aware of what is available for young persons, and how best to rehabilitate them. For serious crimes the court may have received reports from psychologists, probation officers and social workers making recommendations. You need to know that the primary goal of the YCJA is protection of the public, so if the reports say the youth is more likely to be rehabilitated with a community based sentence, that is probably what he is going to get.

As for your question, youth are not above being so selfish that they do not care who they hurt in order to get some benefit for themselves. There is no question the money available from drug dealing is very attractive to some youth - the kind who believe easy money is more important than anything else. Of course, that kind of person exists everywhere - which is why we have drug dealers, scam artists, Conrad Black and the Enron fraud. They are all the same really, they just use different means and hurt different people in order to make money for themselves.

Many, if not most of the youth I deal with who deal drugs come from middle or working class families. Generally, being arrested is the single biggest factor in convincing these youth to change their ways.

As for why some youth do not simply find a job? As I said above - selfishness - the attraction of easy money is too much to resist. For others it could be a result of modelling. I work because when I grew up my parents worked. If I grew up with parents who committed crimes for a living, I would probably think that is OK for me too.

ET said...

Actually, gayle, you haven't dealt with my questions.

I asked you why you set up a 'set' of people you suggest might be prone to criminal behaviour and this set, I felt, was invalid because it contained non-compatible categories: homelessness, abused, mentally ill.

You then seemed to define this set of attributes [homeless, abused, mentally ill] as causal to crime. i question such a link.

I'll continue to question both the definition of the set of 'potential criminal behaviour types' and the 'causality'.

Then, I do question the definition of 'homelessness' and 'abused'. To 'be homeless' requires a context, a history of events that leads one to this state. I question whether the causality of criminality is this state.

You also haven't defined 'abused'. Is this physical, is it psychological (something extremely subjective)? And, I question the causality of 'being abused' as indicative of 'being criminal'.

I don't need to provide any data base on this site to conclude that criminality is an economic activity - whether youth or adult. It's hardly a novel analysis.

And I disagree with your separation of this population into 'youth' and 'adult'. This economic realm begins at about the age of 10. You don't begin to work in this economic realm at the age of 25! You begin early, assisting the network and then, moving higher up.

You still haven't provided any what I feel would be valid causality to the existence of this economic realm and its membership. As I said, I reject your claims that the causal factors are 'homelessness', 'abused and 'mentally ill'.

After all, are you actually saying that all that is necessary to stop crime is to provide a home and no 'abuse'? I have my doubts, strong doubts.

As an economic mode, what has to be done to reduce the proportion, the ratio of this mode relative to the dominant economic mode - which you don't enter until your mid 20s - is to make the criminal economic mode less lucrative, and with more risks. That would make the CHOICE of this mode less plausible. You also don't address the issue of CHOICE. People CHOOSE this mode.

To me, the action required to make the criminal economic mode less attractive, is jail time. All this means is that the criminal economic mode won't disappear; its membership numbers will be reduced because the risks are too high.

Gayle said...

I should add to that last comment that a huge percentage of young offenders (at least in Edmonton) come from the Child Welfare system. These youth do not have role models. They are more at risk to be involved with gangs because their peers are often the closest thing to family they have.

If there is one single factor I think would reduce crime it would be improving our child welfare system. Putting children in institutions where they are cared for by frustrated and underpaid staff is not the way to raise a healthy child.

Gayle said...

et - reject away. I care not.

As I said, I cannot answer your vague theory. Can you provide some stats, some facts and some analysis?

As for the rest, allow me to say, again, that I based my comments on personal experience.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Gayle, actually a lot of what you say makes sense to me. Not everything, but a great deal. I don't think there is one simplistic answer to this problem, but I do agree that kids need strong role models, who show concern and empathy for others.

Gayle said...

nomdeblog - of course people get life in Canada. Homolka did not get life because she was not sentenced to life. That is like using the example a kid getting a fine for shoplifting as proof no one gets life in prison.

