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SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

  • 1.  SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 05-12-2021 01:06 PM
    Edited by Charlotte Otero 11 days ago

    RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE! Watch below.



    Mark your calendars for Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12n Pacific / 3pm Eastern

    Join us for a special, 45-minute edition of Maddie's Candid Conversation where we will be talking with
    Justin Marceau, author of Beyond Cages: Animal Law and Criminal Punishment.  The discussion will center around the role of fines and fees, civil penalties, conviction and punishment in achieving positive outcomes for animals - and how current enforcement models can in fact produce negative consequences for companion animals which can hinder the goal of lifesaving. Gabrielle Chapman, a social justice analyst, will facilitate the conversation, moderate your questions about how systemic racism plays a role, and share ways we can more effectively support companion animals and their families.

    Register here 

    The event will be recorded.  After the live event ends, join Gabrielle and Justin right here on Maddie's Pet Forum to continue the conversation!

    About the speakers

    Gabrielle Chapman, Social Justice Analyst, The Woodrow Consulting Firm
    Gabrielle formerly worked as a Senior Social Justice Analyst with The Humane Society of the United States' Pets for Life program where she lent her expertise to push forward the conversation about how systemic racism is perpetuated within animal welfare. She has helped to bring forth an increased consciousness about systemic racism and other forms of oppression which can hinder growth and well-being for communities and their companion animals. She uses the knowledge she has acquired across racial justice, food/land justice, and animal rights/welfare to inform her consulting work using a One Health model that strives to  develop solutions and build relationships from a socio-ecological perspective.

    She was a 2018–2019 Soros Justice Fellow with the Open Society Foundation and serves as a Board of Director for the West Virginia's Center on Budget and Policy and formerly served as a Board of Director for the West Virginia Women's Health Center. Chapman holds a BS in Applied Biology from Russell Sage College. 

    Justin F. Marceau, Professor of Law at the University of Denver, Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar

    Professor Marceau is also an Animal Legal Defense Fund Professor and the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, and an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work.

    He serves as the reporter for the pattern criminal jury instruction committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, as an inaugural member of the Colorado Governor's Council for Animal Protection (GCAP) formed by a proclamation of the Governor of Colorado, and he is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Justice for Animals Award and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar's Gideon Award.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, and he was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School where he received his law degree. 

    Prior to becoming a law professor, Justin was an assistant federal public defender specializing in capital habeas and a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school, he spent a year living and working in Cairo, Egypt.  
     


    #EducationandTraining
    #Justice,Diversity,EquityandInclusion
    #HumaneLawEnforcementandLaws

    ------------------------------
    alison gibson
    ------------------------------​​​


  • 2.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    Great conversation! Thank you so much. Feel it could have easily gone on for hours there was so much!

    ------------------------------
    Shelly Thompson
    Maddie's Fund
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    It could go on for hours, and years  . . . And I hope it does.  I applaud you all for being willing to sit with these topics and think about them.  These are hard conversations, and conversations that were not possible until very recently.

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    So much to pack into 45 minutes!

    ------------------------------
    Gabrielle Chapman
    The Woodrow Consulting Firm
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    I often think that for all of us who love animals so dearly, the question is "if not prison, then what?"  We have this conundrum whereby it is assumed or imagined that we cannot try something new unless we have a better idea/plan.  I don't have any perfect plans, though Gabrielle and I are eagerly imagining some pilot projects, but it reminds me of a quote.  

    My co-author and co-editor, the brilliant Lori Gruen, drew my attention to a 1932 book in which a

    Columbia University Professor Frank Tannenbaum wrote i, "We must destroy the prison, root and branch. That will not solve our problem, but it will be a good beginning.... Let us substitute something. Almost anything will be an improvement. It cannot be worse. It cannot be more brutal and more useless."



    So just try something.  The logic is that it cannot be worse, and it might be much, much better!



    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago

    Justin, this quote from Tannenbaum via Gruen via Marceau is brilliant in its logic, eloquent in its simplicity. So then why are so many so stymied in this work? So much energy from so many thoughtful, action-taking humans collected in this arena, and we cannot seem to marshal this idea.

