It lasts for thousands of years and can help police identify missing persons from a pile of bones or pinpoint criminals with astounding accuracy. But as police forces increasingly turn to DNA to help them solve crimes, concerned citizens in the United States have been raising alarms about issues of privacy, consent and unwarranted government intrusion into their lives. For … [Read more...] about The Benefits and Drawbacks of DNA Technologies to Fight Crime
Four decades ago, people in Latin America cheered as one after another dictatorship fell and gave way to democratic systems, with free elections, uncensored expression, and increasingly independent institutions. That transition, a part of the third wave of democratization, transformed Latin America and the Caribbean from a place of oppressive military regimes into the most … [Read more...] about What Can Restore Latin Americans’ Faith in Democracy
When it comes to crime, we are easily swayed by false perceptions and information. We lose our wallet to a pickpocket or hear about a mugging in our generally safe neighborhood and immediately assume that we are in the midst of a crime epidemic. We are pushed to anxiety by politicians who peddle exaggerated homicide statistics to prove they are tough on crime; by the … [Read more...] about When Anti-Crime Strategies Reflect Ignorance Rather than Knowledge
Latin America and the Caribbean is in a punitive mood. The penitentiary population doubled in 17 countries to 1.2 million between 2002 and 2014 as a result of tougher sentencing of criminals and could triple to almost 3.4 million people by 2030. Citizens, meanwhile, demand harsher sentences. In Chile, one of the region's safest countries, a government-sponsored poll released … [Read more...] about Tougher Sentences: The Key to Fighting Crime in Latin America?
Suppose you are a government facing various social crises. Traditionally, you might send out teams of government researchers, create government-led commissions, and hire consultancies. You might host public hearings. But you wouldn't bring your problems to the internet "crowd." Over the last 10-15 years, however, governments and non-governmental organizations in both the … [Read more...] about How Can Crowdsourcing Help Latin America in the Digital Age?