Criminal Justice

What Do Crime Victims Want From Criminal Justice Reform?

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Criminal Justice Infographic
Jason Keisling / Reason

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  1. Who exactly are the victims of drug offenses? Would that be the pharmaceutical companies?

    Correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t the War on Drugs the main driver of the need for criminal justice reform?

    1. isn’t the War on Drugs the main driver of the need for criminal justice reform?

      That’s probably true, but only because that’s the best y right now to populate prisons. It’s more fun for SWAT teams (they’ve tried it for student loan fraud, but it generates humiliating press), it’s easier to steal evidence (you can only steal so much raw milk before the market is saturated), and the rationale is a lot easier to fabricate (not very many people take restaurants’ side against taco trucks).

      So it’s important to get in some structural reform before pot legalization knocks the legs out from under the drug war and forces them to find something else for all those drug warriors to do.

  2. Coercive representational government encourages politicians to campaign on prison count instead of future crime prevention. Of course, this is not just government; private businesses would do the same. But multiple private prisons would compete and differentiate themselves. Some would hit on better rehabilitation processes, and stats would show whose graduates repeated more often. Future victims would gravitate towards those prisons with better records; these stats imply that people can rise above personal grudges and Do The Right Thing.

    It’s interesting to contemplate how insurance company policies would influence which prisons were selected.

    Some prisons might offer guarantees on how well they rehabilitate their graduates. Perhaps successful ones might offer to take back lapsed graduates at no cost or reduced cost.

    Some might offer counseling for those graduates who felt a relapse coming on.

    If only there were competition! Man, this is one of my primary gripes about government — markets can fix almost anything, and governments go out of their way to first prevent competition, and second to come up with some of the most bizarre regulations to emulate the markets they have crushed. They remind me of fundamentalist religions which don’t believe in evolution and natural processes, and so assume that God must control every single aspect of life, down to which side toast falls on, to emulate those natural processes.

    1. The purpose of law is supposed to be “justice” (repayment to victim of victim’s NOK), not rehabilitation. Would most victims rather ruin someone’s life or simply get back what it was that was taken, or receive some sort of compensation instead of having to pay to “fix” the aggressor?

      As for “rehabilitation”, I’m well aware that instant pain is a great motivator to stop bad behavior. Electro-shock therapy can “fix” almost anything, completely disregarding the moral issues inherent in its use.

      1. If you’re going to throw somebody in prison, you’d best either do it for life or rehabilitate them before release, or at least not make them worse. Anything else is far from justice; I doubt even the sorriest of victims would think the proper remedy for their single crime is to create more crime, even if the subsequent crime is only against other victims.

        1. Throwing someone in prison for any reason other than to await trial (or I suppose to repay a kidnapping?) is injustice.

          But yes, if prison must be used, you are correct.

          1. I agree with you on prison. All verdicts should be for restitution only, nicely eliminating victimless crimes as a side benefit. Any detention to await trial should be punished in turn if the detainee is found innocent. In general, that’s also how I would handle all warrants for searches, detention, etc — leave them up to the parties themselves, with two provisos: they have to be relevant to the matter at hand, minimal, and contestable — if the target of a search warrant appeals it, the warrant can’t be executed until the appeals are complete. Any premature execution, any overbroad execution, or any other defect in a warrant or its execution, should be matters for the verdict, which is the second proviso — all defective warrant executions, and all warrants executed properly by the losing parties, should be addressed in the verdict — so if you execute a search warrant in an abusive or sloppy manner, or if you detain somebody to prevent interference with evidence or to force appearance at the trial, you will pay appropriately in the verdict. It’s the only decent “market” manner I can think of to redress warrants excesses.

            1. All verdicts should be for restitution only, nicely eliminating victimless crimes as a side benefit.

              Nicely eliminating, say, prosecution of murder for people whose debts exceed their assets as well, since restitution would leave the estate with nothing even if it were able to collect on the judgment.

              1. Not true at all. People can get justice even if they have no assets. In the case of restitution, you only need to show who initiated force, and this can cost no money, often only time.

                Next, then next of kin may (and probably will) want to pursue the matter. They are the ones to whom the aggressor would need to repay.

                Lastly, there are people like me who just really get pissed off about any kind of injustice. Failing everything else, I’ll just bring the evidence of the murder in and get justice. And the perp may be able to convince the NOK to accept less than full repayment (as it’s not my place to prevent the NOK from accepting such), but as I have no authority to accept that, I’ll likely just demand full repayment, AKA the aggressor’s life.