Several young persons in Alberta were sentenced to life in prison. Many of them have also not been paroled.

nomdeblog said...

“As I said above - selfishness - the attraction of easy money is too much to resist.”

Bingo!

A crime economy is as real as MacDonald’s only it pays a lot more. Yes it’s too much to resist for some, therefore we need to put more risk into the choice, the “attraction” is a choice based on low risk.

Not to be derailed by your Enron, Conrad cracks ... the good news about capitalism is that Enron proves that it works. Enron is gone, the perps are dead or in jail, the cost to taxayers ..nothing, the cost to risk takers ... a lot.
As to “Conrad’s fraud” .. but the jury is still out .. doesn’t everybody deserve a fair trial ? You aren't making class distinctions are you?

“Putting children in institutions where they are cared for by frustrated and underpaid staff is not the way to raise a healthy child.”

Please tell the Liberals, who want national day care by CUPE employees, what frustration by bureaucrats can do to kids.

But I’ll add another “bingo” for Giuliani. You’ll recall the “stat and fact” that I posted earlier about his increasing adoptions and decreasing the foster home loading in NYC? That serves as a long term solution and preventive measures to the problems we’ve been talking about for a couple of days now.

I’ll end it on that common ground.

Gayle said...

Thanks Joanne.

liberal supporter said...

As an economic mode, what has to be done to reduce the proportion, the ratio of this mode relative to the dominant economic mode - which you don't enter until your mid 20s - is to make the criminal economic mode less lucrative, and with more risks. That would make the CHOICE of this mode less plausible. You also don't address the issue of CHOICE. People CHOOSE this mode.

Like all economic models, this one has the flaw of expecting rationality from humans.

Yes, the fear of punishment is what makes most people avoid criminal activity. Fines or time lost from making money. For me, the loss of even just 30 days at what I do would dissuade me from any crime up to and including murder. So the "choice" type people are being addressed, in my view.

Longer sentences are unlikely to change "choice" types. If armed robbery gets me 20 years instead of 5, am I really less likely to do it? I doubt there are many that would say "well for 5 years I would, but for 10, no way".

For the kind of people gayle is talking about, rationality often does not come into it. Some even choose "suicide by cop". I doubt many of this kind of people think very far ahead, other than to think they won't get caught. But they would make great students for crime school in the pen.

ET said...

gayle - you are the one who is not providing any stats or data.

You have come up with a set of 'potential criminals', which I have critiqued as an invalid set. They are the 'homeless, the abused, and the mentally ill'. You have not addressed my questions about this set. And, no stats, never mind the logical problem of such a set.

You haven't addressed my questions of your claim that this set 'leads to' or is linked to criminality. Prove it. And, define your terms; you haven't defined 'homeless' or 'abused'.

instead, what you have done, is to refuse to debate your theory (reject away, I care not). You've refused to validate your terms and your causal links.

And, my outline of multiple levels of an economy doesn't require any stats; so, your request for such is simply a tactic of refusing to debate and answer my questions.

All but the most basic economies (hunting/gathering) are complex; they have multiple levels of input work and output results; they have multiple types of participation (by gender, by age, by class, by education, by skill).

My point about the criminal economic mode is that it is one type - and must be kept, proportionally, at a small ratio of the overall economy. How? By increasing the risks of participation vs benefits in that mode.

In answer to Liberal supporter, I disagree; longer sentences would deter participation in that mode. First, they remove you from the economy and second, they are a risk, a high risk, that you would have to weigh when choosing to enter that mode.

If there is no choice, then, equally, there is no possibility of NOT being a criminal. It would 'just happen'. I don't think that's the norm.

liberal supporter said...

longer sentences would deter participation in that mode

It would deter you and it would deter me, but we are already well deterred. That's the point. We would not be "more" deterred by increased sentences.

