In my last blog I explained Occums razor and Hickam’s dictum as a way to use psychology to understand why it is so hard for others to believe the truth we are telling them.
There are other psychological terms that come into play here, not withstanding that most of us have believed the police hold society’s best interests at heart. At least those of us never having been in trouble believed that.
On top of Occam’s razor, are things like implicit and confirmation bias:
‘The man was arrested for trying to rape a child’ and ‘The courts found him guilty, it must be true.’
The key to undoing Police Proactive stings is a phenomenon called “Perverse Incentive’
This basically says, if there is a bounty on something, people will knowingly cheat the system. Similar to cheating on your taxes – ‘Hey my cousin did it and they never found out!’, is convincing oneself that the ends justify the means. And the ends in this scenario are incarcerating men who MAY never harm a child but who we can’t say for sure wouldn’t. We can’t say that because these thought crimes are never allowed to go to a level of tenable proof.
To be clear, we cannot say for sure that anyone would harm a child, before it actually happens.
As my sister and her son recently discussed, they will never know what would have happened if Jace had arrived to the trap house and met a child. Would he have been tempted to stay and put himself in a situation that could cause harm to a child? Would he have said ‘Hell no’, turned, and walked away? We will never know and it is unprovable – because it didn’t happen. Do we think he would have harmed a child? No, we do not, because as his family we know he has never shown any attraction to or proclivity for such deed.
So what exactly is Perverse Incentive? an incentive that has an unintended and undesirable result that is contrary to the intentions of its designers. In this case contrary to what ICAC was created to do.
Proactive sting vs actual rape prosecution is a “meager investment that pays huge dividends” WSP Captain Roger Wilbur
ICAC unknowingly created this bounty, to arrest and prosecute men be they child predators or not, when they created their grant formula. Federal funding for ICAC uses the number of ‘investigative leads’ and ‘successful prosecutions’ per state. State funding is a requirement of participation in the ICAC program and is based off of the math from federal funding.
Arrests and successful prosecution go up – federal and state funding go up.
It’s really that simple. Police want money to fund their department and task forces. The fastest way to increase arrests and prosecutions is thru proactive stings where a man is labeled a sexual predator with no disputable evidence and no requirement of predisposition.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
And Hell is where we now reside.