Several contributing factors can be viewed as reasons for crime. Depending on the circumstances, it can sometimes be very difficult to resist the temptation to commit a crime. It is even harder when you are coming from a place where crime is considered to be a normal part of society and looked at as a way of daily living that is supposed to be incorporated into daily lifestyles, hence the city we are not too far from: Fresno. In fact, by having a city or group of cities nearby where violence, crime, and gangs are abundant, it has given me an incentive to dig deeper into this issue. Now the question can be posed: What is the significance of crime in areas where poverty is present? True, this is not an easy question to answer considering that crime happens for many different reasons and sometimes location is not the problem. The origin of crime date back to the beginning of man, and the thing is it will never be stopped, as it is almost a part of human nature nowadays. But for now, we must study how crime and poverty are linked to one another, and what other contributing factors influence the effect of crime where poverty is relevant.
Looking back at the number of homicides in the city of San Jose, CA for the year 2000 it was 20, then there was an average increase of 8 murders per year for the next 8 years. Then in 2010, despite a population increase of over one hundred thousand people, there were only 20 murders in the city of San Jose. Now in 2011, up to the month of July, there have been 26 homicides, which means based upon the current rate San Jose is on track to have more than 50 homicides in 2011, which would theoretically be over a two decade maximum. Now despite having lived in a small town, I consider San Jose as a home away from home because I go there often. I have had a job there and my dad has worked in San Jose for 28 years. In 2009 the San Jose area was rated as the seventh safest area in the country and when that happened it made me feel thankful that my family and I have lived in such a safe area. Yet nowadays it seems like I have been reading about a different murder every week, which has caused me to ask many questions about the possible causes of this rise in murders. From the research I have done, the cause seems to be a rise in gang violence and rival gang murders. In San Jose, the two rival gangs, Norteños and Sureños, have begun to be bolder with their killings as shown with the already high and rising murder rate of 2011. Solutions must be determined in conjunction with the San Jose Police Department and governmental gang task forces to establish the best course of action to stop the continuing rise in violence (Associated Press).
There was a decline in crime during the 1990s. Our country enjoyed seven years of declining crime for the period 1991-98, the most recent data available. During this period crime declined by 22% and violent crime by 25%. These are welcome developments, particularly following the surge of crime and violence of the late 1980s. This decline occurred during a time when the national prison population has increased substantially, rising from 789,60 in 1991 to 1,252,830, a 59% rise in just seven years and a 47% increase in the rate of incarceration, taking into account changes in the national population (Mauer 21-24).
For decades researchers have speculated about the relationship between levels of violence, and societal conditions such as poverty, urbanism, population composition, and family disruption. National and international level research has concluded that each of these factors are related to crime rates and their trends overtime (Avison & Loring, 1986; Lafree, 1999, Lauristen & Carbone-Lopez, 2011). To examine these factors more closely we should recognize that they are the foundation of many criminological theories, both motivational and control, applied to the macro and individual level. Specifically, these include social disorganization theory (Shaw & MCkay, 1942), anomie-strain theory (Merton, 1968), violent subcultural theories (Anderson, 1999), social bond theory (Hirschi, 1969), self-control theory (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1990), and biosocial perspectives (Gottfredson & Hirschi, 1983).
Unlike many students who go to the Apache Junction campus at Central Arizona College, I live much farther out in then Apache Junction. I currently live in Gilbert Arizona. According to NeigborhoodScout, “Gilbert is a relatively large town located in the state of Arizona. With a population of 214,264 people and 44 constituent neighborhoods, Gilbert is the seventh largest community in Arizona.” (Location Inc, 2014) So, with a substantial amount of residents that live in Gilbert, one might think that there would be more crime in the area. But in actuality, that is not the case. According to NeighborhoodScout, Gilbert has one of the lowest crime rates in the state of Arizona. The rate of violent crimes in Gilbert, Arizona is 0.96 crimes per 1,000 residents. This crime rate is much lower than the crime rate of the state of Arizona, which sits at 4.29 crimes per 1000 residents. It also sits lower then the national median rate for violent crimes, which is 3.9 crimes per 1000 residents. When it comes to violent crimes, there have been only been 5 murders, 19 rapes, 59 robberies, and 122 assaults. The chance of someone becoming a victim of a violent crime in Gilbert is about 1 in 1045 chance, compared to the state of Arizona, which is 1 in 233 chance. When it comes to the rate of property crimes, Gilbert once again ranks lower then the State of Arizona and lower then the national median. The rate of property crimes in Gilbert is 15.80 crimes per 1000 residents. Which is lower then the state of Arizona, which sits at 35.39 crimes per 1000 residents, and lower then the national median of 28.6 crimes per 1000 residents. In Gilbert, there have been 726 burglaries, 2496 thefts, and 164 motor vehicle thefts. The chance of becoming a victim of a...
The presence of crime in the inner cities of America is the result of many different factors. Although it is impossible to explain the issue with one single theory, it is possible to recognize the characteristics within society that have traditionally been associated with crime. These include poor neighborhoods, weak family structures and high rates of unemployment. However, they cannot be used to explain overarching mechanisms of extremely high rates of American urban crime today. Social structures as well as cultural conditions play strong explanatory roles in describing the causes of crime in American cities. Some prominent social structural theories include social disorganization theory, strain theory, and cultural deviance theory.
