Thursday, March 23, 2017

Revenge based criminal justice is a waste of time.

I want to point something out.  I was just considering marketing strategy regarding purchasing motivation.  I don't have a good reference, I learned this stuff in a variety of seminars when I was involved in technical sales support at a software company.

People have a binary motivational personality trait, similar to the binary personality trait of extroversion/introversion.  Psychology is kind of weird in that binary thinking patterns are considered a mental disorder and then they break down psychological traits into binaries "the big five" and then classify people as either/or as opposed to accurately positioning them within a continuum between the two traits, or better yet, somewhere in a ten point circle where all traits influence each other to create an individuals unique personality matrix.  Okay, off topic there a bit.

So, binary motivational personality trait.  Some people are motivated more by desire and some people are motivated by avoidance.
If I'm trying to someone with a focus on desire why they should buy something and all I talk about is the problems they will avoid they will kick me to the door pretty quick.  On the other hand, if I talk to them about all the problems they will solve they will buy.

It isn't quite that easy, actually you have to pitch both avoidance and desire, just focus a little more on one based on an estimate of a person's location in the continuum between the two extremes of the motivational trait.  If someone is 70% desire and 30% avoidance and I explain seven problems they will solve and three problems they will avoid I've kind of hit the sweet spot in their motivational trait.

Now, other personality traits influence all this stuff, so it isn't really black and white.

Considering that knowledge I considered the motivation of criminals.  Are they primarily avoidance, dissuaded by considerations of problems?  Are they primarily desire, encouraged by thoughts of success?  Especially those with poor impulse control.

I think the vast majority of criminals don't give a rats ass about potential punishment.  I think they are motivated more by potential reward.  This means that no matter how severe punishment is it will not motivate the criminal to avoid because most criminals behavior is not motivated by avoidance.
I think a criminal justice system focused on helping people define what they want and how they can legally achieve it will work better when applied to a Pavlovian punishment/reward behavioral modification system such as the current criminal justice system.

But, the criminal justice system isn't focused on behavior modification, it is focused on revenge or retribution so no one really cares about behavior modification, reducing crime, and so our prison population is increasing as we become more and more focused on punishing people, getting retribution, revenge, for mala prohibitum offenses like prostitution, recreational drug offenses, gambling, and non-violent mala in se offenses like various forms of theft.

Which ends up costing us a ton in court costs and imprisonment costs and lost labor, etc.

Think about that, we get revenge on a guy for getting busted multiple times for possession of too much weed and argue about how much damage stoners do our community, a revenge that lasts sixty years and costs us a crap load in prison costs.

Is revenge that is specifically designed not to address behavior modification and costs us an incredible amount of money really worth it?  Does it do anything to solve the problems of society or is it just creating more?

Statistically, I would say revenge is creating more problems than it solves and I think the data on increasing ratios of incarcerated people in the States and increasing crime rates proves it.

Pew Report:  One in 100: Behind Bars in America 2008

No comments: