In America, we feel we are safer if we know more. The privacy of other people comes secondary to safety in many people’s minds.
The ironic part of this is that having access to information on everything about everyone does not make us safer, but in fact usually makes it more likely that we will be victims of more crime instead of less likely.
This runs counter to intuition, so I should explain why this happens. It occurs because of several human reactions. One is called self-fulfilling prophecy. This means that if you have said something is so long enough, it becomes so. “I am incapable of doing this” thus becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when the person involved can’t do the thing he “knew” he couldn’t.
Also involved in this is the fact that companies just don’t like to be seen as helping criminals. They don’t want to hire someone if any random person off the street can see that they have a criminal working for them. This means that the former criminal has no reason to become a better person. They might as well keep committing crimes, since they can’t find any other way to support themselves. Recently, this has become even more generalized. Companies can and do fire or refuse to hire anyone who has been arrested, whether charged with a crime or not.
Former felons are far more likely to stay FORMER felons if they have a meaningful job and social supports. I strongly support hiring former felons in any position that you are allowed to hire them. You might not want to hire an embezzler to work with money, but you could hire him to work with people or items on a shelf. In some states, you can’t be a lawyer with a felony on your record, but you can still do legal research. Any law firm would do well to hire a person who has made themselves familiar with the law and how to research it, even if he can’t defend a client in court.
Actually, the best way to keep safe is to become familiar with your neighbors PERSONALLY. Get out and talk to them, invite them to a neighborhood or block party. It makes it harder for them to consider hurting you, and it makes for a closer neighborhood, one in which people are less likely to get taken advantage of.
Make your little slice of America safer. Give your neighbors a chance to know you.