Week 2 discussion 2

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"Making the Decision" Please respond to the following:

  • Using the story about Robin Hood, discuss a cost-benefit and cost-effective analysis of the proposed assessment and contingency plan. Justify your rationale.
  • From the e-Activity, select one of the current events and discuss what method of rational decision making will better serve the public interest(s). Justify your response.
  • Mary Evans Picture Library/Everett Collection


    It was early in the spring of the second year of his insurrection against the High Sheriff of Nottingham that Robin Hood took a walk in Sherwood Forest. As he walked, he pondered the progress of the campaign, the disposition of his forces, his opposition's moves, and the options that confronted him.

    The revolt against the sheriff began as a personal crusade. It erupted out of Robin's own conflict with the sheriff and his administration. Alone, however, Robin could accomplish little. He therefore sought allies, men with personal grievances and a deep sense of justice. Later he took all who came without asking too many questions. Strength, he believed, lay in numbers.

    The first year was spent in forging the group into a disciplined band—a group united in enmity against the sheriff, willing to live outside the law as long as it took to accomplish their goals. The band was simply organized. Robin ruled supreme, making all important decisions. Specific tasks were delegated to his lieutenants. Will Scarlett was in charge of intelligence and scouting. His main job was to keep tabs on the movements of the sheriff's men. He also collected information on the travel plans of rich merchants and abbots. Little John kept discipline among the men, and he saw to it that their archery was at the high peak that their profession demanded. Scarlett took care of the finances, paying shares of the take, bribing officials, converting loot to cash, and finding suitable hiding places for surplus gains. Finally, Much the Miller's Son had the difficult task of provisioning the ever-increasing band.

    The increasing size of the band was a source of satisfaction for Robin, but also a subject of much concern. The fame of his Merry Men was spreading, and new recruits were pouring in. Yet the number of men was beginning to exceed the food capacity of the forest. Game was becoming scarce, and food had to be transported by cart from outlying villages. The band had always camped together. But now what had been a small gathering had become a major encampment that could be detected miles away. Discipline was also becoming harder to enforce. “Why?” Robin reflected. “I don't know half the men I run into these days.”

    Although the band was getting larger, their main source of revenue was in decline. Travelers, especially the richer variety, began giving the forest a wide berth. This was costly and inconvenient to them, but it was preferable to having all their goods confiscated by Robin's men. Robin was therefore considering changing his past policy to one of a fixed transit tax.

    The idea was strongly resisted by his lieutenants who were proud of the Merry Men's famous motto: “Rob from the rich and give to the poor.” The poor and the townspeople, they argued, were their main source of support and information. If they were antagonized by transit taxes, they would abandon the Merry Men to the mercy of the sheriff.

    Robin wondered how long they could go on keeping to the ways and methods of their early days. The sheriff was growing stronger. He had the money, the men, and the facilities. In the long run he would wear Robin and his men down. Sooner or later, he would find their weaknesses and methodically destroy them. Robin felt that he must bring the campaign to a conclusion. The question was, How could this be achieved?

    Robin knew that the chances of killing or capturing the sheriff were remote. Besides, killing the sheriff might satisfy his personal thirst for revenge but would not change the basic problem. It was also unlikely that the sheriff would be removed from office. He had powerful friends at court. On the other hand, Robin reflected, if the district was in a perpetual state of unrest, and the taxes went uncollected, the sheriff would fall out of favor. But on further thought, Robin reasoned, the sheriff might shrewdly use the unrest to obtain more reinforcements. The outcome depended on the mood of the regent Prince John. The Prince was known as vicious, volatile, and unpredictable. He was obsessed by his unpopularity among the people, who wanted the imprisoned King Richard back. He also lived in constant fear of the barons who were growing daily more hostile to his power. Several of these barons had set out to collect the ransom that would release King Richard the Lionheart from his jail in Austria. Robin had been discreetly asked to join, in return for future amnesty. It was a dangerous proposition. Provincial banditry was one thing, court intrigue another. Prince John was known for his vindictiveness. If the gamble failed he would personally see to it that all involved were crushed.

