The solutions to crime and violence, locally and globally, are very commonsensical; they, however, require enactment and enforcement of legislation geared at addressing causes, including poverty, primarily, resultant from drawbacks in public education and correctional systems and processes, a lack of universal gun license and registration requirements, need for improvements to and proliferation of technology that would facilitate security measures, and need for establishment and enforcement of an official world government with jurisdiction over all nations, etc.
I’ll here articulate, pulling from various previous discussions, several specific measures for preventing and addressing crime domestically and worldwide, and for establishment of social tranquility such as the world has never known.
Education is the fundamental element for prevention of crime/violence. Statistics demonstrate that a majority of criminal offenders are drop outs. Seeing that educational deprivation poses threat to public safety, universally raising the compulsory school age to disallow minors to drop out of school and requiring criminal offenders who are dropouts to acquire GEDs or high school equivalency diplomas and higher education/job training, before talks of parole, are of the essence. The same fervor that is applied to preventing truancy amongst elementary and middle school students should be applicable in high school until students graduate or turn 18-years-old (the age of legal adulthood) and to actual rehabilitation of criminal offenders rather than mere stay in correctional facilities.
Schools have the capacity to dissuade violence more so than any other available resource; seeing that a significant number of those who commit violent crimes are school-age children, schools are in the best position to reach this particular group.
Offering fundamental law requisite courses and hosting regular and interactive violence intervention/prevention workshops during which students would be lectured on violence and the legal and other repercussions that corroborate importance for avoiding it are ideal ventures for schools.
Fundamental law requisite courses would be designed to introduce students to basics of the law that the common citizen should be expected to know (similar courses could be regularly or periodically offered in public libraries for the general public). The course would also introduce students to courtroom etiquette, including verbal and written rhetorical strategies. The essential purpose of the course would be to dissuade criminal activity amongst students and communities and to inform students and the general public of basic legal and other rights.
The Importance of Sex Education Programs in Stopping Violence
Typically, when one thinks of sex education programs in schools they think of the conventional abstinence and condom message, which is, no doubt, very important. Notwithstanding, and seeing that such a significant number of violent attacks on women and children are sexual in nature, sex education and fundamental law programs should most definitely address this issue.
Where better than school to teach that “No” is a word that is to be respected, that statutory rape, even with consent, has the same effect of non-consensual sex, and that commission of either are serious crimes that could permanently scar the victims (emotionally, socially, and/or physically) and perpetrators, as with legal and other repercussions.
Violence Prevention Workshops
Violence prevention workshops would entail panel discussions in which students and school administrators/staff, including school security and/or city law enforcement officers, would participate and discuss dynamics or causes of violence on and off campus; this would include discussion of actual scenarios of violence, outcomes, and how those scenarios would have been best resolved.
Students would additionally be asked to complete annual surveys in which they would be queried about their own encounters, if any, with violence, whether they’re personal encounters and/or those that they’ve witnessed or are aware of. The purpose of the surveys would be to better determine causes and resolutions of specifically youth violence, and if appropriate interventions are being taken on part of school and other officials to address incidences.
The proposed surveys would include questions about harassment and/or bullying—who, what, when, and where—whether incidences were reported to teachers and/or school administrators, whether the culprits were teachers or school administrators, and what, if anything, was done, noting that addressing incidences of especially serial harassment and bullying would prevent many instances of violence.
The surveys would be collected by attending representatives from relevant school region superintendents’ offices and/or board officials, who would peruse and appropriately follow up on reports as necessitated.
Follow-up would include scheduled conferences with reporting/identifying students and other parties and appropriate school staff/faculty; it could also include wardrobe and/or hair grooming or weight management assistance for some students, or assistance with any other school-related or personal issues that might fuel harassment. It would additionally consist of discipline where appropriate.
Corrections should be just that, proactive correction of criminal behavior and causes of it. All time that a detainee spends in any correctional facility should be constructive and designed to socially rehabilitate and reintroduce the individual to society as a productive member.
