Five Solutions to Crime

Solution 1 – Compulsory Military Service

“I belong to the most heavily armed gang…”

Young people are at an especially vulnerable time in their lives as they make the transition between youth and adulthood. Parents no longer have the same degree of control is when they were children. Peer groups become more important, hence the attraction of gangs.

There are many legitimate gangs in society which young people can join. Policing and the military are just two options which can hold a lot of attraction for youth. The latter is a better option because military forces do more than just fight battles. There are many domestic peacekeeping operations which could use young people to public projects like:

  • Clean up and maintain Canada’s vast shorelines, especially after oil spills or other damaging environmental events.
  • A great deal of underbrush in our forests can be cleaned out to prevent forest fires, especially in British Columbia.
  • Canada’s infrastructure is in need of maintenance and repair. Youth can join paid work crews to assist in these worthwhile projects.
  • There’s an army of social service workers in Canada’s inner cities who would benefit from the labour and interventions which our young people can offer.
  • Large corporations can be encouraged through tax incentives to take on youth as apprentices for meaningful work in spheres where they have control and influence.
  • Fisheries enhancement is a priority and many coastal communities.
  • Young people can be placed in positions where they can protect wildlife habitat from poachers through surveillance and reporting.

Young people between the ages of 18 and having finished Grade 12 be eligible to join the Canadian armed forces for two years. The training they receive does not necessarily mean preparation for war. Peacekeeping and conflict resolution are also rules within the military.

All of these efforts will add value to Canada and make our country even more attractive to tourists. The aid which are young people by two small communities will be most welcome.

During their two years of military service, we will pay young people at a minimum wage, provide barrack style housing, and pay out a $10,000 completion bonus after two years. Imagine how car sales will boom!

Participants can enter in the trade school or university of their choice for two years with free tuition. A further two years of education will be available to the students with interest free loans.

The rewards of military service will encourage young people to finish high school, achieve a higher education and remain law-abiding. The participants will develop relations with the law abiding peers, and enhance their social capital. In other words, Canadian youth will develop a sense of belonging, much like a gang.

Solution 2 – Extensive Drug Treatment Without Shame

“No thanks, I’m on the patch”.

Trying to quit smoking is seen as an admirable effort in our culture. Trying to wean one’s self off of illicit drugs should be seen as similarly admirable, and Canadians will lend their support to those who want to leave the cycle addiction and crime.

Given that drugs and crime are closely related, Canada must invest heavily drug treatment programs which offer a continuum of care leading to independence. The moral status of addiction will shift from evil to ailment. Treatment must be dignified and include housing and employment opportunities.

Physicians must have the legal powers to treat heroin and cocaine addiction with the pharmacology at their disposal. Doctors will be able to prescribe methadone or pure heroin by prescription.

Tobacco is the deadliest drug and should be the focus of our prevention efforts. This plan will remove much of the profit incentive for organized crime. The savings from moving the drug problem from a legal to a health issue will be substantial, and reduce government expenditures.

It is necessary that governments to admit that prohibition has utterly failed to make any difference in the lives of people who are addicted to opiates. New solutions are required, and every new program of harm reduction must include an evaluation component.

Solution 3 – Promote the Use of Hemp Products

Fields of hemp as far as the eye can see…

Hemp can easily compete with wood pulp as the main ingredient to make paper products. Hemp is the raw ingredient for fabric, cosmetics, rope and many other retail products. A burgeoning hemp industry will create jobs, generate tax revenues and help pay for the reforms that you are reading here.

High THC hemp can be marketed the same way as liquor:

  • It will be taxed, control for quality, restricted from minors, and sales will be saturated media messages emphasizing how misuse can lead to undesirable outcomes, especially for some young people.
  • Canada’s burgeoning marijuana industry will attract tourists, especially from the United States where draconian drug laws have created far more harms than any which can be associated with marijuana. (The most dangerous thing about marijuana is getting caught by the police with it in your possession).

Solution 4 – Cultural Changes Towards Nonviolence

Redefining what it means to be a “real man”.

Violence is shameful. Violence for any other reason than self defence a shameful and a sign a character weakness. That’s the message that has to be broadcast throughout our culture. It will no longer glorified, emulated or become a staple of prime-time television.

We have managed to change attitudes toward smoking, drugs, and drinking and driving with many of the same efforts at changing people’s thinking about their behaviour. We can do the same about violence.

To start, we need to redefine the relationship between men and their care of children:

  • We must define the care of children as the most masculine thing which any man can do.
  • Men who care for children will be the subject of sitcoms, glossy advertising, and the Hollywood cultural industry.
  • Young men today define their masculinity with hair dyes, earrings, ponytails, and shaving hair off their bodies. In previous times, all of these behaviours were seen as feminine. Adding the care of children to these cultural changes should not be a tough sell.