When the City of Atlanta is mentioned, individuals automatically associate the city with its positive attributes, such as, the beautiful lights, family activities and tourist attractions. The crime that occurs often goes unmentioned; however it is increasingly becoming an issue. Forbes ranked Atlanta as the sixth dangerous city in the US with a violent crime rate of 1,433 per 100,000 residents. The city’s crime rate correlates with its poverty levels and low education rates along with Beccaria’s ideas of punishment being swift, severe and certain.
Sampson, R. J., Raudenbush, S., & Earls, F. (1997). Neighborhoods and Violent Crime: A Multilevel Study of Collective Efficacy.
Statistics reveal that since 1960, crime rates have substantially increased from 1,620 per 100,000 persons to 4,593 per 100,000 persons in 1995.(1) This data illustrates the degeneration of society's "safety blanket." People no longer feel secure in the United States as they did in the past. They have become more vulnerable than ever to random acts of violence. Crime is ubiquitous and strikes at the heart of Americans when people least expect it, robbing them of their health, property, and loved ones. As a result, society has lost its confidence and assurance that the streets remain safe. Americans have become anxious about their safety knowing that "eight out of ten Americans are likely to be victims of crime in their lives."(2) Moreover, their belief and hope for a safer future has eroded.
You can’t turn on the television, or read the paper without hearing about violence in our cities and world. In a report from “Stand Up for Kids” in Chicago, they analyze the relationship between low wages, income inequality, and the epidemic of violence in Chicago’s low income neighborhoods. This report found that in 2012 there were nearly 7,700 gun-related crimes reported in the city. The city of Chicago has the third highest overall metropolitan poverty rate in the nation. Nearly one quarter of all Chicago residents live below the federal poverty threshold according to this report. ("Chicago Not Only Leads the Nation in Gun Violence Rates, but Also in Measures of Urban Poverty." Stand Up Chicago, 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.) Decades of research have demonstrated that there is a statistically significant link between low wages, income inequality and crime. The analysis presented in this report shows that when a city’s economic conditions improve, the violent crime rates go down.( "Chicago Not Only Leads the Nation in Gun Violence Rates, but Also in Measures of Urban Poverty." Stand Up Chicago, 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.) Parents and children are turning to violent acts to provide for their family needs. Policy makers and the government need to address the issues of persistent poverty and income inequality such as raising the minimum wage to a living wage and create satisfying jobs for the
Several strategies that can change living conditions and reduce crime rates are education, employment, and decreased inequality. “Changes in the structure of inequality would result in changes in crime rates” (pg.284 Social Inequality). The more opportunity is granted the less likely and individual is prone to committing crimes. Additionally, the government must implement changes to the current income guidelines which denies and reduces resources for many individuals living in poverty. Supplying low-income families with adequate means to generate and sustain access to opportunities such as safe and affordable housing, employment, and high-quality education can allow low-income families to change their social and financial class which can reduce the level of need decrease the amount of crime which often occurs to lack of resources. “Levels of criminal activity are responsive to changes in the distribution of income…a one percent reduction in inequality was shown to reduce crime to a larger extent than one percent increase in deterrence’’ (pp. 126- 127) (pg. 284 Social Inequality).
The notion that recent Latino immigrants are harbingers of crime and adverse social behaviors has no basis in truth, and in fact, it has been shown that immigrants may in fact have an opposite effect on neighborhood crime. In his article, Sampson (2008) considers the concept of the “Latino Paradox” – the fact that Hispanic Americans often score higher on a wide range of social indicators than expected (including those related to crime), given their socioeconomic disadvantages – comparing and contrasting it with his research collected on Latino immigrant populations in Chicago. Through a case study in 180 Chicago neighborhoods, Sampson suggested that higher rates of immigration in a neighborhood effectively reduces crime rates. The researchers
Why are some neighborhoods more prone to experience violent episodes than others? What is the extent and in what sociologically measurable ways do communities contribute to the causation and prevention of crime in their neighborhoods? Are neighborhood-level predictors adequate to explain differences in violent crime rates in the respective communities? These are some of the questions addressed by this statistically intense paper published in Science 1997, by Sampson, Raudenbush and Earls.
With a 10% increase in crime rate since 2009, budding city St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador) soared 19.2% above the national average and in 2010 placed as seventh in Canada’s overall crime rated cities (Brennan, 2011). The level of crime relative to suburban or rural areas has recently become an accepted theory in criminology. Regardless of the data source used, crime statistics consistently reflect that urban crime rates are substantially greater than crime rates in non-urban areas. More so, population size has been shown to be an important predictor of crime rates across cities, not only in Canada, but all over the world. St. John’s has developed and grown economically over the past few years, thriving off the offshore oil and gas industry who’s profits have injected about $800 million into the local economy boosting the city’s Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributed to the St. John’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) by an estimated 5.0% in 2010 to $9.8 billion, that adding to an increase of 5.4% for the province as a whole (City of St. John’s. 2011). A clear multiplier effect in population growth can be observed as St. John’s population increased by 8.9% between the years of 2001 and 2010 during the time in which the gas and oil and nickel industries settled in the area. Now, as one of the most rapidly developing cities in the country, St. John’s is getting a taste of one of the more serious social backfires to urbanization. Urban development in St. John's is increasing crime opportunities and the overall crime rate in the city and province. Supported not only by up to date statistics, this idea is also supported by year long criminal and social behavioral experiments conducted by trained psychologists such as Wolfgang...