In addition to GEDs or high school equivalency diplomas and higher education/job training requirements for all detained individuals lacking a high school diploma and employability skills, all detainees should be required to complete ethics or law and ethics classes that would emphasize the wrong of criminal acts and discourage those behaviors, while encouraging best behaviors (all correctional facilities should entail schools or classes and/or access to online education).
Diversion (Post-trial & Pre-trial Intervention)
Every possible candidate for diversion (avoidance or expunging or reduction of criminal charges/records in exchange for the successful completion of educational programs and/or community service…) should be privileged to it, to increase success rates of correctional programs or decrease likelihood of recidivism or repeat offenses.
Work & Savings Requirements
Detainees should also have work and savings requirements to establish work ethics and experience, and for the purpose of saving money for living and other expenses upon their release. I’ll further emphasize here that though the 13th amendment does justify involuntary servitude as punishment for crime, it does not expressly forbid payment of minimum wage to detainees.
All prisons should entail manufacturing facilities or entities like the FPI (Federal Prison Industries) or Unicor that avail employment opportunities to detainees; and all such agencies should pay detainees minimum wage, which would be enabled by FPI/Unicore and other similar agencies and/or correctional facilities selling products manufactured by detainees to all consumers rather than to government agencies exclusively.
Working detainees earning reasonable/minimum wages would also pay income taxes and could pay their own health insurance, preferably, in the form of payroll deducted premiums, which should be an option for every health insurance consumer or policy holder, not merely purchasers of employer-based policies. Detainees should be required to save a majority of their earnings where possible, and would establish required savings and optional checking accounts with local banks that would form partnerships with each correctional facility.
Payment of Debt
Employed detainees should also be required to incrementally pay off their outstanding debts to improve their credit ratings and chances of acquiring certain jobs and other needed resources, like housing, transportation, etc., noting that successful completion of diversion programs would privilege felons to housing, etc.
Debt repayment would also include child support, where applicable, and restitution to victims, which should be centripetal to corrections.
Detainees could also have the option of tithing to facility chapels and/or clergy from visiting prison ministries, or to other churches (i.e. those with televised broadcasts that they watch). This would help with other church missions, including a major initiative that I’ll discuss in other context.
Required Restitution to Victims and States
Requiring offenders to compensate their victims would strongly deter crime in that it would teach the offender the value of a dollar and what a lost (stolen or damaged item) really costs the victim. Working offenders should also be required to pay modest determined fees that, like victim restitution, would also be deducted from their pay and made payable to the relevant states and/or correctional facilities towards the detainees’ living expenses.
Offenders would consider that the time and effort that they’d put into payment for replacement of stolen or damaged property and into their living expenses at correctional facilities could have been invested into lawfully purchasing, for themselves, the items that they may have stolen or damaged, and into paying expenses in their own households.
Elimination of Bail
Bail collection is a misplaced practice that leaves its partakers and co-signers in often magnanimous debt, which further complicates an offender’s and co-signer’s social recovery process. Requiring payment of restitution from working detainees to victims and states and selling of products created from penal labor to general consumer markets in addition to government agencies, and paying working detainees taxed minimum wages would avail all of the funds and more that state and federal governments would need as synonymous with the correctional system.
Chores & Community Service…
In addition to education and paid work requirements, detainees should additionally be required to perform daily chores and community service, in some instances in lieu of restitution, depending on the nature of their offenses, i.e., if a detainee committed a crime that could not be monetarily compensated or a victim or offended individual declined acceptance of restitution from the offender…
Stopping Workplace/Corporate Bullying
Very often when we hear of violence in schools and in the work force, generally, there is usually much more than meets the eye, whether or not motives are articulated or publicized; and quite frequently the motives are responsive to overt serial bullying or harassment. Unfortunately, company harassment policies, and even the courts and agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor do not offer protection to all demonstrable victims of work and other place harassment, though they all should, in each and every demonstrable instance, whether or not monetary damages are awarded to a petitioner.
