[ExI] The Total State

Gary Miller aiguy at comcast.net
Sun Jun 1 14:02:21 UTC 2008

Stathis Papaioannou asked:

<< But note the considerably lower incarceration rates in most of Latin
America and Africa compared to the US. Does this mean the US turns people
into criminals or selectively attracts people with criminal tendencies? >>

The obvious answer based upon media events and my talking to coworkers who
come from Latin America and third world countries is:

Unless you are rich, powerful, or know exactly who the perpetrator is it is
difficult to get any kind of investigation much less justice in these

No investigation means no arrest, no conviction no incarceration, not even a
crime occurrence recorded for statistic sake.

Also many criminals can make more money by joining the local police force,
or local warlord's militia accepting bribes, extorting money from people
running illegal businesses, and selling illegal drugs, money and merchandise
confiscated as part of their official duties.

Of course if they keep the evidence and sell it they can't arrest the
prisoner and have them convicted for lack of evidence.  No arrest no
incarceration.  Of course they could kill the suspect but then wouldn't be
able to repeat the 
confiscation of contraband next time. And in that case they still don't show
up as an incarceration.

Also honest cops do not have a very long life expectency in these countries.

In Mexico right being an honest law enforcement officer is like having a
bullseye on your back.

Even the crooked cops are targets because if they work for one cartel
they're on the other cartel's hit list.






So no maybe the answer to your question is that the US has a much higher
rate of effective law enforcement and a resonable if not perfect justice
system.  And although every force has a few bad apples on it, we have checks
and balances with internal affairs and at the federal level to prevent whole
precincts from going rogue.

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