    Yesterday, I was engaged in a conversation with three friends (we met while we were each employed at "the" local animal welfare organization in our area) in which we discussed our disgust with all the ways in which the current system ("the animal welfare industry," led by NPOs whose very existence relies on their ability to profit from poverty) simply isn't working, for anyone. And we all vowed that we could no longer support it with our work and our energy.

    But the question arose, for each of us, "then what can we do?" Some are considering leaving the arena of human-animal work and of non-profit work as a whole, exhausted and disgusted and cynically resigned. 

    We all agreed theoretically that dismantling the current system seems the only way to empty the space in order to allow something new to present. With the omnipresence of caste-based distinctions imbued in every facet of every system in this (every?) culture, we acknowledge that there can be no laser-surgical removal of these distinctions from each facet individually such that the current system can remain in an altered state, hopefully to function equitably. And yet our lenses are still limited by the frames that hold our gaze, and fear of the unknown obscures the long view and stalls the propulsion of immediate action.

    Four people of different ages, backgrounds, academic educational experiences, sexualities, and physical presentations and expressions--in collective search for, commitment to, and determination to create a something-better--and we could derive only this: each ACTION we take in the direction of "something better" matters, and stringing these together in our personal journeys and in the collective that we create as we form cohorts, communities, and coalitions, is one path forward. If we don't have an answer today for what the something-better will look like, we can still take actions that align and connect us.

    My most epiphanic takeaway from Angela Davis's seminal piece "Are Prisons Obsolete?" was seeing for the first time that our carceral system was invented by those in power to serve them and their ideals, that its evolution and iteration in our country was not driven by any sort of necessity or truth but rather out of convenience for those in power. The notion of prison as punishment is a capitalist invention that has snowballed over time to feed the beast it serves. Can it not be possible that its dismantling must take a similar form of ongoing action that addresses its underlying reliance on the construct of domination? In Davis's words, "To reiterate, rather than try to imagine one single alternative to the existing system of incarceration, we might envision an array of alternatives that will require radical transformations of many aspects of our society. Alternatives that fail to address racism, male dominance, homophobia, class bias, and other structures of domination will not, in the final analysis, lead to decarceration and will not advance the goal of abolition."

    What alternatives can we be creating with every conversation and action in the direction of something less brutal and more useful?



    ------------------------------
    Sarah Rosenberg
    Paws Between Homes
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    Sarah --  thanks for these thoughts and reflections.  It is hearing this kind of anecdote of personal struggle, and efforts to create systemic change that really inspire me.  I started writing my book in 2015 and at that time these conversations seemed almost taboo in the animal space.  That we are having them now, earnestly and airing disagreements is, I think a sign of progress.  

     

    How do we take action for animals without pursuing brutality?  It is a hard question (an almost impossible one) in a society shaped by dominant thinking that treats criminal prosecutions as good devices for "sending messages," and that ignores the criminogenic consequences of our systemic brutality.  But I think your approach is the right one.  This idea of thinking about each act of advocacy and effort as being part of a project of doing "something better," is the key.  We don't just thoughtlessly support every bill or every supposedly pro-animal piece of legislation or project just because it says animal, or just because big groups have told us to.  Instead, we look for incremental steps toward progress.  Incremental reform is not the problem, it is what some call reformist-reforms, that simply celebrate and entrench the existing hierarchies between species and people that are the problem.  

    I imagine that earnest actions by well-intentioned people like you are the animal movement's best hope.  I am grateful to hear that you are thinking about these problems, and consider me a willing ally for whatever I can do to help.  Reach out anytime.    



    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    Edited by Charlotte Otero 11 days ago
    Sarah ---

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness on this topic. It always gives me hope and a sigh of relief to know that other people are processing these topics in a similar manner as I do. 

    Additionally, it is so important that more people like you continue to share your thoughts, evolving growth, learning and understanding.

    The way we create change isn't solely through metrics of success or empirical evidence but it is from listening and allowing the most directly impacted people lead the way. The ability to measure transformation may not be measurable. Furthermore, individuals from marginalized identities do not need saved or rescued, we need resources and the power to growth the health and wealth of our own communities which in turn can elevate the material conditions of humans and non-human beings alike.


