The Many Costs of Crime ⋆ Politicrossing
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The Many Costs of Crime

Does serving time in jail or prison somehow repay society for the range of civic, social, and economic costs associated with the transgression?

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When someone commits a crime and serves time for his or her transgression, whether the crime is murder or as simple as vandalism, has the debt to society truly been paid? The notion prevails that serving time in jail or prison somehow repays society for the transgression. Is this the case, or even close to being so?

Let’s consider the crime of vandalism and not murder. In one town, four students vandalized the outside brick walls of the then newly constructed high school by writing racially-charged messages intended to hurt other students. The perpetrators were quickly apprehended and sentenced.

Assessing the True Costs

Jail time, community service, and paying to have the brickwork cleaned seem to satisfy most people’s sense of fairness. What are the true costs, however, of such a crime? In the case of the four young men who chose to vandalize the school building, we have the emotional pain of those to whom the messages were directed.

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If I were a student who had gone to this school, and on one random day I arrived to be greeted by a large message in spray paint that essentially said I was not wanted there, would jail time, a few hours of community service, or removal of such paint restore me to my previous state?

Even if the messages were harmless, such as a school slogan, what about the cost of the law officers, school officials, town officials, town magistrates, and court officials? What about the judge involved in bringing the case to court, achieving judicial resolution, and carrying out the sentence? Is their time collectively, including their per-hour costs, overtime, oil and gas for any vehicles, equipment, supplies, insurance benefits, and a host of real dollar costs, repaid by criminals?

Consider the costs the local jurisdiction pays in terms of constructing and maintaining facilities; cleaning linens; cooking meals; paying utility bills, including hot water, lights, and electricity to house such perpetrators during their jail time. How, and when, is that repaid? You guessed it – through tax dollars. Are such out-of-pocket costs to society ever paid by the perpetrators themselves?

Truth in Debt to Society

Consider the resulting costs to society when someone commits a robbery, armed robbery, grand larceny, fraud, assault, rape, or murder. For these, and other crimes against individuals, organizations, governments, and other social institutions, are the comprehensive and true costs to the victims of the crime and society at large ever paid by those who commit such acts in the first place?

If criminals were charged with the full cost of their actions – call it “truth in debt to society,” including all of their processing, court, and incarceration costs – added to the penalty they’re assessed by the judge, then the justice system would be more respectful of taxpayers, and more sensitive to taxpayers, and provide a much heartier form of justice to victims and the criminals.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Life

New Study Shows THESE People are the Happiest

A discussion about a new study on happiness…

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PolitiCrossing Founder Chris Widener talks with Dr. Steve Turley of Turley Talks to discuss a new study about happiness. Check out their interview and be sure to pick up Chris Widener’s new book they mention, Four Seasons. The purchase of the book gets you 20+ hours of personal develop audios to celebrate the launch of the book. Get Four Seasons by clicking HERE. Check out the discussion below:

Want to influence others like Jesus did? New video series shows you exactly how. Click here for more.

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About Turley Talks:

Are we seeing the revitalization of Christian civilization?

For decades, the world has been dominated by a process known as globalization, a secularizing economic and political system that hollows out and erodes a culture’s traditions, customs, and religions, all the while conditioning populations to rely on the expertise of a tiny class of technocrats for every aspect of their social and economic lives.

Until now.

All over the world, there’s been a massive blowback against the anti-cultural processes of globalization and its secular aristocracy.

And it’s just the beginning.

I believe that the secular world is at its brink, and a new conservative age is rising.

Join me each week as we examine these worldwide trends, discover answers to today’s toughest challenges, and together learn to live in the present in light of even better things to come.

This is Turley Talks.

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Life

The Four Horsemen of Aging Baby Boomers

The prospect of being cold, broke, and alone can haunt some baby boomers in their senior years

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To be old, cold, broke, and alone are the four horsemen of aging baby boomers. Aging has been a fact of life since life itself appeared on the planet, and no one has ever doubted that they would age as time passed. It’s the combination of aging with the prospect of being cold, broke, and alone that’s terrifying for some boomers as they head into their senior years.

Out in the Cold

Miracle breakthroughs in energy production, foreseen in the 1970s and 80s, are clearly not here yet. Despite current price fluctuations, the long-term trend in heating, lighting, and relying upon energy to run one’s home can only point upward for the near future. Prices will be only climb as boomers face the ends of their careers, retirement, and years of living on a fixed income.

Going for Broke

With falling housing prices, fears of a retracted recession, and government debt rising to astronomical heights, the long-term savings of many a boomer has taken a big hit. Boomers close to retiring don’t have sufficient time to recover, and even those who are five, 10, and 15 years from retirement will face rocky roads. The prospects of going broke, or at least having to live out one’s days on far less than anticipated, are real and alarming.

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Home Alone

For several decades, one in two marriages in the U.S. has ended in divorce. This doesn’t mean that one out of two people get divorced, because first-time divorcees are unfortunately prone to being divorced again and perhaps again. In any case, the number of single adults above age 45 is at an all-time high and growing. More people heading into their “golden years” are alone than at any other time in U.S. history.

Finishing one’s life cold, broke, and alone is not a pretty picture. Yet, significant numbers of boomers face this prospect. While individually little can be done about macro-economics, the rising cost of energy, or declines in property and investment values, for aging boomers there are more potential partners today than ever before. Online dating services and a variety of local social groups all but ensure that those who don’t want to face their senior years alone, don’t have to.

Old, cold, broke and alone need not be your fate.

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