                You don’t want to be the guy caught murdering a person with no NOK. There seems to be no provision for mercy, only total repayment.

                1. People can get justice even if they have no assets. In the case of restitution, you only need to show who initiated force, and this can cost no money, often only time.

                  Perhaps this is how some theoretical kangaroo court would work. For actual restitution to take place you would need to establish the value of damages as well as guilt to a sufficient burden of proof. If damages exceed the asset value of the person who died, then what you’re talking about is not restitution, but rather something in excess of restitution. This is, more or less, how tort law already works with regard to wrongful death.

                  1. FWIW, I do agree that a restitution-based justice system with no rehabilitation component would be the theoretical ideal in a free society. But there’s negative implications of that system for certain types of crime victims. Statutory law wasn’t invented for no reason.

                    1. Statutory law wasn’t invented for no reason.

                      To empower the state.

                  2. Perhaps this is how some theoretical kangaroo court would work.

                    You seem to think that our current court system is in any way a good example of how to get justice.

                    For actual restitution to take place you would need to establish the value of damages as well as guilt to a sufficient burden of proof.

                    Prove it. Once it’s proved, the aggressor must replace it or otherwise satisfy the victim. This isn’t hard.

                    If damages exceed the asset value of the person who died, then what you’re talking about is not restitution, but rather something in excess of restitution.

                    A life has infinite worth and is irreplaceable, but the best you could ask is the murderer’s life. If the murderer doesn’t want to die (reasonable), then perhaps he could offer something less than his life, such as all of his worldly possessions. It’s up to the NOK to decide if that is close enough to covering the life, or if they feel merciful in this case. In fact, the NOK could simply forgive the debt entirely.

                    Either way, If I’m in debt, my life isn’t worth a net negative. It’s still worth more than anyone could ever pay. Any amount accepted in lieu of the murderer’s life would actually be less than I was worth, not more.

              2. Your proggie blinders blind you.

                How do poor suspects get justice today from public defenders? Pretty damned poorly.

                How would poor suspects get justice in a free market victim-prosecution system? Excellently, if losers paid and verdicts were restitution, because lawyers would jump at the chance to win a good case and get paid by the false accusers.

                Even better, the accountability built in would eliminate all the crap political prosecutors and political police do to embellish their resumes and get votes and pensions.

                And the elimination of victimless crimes would eliminate 90% of prosecutions today.

                You really can’t think very well. You have no imagination. You are so steeped in your proggie fantasy that everything else is literally unimaginable.

  3. Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), a project of the Tides Center, is a national organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. ASJ partners with leaders and advocates to advance state reform through networking, coalition building, research, education and advocacy. ASJ also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence. ASJ is the sister organization of Californians for Safety and Justice, also a project of Tides Center and Vote Safe, a 501(c)4 project of The Advocacy Fund.

    1. Tides is a donor advised fund that directs money to politically liberal causes.[5] Founded in 1976 in San Francisco, Tides provides money to organizations working to advance progressive policy in the areas of the environment, health care, labor issues, immigrant rights, gay rights, women’s rights and human rights.[1][5] Tides oversees the Tides Center, which serves as an incubator for fledgling progressive organizations.[…]

      Tides has received at least $3.5 million from financier and political activist George Soros.[11]

      From 2003 to 2012, Tides gave around $4.4 million to media advocacy organization Media Matters for America.[12]

      1. Glad to see there’s not one single fucking media outlet that isn’t a bought and paid propaganda mill whose information I have to spend more time vetting than reading. Fuck you Reason.

        And of course, even if these stats came from a legitimate source, they would be no more useful for making public policy than a poll of cops and prosecutors, or a poll showing that the vengeful children of murder victims would like to see jaywalking punished by the death penalty. The whims of public perception are not a good basis on which to make policy even if the whims of public perception are (temporarily) on your side. Fuck you twice, Reason.

        1. Go spam HuffPo or Salon or some other feel-good-act-stupid site. Oh wait, you spam here because individuals are better at making money than socialists. Oh dear.

          1. What the fuck are you talking about you retarded cunt?

          2. 100% seriously, break that down for me. Do you actually even have a clear idea what you were trying to say? Literally every word in that reply is a non-sequitur of such monumental severity that it’s difficult to contemplate where exactly you went wrong.

            1. OK, here’s an alternative: You’re a piss-poor Agile Cyborg imitation.

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