Gayle said...

et, I do not know how many times I can say this. I am not setting out a theory, I set out my own personal experience. In my experience, dealing with youth who are homeless, mentally ill and who have suffered from abuse, many of these youth turn to crime. In many cases when we have been able to address the underlying issue, the crime stopped. I do not have stats and I never claimed any causality. I simply spoke from my own personal experience. Let me say that again, I SIMPLY SPOKE FROM EXPERIENCE.

I trust I will not have to repeat myself.

Here is the quetion you ignored (I capitalized the operative term).

"If you are suggesting MOST youth criminals are involved because of the economics of crime, then I would disagree, and would ask you to tell me where you come up with that, because it is difficult for me to respond to something that at this point appears to be based on your opinion..."

I have already admitted that economics and greed play a role in some crimes.

If you are suggesting they account for all crimes, or even most, or even many, then show me some research. I will reply when you do that.

I get that you are really into economic models, but you have yet to show that those models apply to youth crime in fact rather than in theory.

Gayle said...

Allow me to add, if this is your point:

"In answer to Liberal supporter, I disagree; longer sentences would deter participation in that mode. First, they remove you from the economy and second, they are a risk, a high risk, that you would have to weigh when choosing to enter that mode."

then you are really just rehashing nomdeblog's point, disguised as economic theory. If you scroll up you will see I posted a number of studies that show higher sentences do not deter crime - in actual fact, reality, not some theory...

If you do not like it then take it up with the authors. I have already debated this point once on this thread.

nomdeblog said...

Oh one more time

“Homolka did not get life because she was not sentenced to life.”

Exactly. The scumbag should have gotten 10x’s life, another example of laxness in the court procedures after a century of a Liberal appointed judiciary.

Re Liberal supporter’s comment of 5 vs 20,
the point as mentioned several times now is that youth are mocking the system, there is no risk in it, I’ve provided examples, tori has too. Young men with guns get arrested then let go on house arrest, then they kill somebody.

It’s not about 5 vs 20 it’s about zero vs something. It’s the zero that’s the problem.

Gayle some Professor writing his biased study up in a book does not make it a fact, it’s still a biased opinion. A lot of what my Professors taught I’ve since learned is wrong. Just by quoting someone with a PhD doesn’t make it the correct answer. PhD’s are often wrong, often out of work too, maybe there’s a correlation.

You won’t deal with the fact that 8 million New Yorkers believe that Giuliani’s getting tough on crime worked. It worked because he dealt with the crime and violence as an illegal economy that was overtaking the legal economy. Despite the utopian rantings of the elitist New York Times vilifying Giuliani, the average New Yorker supported Giuliani’s methods. He also dealt with the mafia and with the unions; all wrapped up in the crime rings.

That Gayle is a fact that millions believe. They may be wrong but they lived there as I did and saw the before and after impact. We believe that Guilini saved the day.

You are only going to get more and more frustrated over the next 2 years of US elections as you will be told repeatedly by Presidential candidate Giuliani that these same methods of dealing with crime as an economy will also help on quelling terrorism within the fascists’ regimes in the Middle East. The fascist leaders are selling false hope, luring young males into a death cult. Giuliani will have them questioning if it’s worth the risk to continue to play that game.

This is a theory that is not going to go away, it is gaining legs.

Gayle said...

nom - Do not blame the judges for Homolka - that was a plea agreement reached between her and the Crown. If you want to blame someone blame the police who managed to overlook the evidence of her involvement (the videotapes) hidden in the house. If the police had done their job properly in the first place, the crown would have had all the evidence they needed and Homolka would not have been offered that deal. As it was, the crown's hands were tied because they believed Bernardo to be the main actor and they needed Homolka to prove their case.

As for the rest, I hope you are not suggesting that simply because a lot of people believe something is true then it must be true. Does that mean that slavery was OK - what with it being supported by the majority of people at the time?

Again you ignore the evidence because it does not suit you. PhD's are wrong - because you do not agree - never mind the studies and evidence, they just get in the way of your opinion. You and tori cite a couple of examples, which you think should be sufficient to "prove" your case, and when I cite hundreds of examples you ignore them.

