Dr. Peng Ripshaw, The Incarcerator
Dr. Vernon Stackpole, The Rehabilitator
※, The Regressor
February 2028, Mindcast via The PubPol ClinX Roundtable, Cleveland OH and Davos, Switzerland
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(Screens flare and flicker)
Ripshaw: A diagnosis is called for …
Stackpole: Do you mean penal? perhaps remedial?
PR: I mean machine-like. Simple computations, basic assumptions
※: I can globally harness strategic infrastructures.
VS: But, criminals are not random samples. They are poorer, physically and mentally.
PR: Thus, criminal law enforcement requires mandatory sentencing.
VS: And sentencing enhancements?
PR: Punishment consists of the deprivation of liberty. Criminals must be incapacitated for long periods of time. Rehabilitation is expensive.
PR: So are the Arts.
PR: And look what has happened to the Arts. Shaken out of an upside-down public pocketbook like old gum wrappers. Focus. It’s expensive to look at social, familial, and neighborhood backgrounds.
VS: And, so, there are competing calculations.
PR: And bureaucracies to manage crime. Numbers allow for aggregation.
※: I can grow next-generation values.
PR: Yes. Probability and risk.
VS: A man stands in court. A woman. Sentencing terminates in a judge’s intellect.
※: I can actualize competing data sets.
PR: Individual treatment is expensive, and prior criminal history is quantifiable and efficient. A place with a low crime rate is likely to continue having a low crime rate. The numbers show it.
VS: It was statistics, after all, that demonstrated at the turn of the twentieth century that love follows psychological laws.
※: Quantitative psychology leaves me nonplussed.
PR: Say what you will, at the turn of the twenty-first century it was clear we must either profile habitual offenders …
VS: Perhaps many are too habitual for three-strikes-and-you’re-out
PR: Drug mules? border smugglers? Man-slaughterers? Intoxicated teens? Does it matter if it is a short-barreled temperament or a semi-automatic premeditation?
VS: Circumstance is indifferent to small numbers
PR: The smallest being one.
VS: Statistics are the silencer.
PR: Numbers are our savior.
※: I will proactively promote sustainable storage.
(A door closes quietly on a soft hinge)
(A soft thud)
(A soft thud)