Instances of companies, the courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, etc. failing to protect employees and individuals generally from workplace and corporate bullying/harassment have worsened the hostile climate in the American workforce, which should be exemplary to all others, and have accordingly contributed to preventable episodes of violence.
Corruption plays a major role in the poor social climate both in America and the world at large; and, to a much greater extent than poverty, it is the leading factor or reason that violence and other criminal activity is as prevalent as it is and has been so challenging to resolve. Point blank, no one should be above the law.
Universal Gun License & Registration Requirements
All unlicensed individuals owning guns should be required to acquire gun licenses to sustain ownership, and all individuals forward should be required to obtain a gun license prior to purchasing a gun. Acquisition of gun licenses should be equitable with the process of acquiring driver’s licenses, or applicants should be required to pass both written and (proper use) shooting tests.
Applicants should be trained on proper and improper circumstances under which gun use would be permissible, i.e. the subject poses immediate threat of harm to the gun owner and/or others within vicinity, or impermissible (as a fashion statement or for thrill-seeking or revenge, or to pseudo resolve anger or embarrassment, or for any other malicious reasons); they’d also be trained on use of guns that would limit harm to a subject, and proper storage to impede access to children and other unauthorized individuals. Applicants would additionally be informed of potential jail/prison sentences for improper, especially malicious use that would result in unmerited injuries or death of subjects.
Registration Requirements for all Personally Owned Guns
All gun purchases should be registered, at the time of purchase, preferably, if the prospective purchaser is licensed to own a gun, and meets other requirements. Individuals who are licensed for gun ownership and own unregistered guns should be required to officially register those guns. Unlicensed individuals who own unregistered guns should be required to obtain gun licenses and registration for all guns within their possession, if they meet all necessary requirements. Universal gun license and registration requirements would significantly discourage violence in that owners would be much less likely to commit crimes with guns that could readily be traced back to them.
Stiffening of Penalties for Sales of Guns to Unlicensed Buyers & Failure to Register Guns
Gun retailers who sell guns to unlicensed individuals or who omit the gun registration process as a sales component should be cited and subject to stringent penalties. Gun registration could be as simple as rendering of the purchaser’s and/or owner’s gun license number and attachment of each gun purchased/owned to the purchaser’s and/or owner’s gun license number in a law enforcement database.
Preference of Tranquilizing Darts for Police & Public Use by Licensed Owners
Law enforcement officers and those who’d obtain a special license should be privileged to own and utilize tranquilizing darts on individuals posing threat of bodily injury to the dart owner and/or others within vicinity and/or those who pose threat of harm to themselves.
Gun Theft/Loss Reporting Requirements
Gun or dart owners who lose and/or have guns or darts stolen should be required to report their losses to relevant authorities as soon as possible.
Proliferation of Gun Buy-Back Programs & Other Incentives for Retrieval of Guns
Gun buy-back programs, in conjunction with the prescribed universal gun license & registration requirements and stiffening of penalties for gun sales to unlicensed buyers and for possession of unregistered guns, would prove significantly impactful to harnessing gun violence and unlawful gun possession.
Resident Controlled Phone Entry Access into Apartment and other Residential Community Gates & Other Entrances
It is most ideal for all apartment communities to be gated with telephonic resident controlled entry access and gate arms that would drop after entry of each individual vehicle to prevent unauthorized visitations and decrease likelihood of criminal activity, noting that posted officers at entrances to residential communities merely requesting identification from visitors does not authenticate that the individuals are authorized or cleared for entry by any particular resident of a complex…
For their own protection, officers should not be openly posted at residential complex entrances, especially when technology such as resident controlled entry access is available. Isolated posts are also risky, though acceptable behind gates or points where visitors would not have ready physical access to an officer without the officer granting access to the premises.
The most ideal locality for an officer would be in an office building, the rental office for a residential complex, and/or a distinct on-site security office or base, where they would monitor surveillance equipment and remotely grant or deny access to the premises as warranted, and where they would be readily reachable by phone for incoming calls from tenants and others requiring assistance with security-related matters; the noted security offices would have distinct phone numbers or extensions that would be rendered to all tenants, and security office phones would have call forwarding capability to officers’ company issued cellular phones when the officers are not available in the office to accept calls.
Pedestrian entrances to apartment complexes should also be gated with control access devices that would require self-identification and clearance of residents and visitors for premises entry. Cracking down on trespassing and loitering in especially residential communities would prevent many acts of violence and criminal activity.
Community Protocol During Violent and/or Potentially Violent Episodes
Many people witness heated arguments and physical quarrels that they fail to report to law enforcement for fear of reprisals and/or law enforcement officials relaying to the subjects who called to report them, which, of course, should never be an issue, as all such reports should be treated confidentially, whether or not the individuals reporting the incidents identify themselves.
Hasty calls to authorities during episodes of violence or pending violence can save lives and spare involved parties of potential criminal convictions for heat-of-the-moment spats. Community safety IS everybody’s business.
Harnessing Language in Music, Video Games, Etc. That Encourages Violence & Other Criminal Acts and Improprieties
The truth is that music, video games, etc. would thrive, as they always have, and be equally entertaining absent indecent language that glorifies or encourages and frequently incites violence and other criminal behavior and improprieties.
The Federal Communications Commission should require standards of language in music, video games, and other media forms that model public decency. This would not criminalize all words in music that are recognized as cursing or all instances of artists’ references to sex or expressing admiration of a woman’s physique. It would, however, forbid overt references to or persuasion of violence, illicit drug use, and sexual perversion…
Entertainment is one of the most important elements of human existence, in its provision of psychological benefits to audiences, and its power of persuasion, and that power should be channeled to and always promoting of the common good.
Addressing Human Boredom
Human boredom is a major crisis. Many individuals commit crime and resort to illicit drugs and other high risk activities, including even self-harm simply because they’re bored, or have underlying health issues, and the high risk activities provide a rush of endorphins that could be constructively derived via sufficient availability of wholesome entertainment and recreation, which should be better proliferated in our communities.
The Option of Exclusively Digital Currency
Exclusively digital currency would successfully eliminate black markets and massive episodes of crime and violence affiliated with them. It would be extremely difficult to traffic people, illegal drugs, and counterfeit merchandise, or to unlawfully purchase guns, as all financial transactions would be tracked.
This would force illegitimate businesses out of existence or to conform to legitimacy by marketing lawful products and services. And, indeed, there is a very fine line between trafficking drugs, people, and other unlawful merchandise and marketing other legitimate products that would yield comparable wealth, and without the risk of harm or incarceration. Assistance should be availed to such individuals transitioning to legitimate businesses. A reformed international drug dealer has transferable business skills that could be of wondrous benefit to the legitimate business world, particularly considering the potential for business in developing nations.
Additionally, it would no longer be possible to rob a bank (and traditional teller duties of facilitating cash withdrawals and deposits, with the exception of transfers, would essentially be eliminated).
Exclusively digital currency would facilitate taxation and collection of tax payments from business owners and workers who traditionally receive and make payments by paper currency/coins…Exclusively digital currency would also make it impossible for especially working non-custodial parents to evade payment of child support.
Exclusively electronic currency would also mandate convenience for consumers, who’d be privileged to remotely pay bills that they wouldn’t or couldn’t ordinarily pay where some companies do not presently accept electronic payments, or the consumer wouldn’t bother otherwise to open and use a checking account/bank card or utilize other means of making electronic payments. Accordingly, all companies would be required to have debit/credit card machines for customer utilization, and, preferably, means of accepting payments via company websites.