I see your opinion is not going to change. There is no point going around in circles. You can go and live in your little utopian world where everything gets better when Guliani wins the election. Those of us who want to change things will actually research the issues and try to do something about it.

Now, unless you want to bring up something new, our discussion will end here.

Gayle said...

I forgot to add:

"You won’t deal with the fact that 8 million New Yorkers believe that Giuliani’s getting tough on crime worked."

I did deal with it. You just did not like the answer.

liberal supporter said...

We believe that Guilini saved the day.

Of course, there are others who don't agree.

liberal supporter said...

Just for the "hang em high" folks, Homolka has said she would not have come forward if we had the death penalty. Her coming forward was enough to determine Bernardo was involved, then she nogotiated the deal. They did not have the tapes at the time and without her a murder conviction of Bernardo was in doubt.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

L.S. - Yeah, that deal stunk but sometimes you have to compromise. She was the lesser of two very nasty evils.

nomdeblog said...

“I hope you are not suggesting that simply because a lot of people believe something is true then it must be true”

No I don’t, no more than I believe studies must be true, which you seem to buy into without questioning. I’m very suspicious, especially about academia and the MSM. However, I do believe what I experience first hand and see with my own eyes.

Liberal Supporter, as I said, millions of people voted with their jobs and their co-ops at stake, they weren’t part of a study group, it wasn’t academic, there was a lot at personal steak. Having said that, it wasn’t 100% support and I mentioned the folks at the New York Times who are still grinding their teeth. And you’ve found Wayne Barrett, at the Village Voice, and surprise, surprise the folks at the Village Voice don’t like Rudy. They’re the original BoBo’s , the bourgeois bohemians.

The good news is that we finally have wide open dissent in Canada, political correctness is dieing out. We have the internet where we can debate;
hug a thug or jail ‘em .. that’s the question.

Dissent is what makes life interesting ,to steal from the slogan at the Village Voice “"Some people swear by us...other people swear AT us." .

ET said...

gayle - anecdotal experience has no scientific validity; it remains just your personal experience. Yet, you bring it up in a discussion and seem to expect others to accept it as having validity.

Your claims about crime and its causality reject its lack of scientific validity; you are trying to convince us that your personal experience is tantamount to a general law.

Equally, the books you reference are not, as pointed out by nomdeblog, the ultimate truth. You must be aware of debate in the criminology field between different methods of dealing with crime and causality. You seem to reject debate. Just because one or a few support one theory does not make that theory the ultimate truth.

Again, your definition of terms is invalid; you've merged them as I pointed out and you haven't dealt with the problem of this merger of terms. And, despite your claims that you aren't talking about causality- you are. You introduced the categories (homeless, abused, mentally ill) in the discussion of youth crime. These are causal in your view. I reject this.

As for economics, you don't seem to understand a complex society and economic infrastructure. You refer to economics and greed in the same sentence! That's nonsense. The basic 'modus operandus' of a society is its economic base; economics means - how it supports its population.

An economic mode that permits access at a young age, that has high returns, that is high risk, that is short-term describes the criminal gang economic mode. You ignore the economic infrastructure of a society - again, it has nothing to do with 'greed'.

I think that better questions would be focused around the ratio of the population in this particular mode, the returns, the risks, what happens after reaching the peak age in this mode.

Then, focus on who is 'allowed' into this mode. How do you enter it? Can you leave it? What happens?

I'd bet that membership isn't defined by being homeless, abused or mentally ill. After all, that's tantamount to saying that all criminals are homeless, abused and mentally ill. I doubt that.

Then, consider the ratio that can be permitted to operate in a robust society - and consider deterrents to membership in this economic mode. Increasing the risks is an important deterrent.

I very much doubt that doing away with homelessness, with 'abuse' (please define) and how are you going to deal with mental illness - well, I doubt that this will stop crime.