    ------------------------------
    Gabrielle Chapman
    The Woodrow Consulting Firm
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago
    Gabrielle, thank YOU for creating a platform from which to launch conversations like these.

    Absolutely, YES, I see that individuals from marginalized identities don't need saved or rescued.  What I see (from my vantage point) that individuals from marginalized identities need is simply freedom from the systemic obstacles that obstruct or downright eliminate their access to the resources that the marginalizers have claimed as their/our own.

    The invention of pursestrings has made access to resources scarce even when resources themselves are not scarce. For those of us who have any access to the pursestrings (be it through our vigilance or the very fact of our privilege or social placement), our work can look like snipping at the strongholds that limit access, that create marginalization, and that pit us against one another for reasons invented to maintain the current power structure.

    The more deeply we are willing to ask the hard questions and examine the why-things-are's, the more power we reclaim to shift what has become into what we actively choose into being. We might start with questions like these:

    • Why do we need to "own" non-human animals?
    • Why do we choose some species to serve as pets and some to serve as food? [Corollary: Why is the treatment of one species considered punishable (imprisonable) abuse when the same (or worse) treatment of another is considered an acceptable and necessary part of everyday life?]  
    • Who gets to codify, adjudicate, and punish the behavior that constitutes "abuse"?
    • Whom is the current system actually (not theoretically) benefitting? Whom is the system actually (not theoretically) punishing?
    • What is missing from the current system that, if it were present, would make a real difference in what we are seeking to accomplish?
    I believe the only way we are going to arrive at the resolution side of these deep issues is by taking the avenue of asking (and answering) the hard questions and by inviting others to join us on the journey. So again, I thank YOU for offering us a place to begin as a collective consciousness.

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Rosenberg
    Paws Between Homes
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago
    Sarah.   

    I have argued that the "pursestring" point you point you are making is related to the question of how we choose the animals/species that are prioritized for protection.  It is what I call palliative animal law, Palliative Animal Law: The War on Animal Cruelty
    Harvardlawreview remove preview
    Palliative Animal Law: The War on Animal Cruelty
    In 2019 President Donald Trump signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. Pub. L. No. 116-72, 133 Stat. 1151 (2019) (codified at 18 U.S.C. § 48). Although every state already permitted felony animal cruelty liability, animal lawyers hailed the PACT Act as a "defining moment" for animal law because it allowed acts of animal cruelty to be charged as federal felonies.
    View this on Harvardlawreview >


    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago
    Thank you for sharing (and writing) this article!

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Rosenberg
    Paws Between Homes
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 11 hours ago
    Excellent article!

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    Yvonne Leach
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  • 13.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    I saw the name of one well known animal welfare researcher on the call. Perhaps the students of Clive Winn and others can also collapse the space between animal and human carceral and welfare practices.

    ------------------------------
    Augusta Farley
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    Hi Augusta, 

    Thank you so much for your recommendation. If you can think of who you saw on the call, please let us know. If we haven't already been connected, we'd love to be in touch.

    ------------------------------
    Gabrielle Chapman
    The Woodrow Consulting Firm
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    Thanks for such a great conversation today! I wanted to share a question that was asked in the chat that we didn't have time to answer. 

    From Brad Adams:
    My executive director and I met with our court judge about sentencing cruelty offenders to a humane education-type program as a diversion program. The offender would complete the humane education class, receive a certification of completion to be presented to the court. We were happy that the judge gave us his blessing to do this. I would love to have resources to help us. If there is an existing program already out there, I would love to look at it.

    From Stephanie Kendrick:
    We are looking at that issue as well Brad. Would love to hear about examples.

    ------------------------------
    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    From Brad Adams:
    My executive director and I met with our court judge about sentencing cruelty offenders to a humane education-type program as a diversion program. The offender would complete the humane education class, receive a certification of completion to be presented to the court. We were happy that the judge gave us his blessing to do this. I would love to have resources to help us. If there is an existing program already out there, I would love to look at it.

    From Stephanie Kendrick:
    We are looking at that issue as well Brad. Would love to hear about examples.


