pre-trial detention rates—that is, the percentage of people who serve time while awaiting trial—have tripled nationwide since 1970. Still, as urban pre-trial detention rates have dropped precipitously, they’ve risen the most in the country’s rural counties with fewer than 250,000 residents. Between 1970 and 2013, rural pre-trial detention rates grew some 436 percent ... Since 1970, the rate of people from other jurisdictions serving time in rural jails has grown 888 percent.

For a man to commit sexual assault, he must be a relatively, but not strikingly, antisocial person – enough that he isn’t too constrained by empathy for his victims... a man who is capable of rape generally commits the crime only if he believes it will be excused by his peers, and that punishment can be evaded ... most of the college-age rapists studied were not only unafraid of punishment, but blissfully unaware that what they did was criminal.

The strongest predictor of pretrial failure largely has to do with someone's prior conduct... The algorithm uses conviction records instead of arrest records, which are less likely to tip the scales against individuals in heavily policed neighborhoods—studies have found that the arrest rate for black people can be up to ten times higher than for non-blacks.

For at least three years, two stories about crime and police in Chicago have been unspooling... The primary one has been about escalating gun violence, ... The second story has been about police excess in dealing with suspects and passivity in dealing with civilian reports of crime... Last year, seven hundred and sixty-two people were killed in Chicago—three hundred more than the previous year...the largest one-year increase in any of America’s biggest cities in the past quarter-century.

In 2015, New Orleans spent roughly $6.4 million detaining people who were jailed only because they couldn’t pay bills imposed upon them by the city’s criminal-justice system, according to the the Vera Institute of Justice, which advocates for reducing incarceration rates. The city collected just $4.5 million from criminal defendants, most of whom are black and many of whom are poor. So the system cost the city a net total of $1.9 million — about 0.3 percent of its overall budget.

Children are a kind of indicator species. If we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for all people ... children are disproportionately vulnerable to urban dangers, whether that's pollution, violence or speeding traffic ... efforts to get children's perspectives have also given rise to an initiative to see the whole city from the eye level of healthy three-year-old ... The changes that come out of getting information from children can be incredibly simple. In Oslo, for example, it has meant things as granular as cutting down bushes at a certain crossing, because children couldn't see traffic.

the polygraph can be an effective interrogation tool in the hands of the right examiner, but there's a real danger of the test producing 'false positives' (misclassifying innocent people). And minorities facing biased assumptions of their guilt are especially likely to be nervous...and fail the test ... Despite this, the polygraph is widely used by government agencies in the United States for screening purposes, while most federal law enforcement agencies still use it as an interrogation tool

Many criminal organisations smuggle drugs, arms and other illicit merchandise across international borders. Their activities make them the equivalent of import-export companies but not multinationals. To be considered a multinational, an enterprise needs to have subsidiaries in several countries. This is where the ’Ndrangheta stands out ... There is no other criminal group with the same ability to insert itself in unfamiliar social environments by means of day-to-day infiltration

The country’s murder rate jumped more last year than it had in nearly half a century...although the number of homicides remained far below the levels of the 1980s and ’90s ... Fueling the surge in murders was street violence in a handful of major cities, notably Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, where most of the victims were young African-American males. The F.B.I. reported that guns were used in nearly three-quarters of the nation’s 15,696 murders during 2015.

Under the new system, before members can post a crime and safety message, the site warns them about profiling, saying: “Ask yourself – is what I saw actually suspicious, especially if I take race or ethnicity out of the equation?” Next, users are encouraged to focus on behaviors and specific descriptions, such as clothing, shoes and tattoos. If they want to mention race, they have to fill out a form and include at least two other physical descriptors before posting.