However, since you said that you weren't advancing any theory; that you were just describing your own anecdotal personal experience, which is confined to youths who are homeless, abused and/or mentally ill - then, quite frankly - there can be no valid discussion on criminal behaviour within such limitations.

Cheers.

liberal supporter said...

8 million New Yorkers believe that Giuliani’s getting tough on crime worked

I wondered, how do we know this? Then you said:

Liberal Supporter, as I said, millions of people voted with their jobs and their co-ops at stake, they weren’t part of a study group

So your argument rests on electoral results, not a survey about crime.

It's good you stopped saying 8 million. The population of NYC is about 8.1 million. In 2005 there were 4.3 million registered voters, so claiming 8 million agree would be difficult to prove.

In 1997, Rudy won 615,829 votes out of 1,116,358 votes. You claimed "millions", but the facts do not back that claim.

I am certainly quibbling by refuting your claims of "millions", but the argument is still true. on the other hand, your refuting of a link questioning the Guiliani miracle consisted of dismissing it as "they don't like Ruudy, so their view doesn't count". This is your version of "wide open dissent"? I could get a better argument at the argument clinic!

According to the article you pooh-pooh'ed, the Times reported on Guiliani reducing crime much more than the previous mayor. I thought you said they "didn't like him".

Finally, your framing of the debate as "hug a thug or jail ‘em .. that’s the question" is the kind of black and white framing intended to reduce debate, completely contradicting your statement "We have the internet where we can debate".

Interesting discussion, though. Believe it or not, this thread has actually had less spouting of partisan talking points and insults than is usually the case (I'm thinking of other blogs of course, Joanne!). I was actually able to see thinking people behind the comments.

Gayle said...

et - I actually stopped reading about half way through (it all looked so familiar). You take my comments, place them in a different context, which suggests I am saying something I am not, and then proceed to debunk them, all the while failing to provide any analysis, arguments or facts to support your position.

Let me walk you through this:

This discussion began with individuals suggesting we need tougher penalties to reduce youth crime. I challenged this and asked for some studies to back those claims. I did not receive that information, but was asked for studies to back my claims. I provided those studies. I was met with arguments based on certain personal experiences, and experiences of others reported in the media. I responded with the comment that if personal experience was sufficient I should recount my personal experiences - and then I did so. I did not rely on personal experience to prove my point - I relied on facts, evidence and scientific studies. I relied on personal experience to debunk the notion that personal experience trumps facts (by arguing my personal experience differs from those relied on to debunk my facts).

That is about when you jumped in to reject all my claims.

I have provided names and authorities. You provide nothing - absolutely nothing - to support your claims.

Like nom, I am tired of going around in circles with you. Bring me facts of give it up.

And, by the way, while I am sure attacking the messenger is what passes for clever arguments in your circles, for most people simply calling someone names, or discounting them because they are "academics" is not considered intelligent debate.

You are correct - I do not know much about economics. This is not an economic debate though - it is a debate on preventing crime. You clearly do not know much about that.

Gayle said...

And for the purposes of clarity, I never once said homelessness, abuse or mental illness causes crime. What I did say was then when these issues are addressed, they often reduce crime.

tori said...

gayle,

I find it funny how you put so much stock into these studies.

One study (or book) by one man does not make it "fact". In fact, most studies will only go as far as to suggest trends or possibilities. Why? Because they know that there are many variables that may confound their assumptions.

One huge confounding variable is that there is crime that is unreported. Any meta-analysis based on stats will have to deal with the problem that not all crime is being considered. The whole picture is not shown.

If a study is seen as "fact", then all the paradigm shifts that have happened over the past 100 years would be non-existant. Even today, there are studies that are suggesting what we knew before was wrong. Research is not static!!! Look at how we view schizophrenia and depression now. And these are EASILY measured fields. You get an MRI, and you can SEE the difference, quantify it.

Humanities is a lot harder to quantify. As et alluded to, you have a bunch of different studies that have decided to operationally define their objects of study in different ways, making any comparisons difficult to make. Yet you are so sure that these studies are the be all and end all of scientific study. Well, I guess we need to close up shop, because we've figured out what causes crime and how we can stop crime from happening. But wait...

All I am saying is that obviously there is a problem that the current method of dealing with crime is not adressing. Or else we would not be having the problems we are having in TO.

tori said...

just a few comments in the star from ordinary folk...

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/219378

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Tori, thanks so much for that Star link!

I find this one very interesting:

What can teachers realistically do to control violence in school? From the people that I know who are teachers, what the teacher described in this article are exactly what they go through every day. Threats against teachers and against students, but administrators choose to do nothing because it reflects badly on them if they take action.

There is an area of responsibility we really haven't pursued very much here. It seems abhorrent that administrators would choose not to take action because of how it would reflect on the school, but that message was reiterated by Sandra Fusco as well.

BTW, guys. Keep it going with the comments here. I'm sure we can break 100 today!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, this post by Joan Tintor is a real eye-opener:

The $100K Breakfast Club - Gerard Kennedy’s legacy: lawless schools, see-no-evil administrators.

tori said...

joanne,

did you see my comment on joan's post?

I swear, that is what i get when I read that statement...

tori said...

let me clarify better...

Donna Quan*, safe schools superintendent for Toronto, said Jefferys was an outstanding school and urged concerned teachers to discuss their problems with administration and the school board (emphasis mine)

“We’ll be glad to meet,” Quan said. “It’s important to have courageous conversations.”

in other words, don't leak our dirty laundry to the press, let's keep it to ourselves.

But why should the teachers go to the admin or the board? They've tried that, and nothing gets done.

Again, this speaks to actions and consequences of the actions. Teachers will stop going to the higher-ups if nothing is done; youth will continue to commit violent behavior in school if nothing is done to stop it.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Yay, Tori! 100 comments. Thank you. (Bloggers thrive on these little accomplishments. Sad isn't it?)

Your observation is very astute, IMO. Indeed, it would seem to be the old "Circle the wagons" approach. Something needs to be done to shake up the dead wood there in the school board hierarchy.

tori said...

and what the heck is "courageous conversations"?!?!? Is that like "going foward" or some other useless, meaningless corporate-speak?

If I were the teacher who was threatened by a student, I would not be interested in having "courageous conversations"...I would be interested in some protection and some action.

I don't know, call me silly, but I think the idea of talking about this problem is long since passed. it is time for ACTION.

Gayle said...

et - I am well aware that studies are not perfect, yet the ones I quote do bear out what I have been saying. I accept them because they confirm my own experience. As I have pointed out several times, you cannot point to anything that would bear out your theory.

Models are based on assumptions, are they not? As in, the assumption that potential criminals will calculate the risk before they commit an offence, and that as part the that calculation they will consider the possible sentence. It also assumes they KNOW the possible consequence/sentence.

What those studies I point to show is that this assumption is flawed. I agree, because I know from speaking with the hundreds of offenders I have dealt with over the years that they are NOT thinking about penalty when they commit offences - at least not the vast majority of them. I do not offer that fact as "evidence", but rather as the reason why I accept these studies.

I can give you an example right from this thread. Despite my many enquiries about whether people here actually know anything about the sentencing regime under the YCJA, I have yet to get an answer. In fact, several posts demonstrate that people are ignorant about sentences under the YCJA.

If we cannot expect people who seem to be fairly well versed and concerned about the subject to know potential consequences, how can we expect the drug addicted 16 year old who is looking for his next fix to know them?

We ALL want something done about the crime problem in our cities. As I said earlier, I have lost many of my kids to drugs and gangs. I am tired of going to funerals for 16 year olds. I suggest it is time to stop with the theories, and the models, and start listening to the people on the front lines who are dealing with these youth every day.

nomdeblog said...

Gayle says “You are correct - I do not know much about economics. This is not an economic debate though - it is a debate on preventing crime. You clearly do not know much about that.”

It's only you who has decided it’s not an economic debate, perhaps because you admit “you don’t know much about economics.”

But you refuse to learn anything pertaining to economics, you admit to “stop reading halfway through”. I hope you have tenure because the world is changing even if you aren’t and the world runs on a globally connected economy that includes crime and corruption and violence.

Maybe you should rent The Godfather .. it’s about crime and economics with some immigration and cultural barrier issues thrown in. It’s about crime as a “family business”.

Even if your paycheck comes from the government you are ultimately dependent upon economics and the taxpayers that produce real goods and service to provide for your economics. Also you won’t be able to deal with your pet causes of “abuse, homelessness and mental illness” without economics. we do need to deal with them and they do impact crime. But the perps in the Godfather were not ill, they were very comptetant at what they did and thrived economically at crime. Plus there views were shaped at a very young age.

Your basic premise of deciding that crime and economics have nothing to do with each other is wrong, it’s utopian. Mayor miller has the same problem , we have to get rid of him.

tori said...

" I suggest it is time to stop with the theories, and the models, and start listening to the people on the front lines who are dealing with these youth every day. "

teachers are front line workers, are they not?

Many have come forward since the shooting at jeffries to say that nothing is being done about violent crime in the schools.

but when we bring this up, you say ,

"If personal experience is the basis for research, then I guess you can count the hundreds of young offenders I have worked with over the past 13 or so years. I know what works because I have seen it with my own eyes, and not just read about it in a newspaper."

Why is only your experience counted but other front line workers' experiences dismissed?

Just because they don't align with your view?

These teachers are saying that there is no punishment, the kids know there is no punishment and that there is lawlessness and chaos in the schools. Their experience must count, too...right?

Gayle said...

tori - experience counts, of course, but the difference is my experience is in the treatment/rehabilitation of offenders.

I do not doubt there is violence in schools - and I accept that account of their experience, however they do not apparently have experience with rehabilitation. It is different.

And, yet again allow me to point out that social science research supports me.

Gayle said...

nom - yet again (and for the last time), let me ask you for some research and/or evidence to back yourh theory that an economic model may be sucessfully applied to a crime prevention model. Otherwise all you are spouting is a bunch of hot air.

tori said...

so gayle, how do we treat and rehab offenders if we don't even DO anything when they offend???

Your experience is not the only one out there. There are cops who say the laws are not enforced or are too lenient, you have teachers who say that crime in schools is out of control and nothing is done.

There are other experiences out there besides yours.

As for social science research, you will be hard pressed to find a study that has controlled for every possible variable, had subjects that told the truth when interviewed, had no ambiguity whatsoever when observed, had survey questions that measured EXACTLY what they were supposed to measure and was conducted in a pristine manner. Even doing a correlational study based on statscan data is flawed, because there is crime that is unreported.

That is not to say that research is useless...but to say that just because it made it in a peer- reviewed social science journal does not make it fact.

And yes, I'd be saying this even if those studies acked my views.

tori said...

and from that, a question arises...

I'm going to use an example.

in jeffries, 50 lockers were broken into in less that 10 mins.

the admin, in its infinite wisdom, did not call the cops to report it.

how does one rehabilitate when you dont even punish? If you don't punish, or have consequences for the behavior, the kid thinks it's ok to do it. Trying to rehab a kid after he's robbed the lockers, and without any consequences is absolutely meaningless.

I remember reading somewhere that with small children, in order to rectify bad behavior, one must keep the consequences close to the bad action in time. If you wait a period between the two, the kid doesn't even remember what he's being punished for. And then the punishment has no bearing to the behavior you are trying to get rid of.

How do you get rid of bad behavior if we ignore it???

Gayle said...

tori - surely you are not suggesting I respond to allegations made by a teacher against the administration? I cannot do that. I have never said not to report crime.

My very simple point is this: higher sentences do not rehabilitate, nor do they deter crime.

If you want higher sentences because you think they should be higher, and you are not concerned with rehabilitation, then, fine - go for it.