    Such a good question.   The lack of options here is symptomatic of the general lack of attention and funding devoted to these questions.  The options are limited.   Phil Tedeschi is a professor of social work who is working on education programs, and down the road.  You should feel free to reach out to him, philip.tedeschi@du.edu 

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    Another one of the unanswered questions from the chat from @Kim Wolf for @Justin Marceau

    How can we reverse the trend of "humane" groups taking shelter dogs and giving them to police departments to use as narcotic detection dogs? We know the problems with the war on drugs and its sequelae. How can we also show that arresting people for drugs -- even if they're not convicted -- makes it nearly impossible to find housing, employment, benefits, etc.?

    ​​

    ------------------------------
    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Manager of Partnerships & Collaboration
    Maddie's Fund
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    Kim -- these are wonderful questions.  I think that it is the duty of every animal advocate to educate themselves about the hardships that befall persons charged with crimes.  We need to put to bed the wrong-headed notion that  an arrest, a charge, or a misdemeanor conviction are "no big deal" if there is not incarceration.  The harmless-misdemeanor myth is pervasive in our community.

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    When will the recording be available to view?

    ------------------------------
    Tatianna Hankins
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 17 days ago
    Edited by Charlotte Otero 11 days ago
    I believe it will be available soon and I can pass it along once it's been uploaded!

    ------------------------------
    Gabrielle Chapman
    The Woodrow Consulting Firm
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    The recording will be posted here shortly. Once it's been uploaded here, everyone who registered for the live event will get an email.

    ------------------------------
    alison gibson
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 16 days ago
    @Tatianna Hankins This post has now been updated with the recording! ​

    ------------------------------
    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago
    Just watched the recording. Thank you so much to Maddie's Fund for bringing these conversations forward. I learned quite a bit from Gabrielle and Justin. Something that came to mind that I'm struggling with and would like input on. How do we approach animal fighting crimes like cockfighting when they have such a strong cultural component? Any response is greatly appreciated!

    ------------------------------
    Tatianna Hankins
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago

    Thank you for watching and engaging.  I am grateful to have so many thoughtful advocates like you thinking about these issues.  I would be interested in Gabrielle's reactions to this question, but I will just start.  

    My view is that there is no silver bullets, or uniform set of approaches that will work.  They key, in my view, is to find ways to acknowledge animal suffering without assuming that more convictions and policing will end animal fighting.  There is no evidence I am aware of showing that neglect, abuse, or fighting are reduced by higher penalties.   We in the animal world have the capacity to imagine animals as persons or important parts of our society, and we hope can be similarly creative and ambitious when it comes to imagining paths forward.  

    The example of animal fighting may have, as you suggest a certain cultural connections that warrant extra consideration.  There is writing on the history of dog fighting and bird fighting that make it difficult to escape the conclusion that certain groups are most associated with these practices (either in perception or in reality), and this means that we would expect racial disparities in the enforcement of these crimes.  I don't have reliable data on this, but I talk about this a great deal in the chapter on race in my book, Beyond Cages.

    So this is all to say, animal fighting are a uniquely challenging area.  The harms to animals are so terrifying and horrible, and the risks of discriminatory enforcement are also high.  For additional reading about the way that groups in the US focus on practices that are engaged in by primarily non-white persons, I'd be happy to recommend parts of my book, Claire Kim's work, and the writing of the Ko sisters (Aph and Syl).  It is striking that zoos/seaworld, hunting, and things like penning are often legal, but animal fighting is a federal felony.    


    I know this is not an answer as to "what do we do?"   But I am looking at working with folks like Gabrielle to figure out solutions and paths forward.  For now, the challenge is getting to the point of acceptance and understanding that carceral solutions might not be all that they promise!

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 15 days ago
    Justin, thank you for taking the time to respond thoughtfully. I will start by reading the resources you listed as I have not yet. I hear you on just starting with examining whether punishment in the traditional sense is producing the outcomes we ultimately want- it isn't. And being open to a different approach. I look forward to thinking through this as I learn and I hope there are future opportunities to have thoughtful conversations about this. Thanks again!

    ------------------------------
    Tatianna Hankins
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 13 days ago
    Edited by Charlotte Otero 11 days ago
    Another unanswered question from the chat:
    @Carly Holcomb asked: Could mandatory reporting be more helpful if there was a legal distinction between abuse and neglect?



