Of course, crime remains a major problem in some areas. It is still a leading political issue in a handful of large cities, such as Detroit. Local television news programs, operating under the banner "if it bleeds it leads," still make much hay of grisly crimes. Furthermore, America's murder rate — bolstered by the cutthroat nature of the drug trade, the easy availability of handguns to criminals, and a variety of cultural factors — remains among the highest in the developed world. And while overall crime rates are generally lower in the United States than they are in Europe, wealthy Asian democracies like Japan and Taiwan enjoy crime rates far lower than America's.
Conversely, prisons are breeding grounds for crime. Instead of working to support their own families and their victims, most prisoners are forced to remain idle. Instead of having to learn vocational skills, they have too much free time to hone criminal skills and connections. And instead of removing wrongdoers from criminogenic environments, prison clusters together neophytes and experienced recidivists, breeding gangs, criminal networks, and more crime. Thus, Mueller-Smith finds, long sentences on average breed much more crime after release than they prevent during the sentence. Any benefit from locking criminals up temporarily is more than offset by the crime increase caused when prison turns small-timers into career criminals. So conservatives’ emphasis on retribution and responsibility, even when morally warranted, can quickly become counterproductive.
If you think your pet has been stolen, write “STOLEN” on the poster. If you offer a reward for the safe return of your pet, print “REWARD” on the poster. However, do not give money to anyone who claims to have your pet until your pet is safely returned to you.
In order to avoid con-artists, do not include details on the poster of one or two of your pet’s identifying marks. For example, your pet may have a black spot on the tongue, a chipped tooth, or a unique pattern on the inside of the right front leg. When someone calls to say that he or she has found your pet, ask for a detailed description of the area of your pet that only you, close family members and the caller know about. Also, if your pet has a tattoo, ask the caller to provide the number and/or letters of the tattoo. If the caller identifies your pet accurately, arrange to meet in a public place as soon as possible.