Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"WATCHING EYES" BACKGROUND PAPER - Will this improve tips? Good behavior?

Maybe this is something some folks might like to share or try in retail shops, schools, around bike racks, etc. to reduce "lawlessness". Might improve tips too! - JY

  • 1.       National heroin abuse epidemic
  • 2.       INCREASED LAW ENFORCEMENT- Increased Drug and Sex Trafficking
  • 3.       ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING - Pre-Trial Drug Court Formed
  • 4.       ABOUT “the Nudge”
  • 5.       “EYES WATCHING”

National Heroin Abuse Epidemic
Rutland Vermont has adopted a response to the local heroin epidemic which closely models the most effective response in the nation as outlined in the Pew Charitable Trust Public Safety Performance Project assessment of research.
July 1, 2015 – Public Safety Performance Project (Pew Charitable Trust) – “Policymakers at all levels of government are attempting to address a nationwide increase in heroin abuse. Using the drug has tripled over the past decade paralleling widespread misuse of prescription opioids, and overdose deaths have increased nearly threefold in the past seven years.”
“Available research suggests that the most effective response to the growth in heroin abuse is a combination of law enforcement to curtail trafficking and limit the emergence of new markets; alternative sentencing to divert nonviolent drug offenders from costly incarceration; treatment to reduce dependency and recidivism; and prevention efforts that help identify individuals at high risk for addiction.” (9)

August 20, 2015 – “T** B** of Rutland was arrested on August 20, as law enforcement executed a warrant obtained by the Vermont Drug Task Force authorizing a search of Barnes’ residence. Police found approximately 200 grams of heroin – nearly half a pound – at Barnes’ residence.”

September 15, 2015 – Twelve People Charged With Heroin Trafficking After Statewide Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations, FBI, Albany Division
      “The United States Attorney’s Office has charged 87 defendants with heroin-related federal crimes in the first eight months of 2015, compared with 56 defendants during the same period last year., an increase of nearly 60% Those increases are directly attributable to the combined work of law enforcement officers and prosecutors.” (1)

September 15, 2015 – “Three Drug Busts Yield A Dozen Arrests, Break Up Of Heroin ring In Caldonia County” (11)

October 19, 2015 – Law Enforcement Seizes 88 Pounds of Heroin in Vermont Bust – VT DIGGER
“The heroin has a street value of ‘significantly more’ than $5 million and could have filled more than 1 million individual dosage bags…” (10)

November 2, 2015 - Vermont launches new campaign to stop sex trafficking linked to drug trade
A new campaign in the Green Mountains is asking for the public's help eradicating what U.S. Attorney Eric Miller calls a problem "in the shadows" of Vermont's battle against heroin. 
Miller says that problem is exploiting a person's addictions and vulnerabilities to force them into selling sex or drugs for money. A host of organizations and law enforcement members across the state want the public to know the problem is bigger than they realize.  (13)

December 13, 2015 – Indictments In Fatal Drug Deal show Criminal Gang Activity In Vermont” – VTDIGGER –
A federal grand jury last week indicted two New York City men on a charge of distributing a controlled substance that resulted in a death. The victim was Gary Bashaw, 54, of South Burlington. The fatal substance was fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate…. The case provides a window into two troubling trends in the drug crisis in the Northeast: The rise in popularity of fentanyl and the extent to which criminal gangs from New York run operations in Vermont using a local network of drug users and other accomplices, often women.”
“For every dealer our office charges there’s a circle of people, charged and uncharged, who make that drug dealing activity possible and profitable,” Cowles said. In a review of the largest drug cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cowles found that women are more likely than men to support drug dealers by providing housing, cars, contact lists, transporting drugs and doing minor dealing. Often they are also being trafficked for sex, she said.
Seventy-five percent of the people who provided support to drug dealers are women. Sixty percent were under 30, some as young as teenagers, and almost all of them had addictions, most prevalently to heroin, Cowles said. One-quarter of the women reported having some kind of romantic relationship with their dealer.
DeLena said his experience has led him to believe that young people have fewer inhibitions about injecting drugs than ever before. At the same time, the shame and stigma that their families feel in confronting addiction persists stubbornly even as public figures, such as Gov. Peter Shumlin, increasingly frame it as a disease and public health issue.
“The psychological fear isn’t there for the user but it is there for the parents,” DeLena said. “They can’t talk about it. That’s what needs to change.” (12)

“A post-sentencing drug program has been in place in Burlington since 2009, but the one in Rutland is the only pre-trial program in Vermont and handles offenders from across the state.”
 “…it’s a cooperative effort of the U.S. District Court, the U.S. attorney’s office, Probation and Parole, and Evergreen Treatment Services. And those in the program are represented by Natasha Sen, a Brandon attorney.”
“Those referred to drug court are primarily low-level drug traffickers who have already pleaded guilty to felony charges but have not yet been sentenced.”
“The way (U.S. District Judge Geoffrey W.) Crawford explains it, this is a staged process. As someone continues to succeed, there are fewer visits to drug court. And, conversely, if someone continues to test positive for drugs, the first time they might have to write an essay, the second time there is a frank discussion and the third time might mean a weekend in jail.”
“…I always worry about the ones that fall out but counselors say they’ve learned, they have gained ground.” (Crawford said) (5)