All persons would be encouraged to open checking [and savings] accounts with local banks or to acquire prepaid debit or other cards to make purchases, and enroll in direct deposit with their employers.
Exclusively digital currency would present banks (including non-traditional banks that avail prepaid debit cards) with a magnanimous influx of revenues, by means of customer accounts, for their investment and other purposes while availing funds, on demand, to the new account holders, who, like conventional account holders, would not all withdraw funds simultaneously, or would not withdraw all of their funds simultaneously. Exclusively digital currency would furthermore and finally empower the government, local and global, to tax all revenues, while saving the substantial costs that the government incurs to print coins and currency.
Proliferated and Ameliorated Utilization of Technology to Resolve and Prevent Crime
In the cell phone/You Tube/social media era, witnessed, recorded incidences of violence and other criminal acts are a click away from discovery and remedy. A sure way to discourage violence, i.e. public fighting, etc. is for law enforcement to aggressively investigate and follow up on ALL posted videos and other evidence of fights and criminal activity, which is feasible, of course, via internet protocol tracking and subpoenaing of social media sites for demographic information of users who post videos and other evidence of fights and criminal activity.
Syncing of Community Surveillance Cameras to Monitors in Police Patrol Cars & Local Precincts
Syncing community surveillance cameras in high priority localities with monitors in police patrol cars and local precincts would empower officers to stay abreast of impending episodes of violence and other criminal activity to which they could more readily respond.
Officer Smart Phones
Officers should also carry company-issued smart phones that would enable them to receive photographs and/or video footage and access social media pages of suspects and/or other individuals offering leads to the identification and localities of suspects and criminal incidences.
A Social Media World Peace Platform
Social media is a powerful tool and resource that could ultimately be utilized to curtail global conflicts by giving world leaders a platform via which they can reason without violence and allow others to participate in that process by rendering feedback. Every leader of every nation would be personally invited to join the forum, which would be overseen by designated mediators, unlike already existent Facebook pages of the sort, though existent pages of the sort could be upgraded to form what is here prescribed. The United Nations or UN representatives would be ideal platform mediators
The following is a sample interjection/solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
The solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be found in the Palestinian belief in the Torah or the first five books of the Bible, which clearly articulates land assignments for both Israelis and Palestinians. Since both are sons and daughters of Abraham, moreover, wouldn’t it suffice if they all lived together.
Formation of an Official World Government
The lack of an official world government with a backbone and jurisdiction over all nations enables global conflicts, which are the chief cause of poverty in the world. Just as we have city, state, and federal governments, we need a world government that would assure that each nation is empowered with leadership and resources that would serve the best interests of all citizenry, an entity that each nation could respect as a superior rather than another nation of equal stature.
All of our national leaders should be required to participate in training sessions where world leadership standards would be articulated. These sessions could be conducted via web conferences, which would allow for electronic translation into each leader’s native language. Typed reports of leadership standards would be emailed and/or physically mailed to each national leader in their native language.
All leaders would be informed of the jurisdiction and powers of the world government to intervene in crisis situations in any nation, i.e. the Darfur, Middle Eastern, and other crisis, and via a sizable militia that would be comprised of troops from every corner of the globe.
An ideal global military would employ just and impartial policing powers to apprehend and bring culprits of major conflicts of any nation to justice, and with the least possible amount of especially armed force (Tranquilizing darts, rubber bullets, tear gas, and even water cannons would be the preferred arms).
Each nation should be required to pay taxes that would be commensurate with their Gross Domestic Product; and, accordingly, the nations, as global tax payers, would be availed financial and other resources from the global government for public service and national distribution otherwise.
Compulsion of Worldwide Education
It is only proper, to bring this discussion full circle, to conclude in emphasis of the importance of education, which should be an intrinsic privilege of all persons in the world. Education should no doubt, be compelled in all nations and every crevice of the Earth.
For the lack of education has been the core hindrance to domestic and world peace, and global compulsion and provision of education shall be the world’s core Salvation…