    ------------------------------
    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund
    she/her
    ------------------------------



  • 27.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 13 days ago
    It is a nice question.  I am not someone who thinks that there is no difference between neglect or abuse, or that the reactions must be equivalent.  However, mandatory reporting can have dramatic, carceral consequences for abuse or neglect.  I have seen cases where mandatory reporting has led to immigration proceedings and felony charges for neglect.

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 13 days ago
    I work for a non-profit with a county animal services contract. We have long emphasized education over enforcement and we are working toward expanding our pet retention services, but the City doesn't pay us for any of that. We will be negotiating a new contract very soon and I wanted to ask if there are any resources you would recommend for educating our municipal leaders about the value of supporting a social services approach to animal welfare issues rather than the same-old of enforcement and stray animal holding.

    ------------------------------
    Steph Kendrick
    Hawaiian Humane Society
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 13 days ago
    That is fantastic and I wish you the best of luck!  

    I don't have a ready list of resources, unfortunately.  So few groups have tried it that this is still viewed as speculative.  As I said during my remarks, it is viewed as risky or idealistic to try new things.  But it is taken for granted that punitive efforts will produce good outcomes for animals.  

    So I would appeal to the City based on your own sense of success, perhaps my book, and the general national narratives around non-punitive interventions outside of animal protection.  If you want, I can send you some studies suggesting that punishment increases do not lead to crime decreases, but I don't have a ready set of resources for you.

    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thank you Justin. Our whole leadership team is very supportive of this approach and we've made big strides in building relationships with our human social services partners over the last year or two. I am working now on rewriting our local laws with better outcomes in mind, but the immediate need on the ground is just so vast that it is easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Building this shift into the municipal contract would help bridge the resource gap between what we can do and what we want to do. 
    My email is skendrick@hawaiianhumane.org. Please send any studies you think would be helpful. I've read the Hawes et. al. paper that was shared during the webinar and it was fantastic.
    Aloha,
    Steph

    ------------------------------
    Steph Kendrick
    Hawaiian Humane Society
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 11 days ago
    I don't believe this question has been answered yet that was left in the chat by @John Brassner

    Is there evidence that punishment isn't a deterrent for animal crimes? My guess is that there isn't much of a deterrent but it would be interesting to know.


    ​​

    ------------------------------
    alison gibson
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: SPECIAL EDITION! Maddie's Candid Conversation with Gabrielle Chapman and Justin Marceau

    Posted 11 days ago

    Is there evidence that punishment isn't a deterrent for animal crimes? My guess is that there isn't much of a deterrent but it would be interesting to know.

    It is a really important question.  I will offer four responses, none of which will be satisfying.

    (1) There is shockingly little research on this question.  I say shocking because this could be studied (and see 2, should be), but groups have invested no resources or effort to study this question.  We  have bought into the logic that it must be reducing animal crime, but to the best of my knowledge there is no reliable evidence pointing in this direction.  

    (2) I am in the middle of such a study right now.  A couple of local Humane Society groups and SCPCAs  have shared data with me and I have done a substantial amount of data analysis.  I hope to release the findings this fall.  The short version is that I am not seeing evidence of deterrence even in the wake of what groups call "landmark" changes in cruelty law.  

    (3) There is a general presumption among many criminologists that completely legalizing conduct will increase the frequency of the conduct.  There is some marijuana research that may conflict with these assumptions.  But generally speaking, it is assumed that prohibiting certain conduct does decrease its frequency.  Significantly, that tells us nothing about whether different punishments (or or more severe, or any punishments) add to this baseline level of deterrence.

    (4) Studying deterrence is hard, and somewhat imprecise.  I could talk about why for hours.   But the short version is that there is a gulf between the crimes/cases we can study, and the reality of how common a crime is.  That is to say, arrest records and court cases are not always a good proxy for how much animal crime (or any crime) is occurring.  So studies looking at these figures and then calculating deterrence are imperfect.  Still, we should and must be doing such studies in this realm and I am working on it!



    ------------------------------
    Justin Marceau
    Denver Univ
    ------------------------------