DESISTANCE – “In the field of criminology, desistance is generally defined as the cessation of offending or other antisocial behavior.” Oxford Bibliographies – Criminology -

                “In (their book) Nudge, Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein take a step toward realism about it (economics vs. psychology). ... The authors start off by differentiating “Econs” from “Humans”. The former are efficient calculators imagined in economic theory, able to weigh multiple options, forecast all the consequences of each, and choose rationally. The latter are ordinary people… who operate by rules of thumb that often lead them astray… prone to generalize, biased in favor of the status quo, more concerned to avoid loss than make gains, among other shortcomings.” …A Nudge as they conceive it, means some change in the “choice architecture” surrounding personal decisions that will cause Humans to choose differently and better, even though an Econ would be unswayed.” (3)

John H. Laub, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation presented The Nudge at the 2013  xx
The top 5 reasons to Nudge: (1) Helps control crime before it occurs (2) Enhances public confidence in policing (3) Advances community policing (4) Healthier for cops (5) Focuses on the “spirituality” of policing. (4)

      From The Abstract: “Displaying images of eyes causes people to behave more pro-socially in a variety of contexts.  …Our data therefore support the hypothesis that images of eyes induce more pro-social behavior, independent of local norms. This finding has positive implications for the application of eye images in combating anti-social behavior.”
      “A good reputation increases the likelihood of being favoured by others for inclusion in future mutually-beneficial interactions. Being observed increases the reputational consequences of an action, hence, people are psychologically sensitive to whether they are observed or not, and will always increase their level of pro-sociality when observed over their level when not observed. Artificial watching eyes exploit this sensitivity.” (8)


“Human behavior is strongly influenced by the presence of others. Obtaining a good reputation or avoiding a bad one is a powerful incentive for a plethora of human actions. Theoretical considerations suggest that reputation may be a key mediator of altruistic behavior that are uniquely human.” (6)

“…we believe that images of eyes motivate cooperative behavior because they induce a perception in participants of being watched. …the human perceptual system contains neurons that respond selectively to stimuli involving faces and eyes (Emery 2000, Haxby et al 2000), and it is therefore possible that the images exert an automatic unconscious effect on the participants’ perception that they were being watched. Our results therefore support the hypothesis that reputational concerns may be extremely powerful in motivating cooperative behavior.”
“Even if very weak, subconscious cues, such as the photocopied eyes used in this experiment, can strongly enhance cooperation, it is quite possible that … the self-interested motive of reputation may be sufficient to explain cooperation in the absence of direct return.” (7)

“The experience of self-agency, that is, the feeling that one causes one’s own actions and their out comes – has an intimate relationship with self-awareness and constitutes an important building block for our concept of free choice and our belief that our behavior is governed by “consciousness” or some other type of inner agent, such as “the will” or “the self. How then can we have much of our behavior unfold outside conscious awareness if we have these pervasive agency experiences?” (2) P. 134-135
Research shows that our intended outcome draws the non-conscious prompt, prime or nudge into a personal narrative where we feel we are in control of the behavior even though a non-conscious element may have been a trigger.
The Sense of Agency In Self Regulation,

(2) “Nonconscious Self Regulation or the Automatic Pilot of Human Behavior”, Esther K. Papies, Henk Aarts, p. 125 – 142
(1)  September 15, 2015 – Twelve People Charged With Heroin Trafficking After Statewide Multi-Jurisdictional Investigations, FBI, Albany Division
(3) “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness”, Richard Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein, Yale University Press, 2009; book review by Lawrence M. Mead, Claremont Review of Books, pg. 18
(4) Presentation to National Conference on Law Enforcement, 2013 - THE IDEA OF THE NUDGE,  John H. Laub, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland; Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation
(5) April 26, 2015 – “Vermont’s New Drug Court Offers Options to Jail”, RUTLAND HERALD, Kathy Phalen Tomaselli, Staff Writer –
(6) “The Social Neuroscience of Reputation”, NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH, Volume 72, Issue 4, April 2012, Pages 283-288
(7) “Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in real-world setting”, Melissa Bateson, Daniel Nettle, Gilbert Roberts, BIOLOGY LETTERS, September 22, 2006, Volume 2 Issue 3
(8) “Do Images Of Watching Eyes Induce Behaviour That Is More Pro-Social or More Normative?”, Melissa Bateson, Luke Callow, Jessica R. Holmes, Maximillian l. Redmond roche, David Nettle, PLOS ONE, December 5, 2013
(9) “Public Safety Aspects of the Heroin Abuse Epidemic”, July 1, 2015, Public Safety Performance Project, Pew Charitable Trusts / Research Analysis.
(10) “Law Enforcement Seizes 88 Pounds of Heroin in Vermont Bust”, VT DIGGER,  October 19, 2015
(11) “Three Drug Busts Yield A Dozen Arrests, Break Up Of Heroin ring In Caldonia County”, vt digger, September 15, 2015
(12) “Indictments In Fatal Drug Deal show Criminal Gang Activity In Vermont” – VTDIGGER –
(13)  WCAX – “Vermont launches new campaign to stop sex trafficking linked to drug trade