We don't usually think about solving crime for pattern. Our laws, enforcement officers and judicial systems are designed to solve crimes for prosecution. We seek to identify the guilty party who deserves to be punished. We assume the punishment will deter repeat offenses as well as discourage others from indulging in criminal acts. There is little evidence to support this assumption. Punishing crimes functions like a bad solution.
We may also misinterpret "solving crime for pattern". We may assume this applies to signature patterns of criminal conduct or underlying patterns of criminal motivations. Recognizing these patterns makes it easier to solve the whodunit puzzle. Most prosecution systems employ profilers who have learned to recognize these patterns of criminality. There profiling patterns feed self fulfilling prophesies. Everyone is thinking "here we go again" from the lowly offender to the highest judge. Profiling also functions as a bad solution.
We begin to solve crime for pattern when we perceive criminal activity as an organic problem. It has a life of its own that defies getting fixed by foreign technologies or mechanistic solutions. The organic problem usually most of the following:
- Childhood and teen experiences with getting abused by authority figures which inspires relentless retaliation, defiance, evasiveness and cynicism
- Acculturation by a tribe with an honor code that shuns members' sensitivity to others feelings, empathy for others pain or sense of fairness in the face of injustice
- Identification with role models' acting out patterns of domination, arrogance and hostility toward others seen as lowly, unworthy, disgraceful or contemptible
- Unforgettably traumatic incidents where personal survival was put in jeopardy that necessitates chronic vigilance, paranoia, defensiveness and suspiciousness
- Profound lessons in "human relations" where one learns to see others as inhuman , expendable objects, or things without feelings
- Convincing patterns of misfortune which substantiates a robust victim story about being cursed, abandoned, useless or mistaken
- Addiction to thrill seeking escapades which alter dark moods, escape insecurities and feel elated during each episode
- Long, consistent histories of getting caught, blamed and punished which justifies negative self concepts, bad attitudes, seething resentments and boatloads of self pity
The organic nature of the problem suggests how to formulate organic solutions. It becomes obvious the solution has to go beyond education, extrinsic/contingent rewards and employment. The offenders need unforeseen experiences that run as deep, make equally lasting impressions and convince beyond the shadow of a doubt. Each component of the organic solution will meet its match at that limbic level of cognition that produces urges, reactions, addictions, moods and apprehensions. The organic solution will appear to change the destiny of individuals, revise their fate and dismantle the omnipotence of their past history to misdefine them.