One group has offered that social welfare reform would be an effective deterrent to corruption. “Conditional cash transfer programs, an innovation in social welfare administration, have received considerable acclaim as a means of enhancing human capital and reducing leakage of public resources” (Grimes and Wangnerud, 2010), one extensive form of corruption in Mexico. It is innovative problem solving such as this that offers the greatest hope for bringing government corruption to an end in either Mexico or the United States.
A second example of programs that are being implemented in Mexico to counter crime and corruption is a school-based program on the U.S.-Mexican border. “This strategy consists of a 36 lesson course developed in collaboration between Mexican and American teachers, whose intent is to build support for a culture of lawfulness and further the rule of law” (Kenney and Godson, 2002). Certainly no one is naive enough to believe that the implementation of a single elementary school program will bring a cessation to corruption. Instead, one might consider this to be a symbolic first step in a thousand mile journey. Moreover, it is a fine example of throwing everything at a problem including the kitchen sink.
Finally, a plethora of governmental agencies exist in the United States to study and combat corruption. Some of the more illustrious ones in this country include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of Government Ethics, Interagency Ethics Council: standards of conduct for federal employees, the Brookings Institute, Federal Inspectors General, and the United States Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel. In Mexico one can turn to the Secretary of the Commission to Combat Corruption through Transparency as the most well-known governmental organization looking into crime and corruption across their country.
Both the United States and Mexico employ tens of thousands of agents whose sole purpose is to ferret out and prevent crime. Unfortunately, they have done little to stem its tide. There are no real answers to ending corruption — the only response may be to capture and prosecute the criminals to the fullest extent as often as possible. The threat of long prison sentences might truly be the only deterrent available.
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