    The sound of the supper horn startled Robin from his thoughts. There was the smell of roasting venison in the air. Nothing had been resolved or settled. Robin headed for camp promising himself that he would give these problems first priority after tomorrow's operation.

    What are Robin's key problems? How are they related to each other? How did they emerge? What should Robin do in the short term and in the longer term?

    SOURCE: Copyright © 1985 by Joseph Lampel, New York University. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission.


    Public Safety & Justice

    Teen Driving Laws' Unexpected Impact on Crime

    New research shows certain graduated driver licensing laws result in fewer teens being arrested for nontraffic-related crimes.
    by Mike Maciag | April 4, 2016 

    study, published in March in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, found that state GDL laws with nighttime driving curfews resulted in fewer arrests for certain crimes,such as larceny and assault, among 16- and 17-year-olds. It’s thought to be the first published study linking implementation of GDL with decreased criminal behavior.

    All 50 states and the District of Columbia maintain different GDL laws that phase in driving privileges. All teens and older adults in some states must first complete a learner stage and an intermediate stage before obtaining licenses. Individual laws vary greatly from state to state. For example, teens are eligible for intermediate stage permits when they turn 15 in Idaho and Montana, but not until 17 in New Jersey. Also depending on the state, curfew hours prohibiting teens from driving while unsupervised start anywhere from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

    When states first introduced GDL requirements, effects on criminal behavior weren't considered. The laws were largely designed to improve teen driver safety. But the study's authors contend that it’s an unintended consequence -- and a positive one -- that policymakers should take into consideration.

    “There’s debate going on around this policy, and it is a really important social benefit that needs to be included,” said Daniel Litwok, a co-author of the study and senior analyst with the research firm Abt Associates.

    In recent years, states have typically moved to strengthen existing GDL laws. Ohio, for instance, raised the age that drivers are subject to curfew hours and limits on passengers in vehicles last year.

    The study, which focused on implementation of the intermediate phase of GDL, found that the introduction of GDL requirements decreased total arrests among 16- and 17-year-olds between 4.1 and 6.2 percent, depending on the control group used.

    The single most important factor in reducing arrests was nighttime driving restrictions. As one would expect, states where teens must wait longer to obtain unrestricted driving privileges experienced much sharper declines in arrests than other states. Where driving curfews aren’t lifted until a person turns either 17 or 18, arrests dropped up to 8.1 percent for 16-year-olds and up to 9 percent for 17-year-olds.

    Some crimes saw more notable changes than others. The study examined nine of the more serious types of crimes tracked in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program. Larceny arrests dropped between 5.3 and 6.7 percent, while aggravated assaults declined between 4.1 and 6.1 percent. GDL restrictions further led to declines in murders, although Litwok cautioned that it’s hard to gauge the effects of the laws with so few teenagers arrested for murder. GDL laws didn’t affect arson, burglary, motor vehicle theft, rape, robbery or other assault arrests.

    Most GDL laws also limit how many passengers are permitted to ride with teenagers holding intermediate stage permits. But these rules had virtually no effect on criminal behavior, according to the study.

    Researchers compared numbers of arrests for 16- to 17-year-olds with different sets of older control age groups ranging from age 18 to 24. Comparisons were made within each state within a particular age group for each year between 1995 and 2011 for 40 states without driving curfews prior to implementation of GDL laws. The study also independently controlled for the introduction of zero tolerance laws and truth-in-sentencing policies that require convicted offenders to serve large portions of their sentences.

    For the most part, the fewer arrests simply resulted from taking teen drivers off the roads at night.

    Traffic enforcement further plays a role in limiting teen driving. Most states allow for primary enforcement of nighttime driving restrictions, while 10 others consider it a secondary infraction, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It’s difficult to say how often teens are cited, though, as data is mostly unavailable. New Jersey is unique in that it requires all drivers under 21 holding a permit or probationary license to display red decals on license plates. Some states also have exemptions allowing teens to drive at night for work or school.

    The new findings follow years of research already indicating that GDL laws reduce teenage traffic fatalities. A 2010 analysis of state GDL laws found that the longer teens had to wait to obtain permits or licenses, the lower a state’s fatality rates were for 15- to 17-year-olds. Stricter nighttime restrictions similarly yielded lower traffic fatality rates.

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