Crime and justice

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AN ESSAY ON CRIME AND JUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY Chris Eskridge ABSTRACT. There are host of crime and punishment challenges facing the nations of the world at the outset of this new century, and there seem to be few if any answers. In many ways, criminologists today are much akin to physicians 200 years ago; we, like they, have a few ideas, but very little knowledge. Since 1800 however, thefield of medicine has seen nearly incommunicable levels of advancement. Of course death, like crime, will never be eliminated, but some diseases have been virtually eliminated and the impact of others significantly reduced, life expectancy has nearly doubled, and the quality of that life greatly enhanced. If the field of criminology wishes to advance, it should adopt the same procedural model asutilized by medicine. That procedural model includes the adoption of cross-national education, the utilization of experimental design and evidence-based evaluation, embracing an inter-disciplinary perspective, and the integration of scientific criminology with political criminology. 21ST CENTURY CRIME FORCES AND FACTORS. I have been asked to address to the topic of crime and justice issues in the 21stcentury. There are indeed a host of forces and factors on the present and/or near horizon, many of which are interrelated, that will drive crime and security matters for decades to come. My laundry list includes the following: 1. Migration - There will be massive migration of individuals across nations and across continents in this next century, both legal and illegal, and the world willexperience a significant measure of disruption because of it. This will come about due to a variety of reasons: A. Globalization - Human capital markets will become increasingly fluid in a geographic context due to constantly shifting employment supply and demand needs. Better markets (and better hunting grounds) have always driven the human race to move, and the globalized economic system feeds directlyinto and off of that basic element of human nature. As an aside, I must mention that globalization and its closely related cousin, the internet, have and will continue to spawn new kinds of white collar and economic crimes in this next century; B. Persistent poverty – One of the dark aspects of globalization, and of capitalism in general, is the problem of persistent poverty. Those at the lower endof the economic scale will, in this globalized world, seek job security and job enrichment in response to their present state of unemployment/ underemployment, and will move accordingly. Migration of the poor and disenfranchised from transitional nations into developed ones is already a political hot button item the world over, and a most profitable market for organized crime. Human smugglingwill become a huge concern for law enforcement in this next century; C. Rising energy costs/decreased energy access - Individuals will gravitate to regions where costs are lower and access is greater out of a pure survival instinct; D. Environmental degradation and the accompanying famine and overall health concerns - As agricultural productivity declines and food and water supplies diminish, masseswill flock to regions where basic food, nutrition and health needs can be met. A 50 percent increase in 1 Vol. I agosto-diciembre 2008

food production is needed by 2030, and we are not likely going to see that in the increasingly erratic and volatile agricultural environment. Consider the strife and turmoil surrounding the African feminine scenarios of the last 25 years;multiply that by several fold, and the magnitude of the problem becomes most overwhelming; E. Population growth - As implied, the world’s population continues to grow at what now appears to be an unsustainable rate. As food, water, and energy supplies become taxed, social peace and basic security may become undeliverable. 2. Youth demographics - In nations where 40 percent of the population are...
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