Crime and Poverty

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criminal justice paper on crime and poverty

Crime and Poverty

Many factors can be viewed as reasons for crime. The amount of morality needed in order to rise against the temptation to commit crime can be difficult. 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. The question can be posed. What is the main cause of crime in areas where poverty is everywhere? True, this is not an easy question to answer considering that crime happens for many different reasons and sometimes location is not the problem. Crime has been around since man and there is no doubt that it will continue to be around, until there is an existence of a perfect world. But for now, we must study how crime and poverty are linked to one another, and why it is possible for studies to be done on such a topic. In the United States there are specific areas that have been overwhelmed by the infestation of crime and violence and it appears to be at its peak in areas where poverty is high. In this essay we will examine the connection between poverty and crime and attempt to better understand the relationship between the two. The relationship between poverty and crime is not a new subject to be talked about. In fact it has been an extremely controversial subject among many over the years. There have been arguments made stating that poverty does not have a direct link to crime based off the notion that there are countries where poverty is high but the crime rates in those countries are low. Others have argued that it is impossible to think that there isn’t a direct link between the two. What is crime and poverty? Crime can be defined as an act committed by an offender that is forbidden by the law and punishable. The punishment of a crime can vary depending on the severity of the crime from a fine, to a prison sentence. Crime can also be defined as an act against society, and it comes in many different forms. There are many different types of crimes. Poverty is defined as an economic state where one does not have the necessary means to provide sufficiently for a comfortable state of living. Poverty in the United States is disturbing with approximately 15 to 20% of Americans living below the federal poverty line. There are many factors that contribute towards poverty but the ones with the most impact are government corruption, crime, substance abuse and a lack of education. According to Stretesky, Paul B, Schuck, Hogan, and Micheal J (2004), crime and poverty rates can be traced back to poverty clusters, which is the area where poverty is at its highest as well as the rates of crime. They observed the patterns for which crimes were happening and which locations they were happening in, comparing non poverty areas, and areas where there are a high number of people living in poverty they were able to conclude that when poverty is present there will be crime. Using the Uniform Crime Reports they were able to map out the specific areas where the most crime was taking place. This gives a vivid picture of the connection between crime and poverty. In a city like Detroit there would be a greater degree of clusters, but right outside the city limits going into a neighboring city like Oak Park, or Southfield, you could see the difference. This made is easy to track what crimes were being committed, who was most likely to commit the crime, and where. Being able to track the crime will make it easier to stop the crimes from occurring and thus lower the crime rates in specific areas. There is a significant difference in crime patterns in rural areas and crime patterns in urban areas. The dual latent trajectory model (LTM) is used to estimate the impact of violent crime on the rate of homeowner “residential turnover” while...
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