Hopefully, domestic violence will plummet and World Wrestling Entertainment will lose its audience. “Tractor pulls” other vulgar displays of machinery machismo will become obsolete. Sportsmanship during hockey and other professional sports will be enhanced.

Solution 5 – Only Men Run for Public Office and Only Women Vote

This idea has its origins with the Mohawk tribes in North America. While men will run for public office, only women will vote in provincial and Federal elections.

The following social programs will be enhanced has female voters decide priorities for society, such as:

  • Early childhood enrichment programs
  • Universal daycare
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Women’s work in the home will be compensated like any other full-time job. For example, a mother with two children will be compensated at approximately $60,000 per year. These reforms will pass through Parliament with little resistance.

The impact of this reform cannot be underestimated. Poverty will be significantly affected, parental care will be maximized, more children will be born to Canadian families and within 15 years, the crime rates will drop significantly.

So who’s gonna pay?

Most of these reforms generate wealth or redistribute it. Some of them, such as the changes with respect to drug policy, will save government millions and millions of dollars. Fewer prisons will be necessary when we transform drug addiction to a health problem and not one within the ambit of law enforcement.

We need to tax the wealthy through a “Tobin Tax” where large currency transactions are taxed at 0.5%. There are many other ways to reduce tax loopholes where the wealthiest Canadians pay very little or no taxes whatsoever.

Canadians will pay less for crime control and the healthcare costs associated with illicit drugs.

 

2 thoughts on “Five Solutions to Crime

  1. Curious, what ever happened with this proposal? Obligatory military service sounds like the ideal solution to gangs and crime in a society where one learns “one way or another”.. by hook or by crook so to speak. Perhaps the obligatory age should be dropped to 16 with a 2 year service obligation. 6 months of basic training without pay, just food shelter and basics and 1 year 6 months providing service with a minimum wage with living cost deducted. Perhaps harsh but offering military school to complete high school added as an already taxed cost to most would better prepare an adolescent for the real world and with better values then most struggling parents can provide to their adolescent offspring. Isn’t crime basically committed by persons with low self esteem, low value consideration for others and property? We don’t hear too much of ex-service people with drug problems, killing other people or becoming mentally unstable aside from those addicts that have become addicts for injury related dependency, preexisting or post war stress mental issue. When it does happen it’s front line news. Overall being trained to respect yourself and others does work. I live in El Salvador where gang have become so large they almost control the government and police. The proposed solution by the administration in El Salvador is to add more police or in essence, fight fire with fire and add more violence. It has already been proven in Ilopango where the government officials there have reduced gang related violence apparently by more then 60% by simply adding social work programs and recruiting the local youth that the solution is not violence but understanding, compassion and assistance to avoid destitution and despair which is the main fuel for these problems. On the other hand a lax obligatory military service does not help either, Mexico has surmountable gang issues even though it has implemented an obligatory service which is serviced on weekends and mostly comprises of public service work. Crime helps no one except those that make a business of it. Crime lowers property values, affects local business and the economy aside from tourist or immigration. Crime is just another form of terrorism and crowd control. I believe the obligatory military service is a good idea if it is structured correctly and implemented early in the development years of an adolescent. Otherwise like many examples it only helps in knowledge to be a worse person.
    In response to who would pay…. I think we could do with a little less military assistance to other countries and that same money could be used to provide basics such as food and building materials for housing to our own youth for this type of program. The same high schools we have in most of our communities have enough land to build living quarters or even most of the old bases we have closed down over the years to cut local defense budgets and that are now presently sitting empty.

    By the way I have a 16 year old…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Andre, thank you for your thoughts.
      In response to your question, “what happened with this proposal?”, it’s not a formal proposal, it’s an idea which I came up with during my teaching career in criminology. I’m sure others have had this or similar ideas in the past. I’m not claiming originality.
      As a policy to actually do something about crime, compulsory military service is consistent with some of Criminology’s most rigorously-tested theories on different sides of the ideological spectrum. And by adding social programs aimed at youth, your experience in Ilopango seems to attest to this type of approach.
      To the extent that youth have an investment in conventional society and are “constrained” by networks of mutual social support and obligation, the greater they will be deterred from committing acts which jeopardize those networks are powerful informal social controls.
      When we think of who is going to pay for these programs, we do well to remember that there’s only one taxpayer. The benefits of compulsory military service may take years to realize, longer than one or two election cycles. Among other things, it’s possible that we will need to fund fewer police, prison, probation and parole officers and the expensive infrastructure required for those systems of formal social control.
      – John

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