Correlation Between Poverty And Crime Essay

823 words - 4 pages

Correlation Between Poverty and Crime
While driving downtown, a driver takes notice of a thin, dirty, bearded man holding up a cardboard sign which reads, “Will work for food.” This is one of many examples of poverty in our nation. What the driver does next in the situation is purely subconscious; the driver reaches over, rolls up all of the windows of his car, and locks all four doors, this way he is one-hundred percent safe from any harm this homeless man may resort to. This is a correlation that many citizens in the U.S. have come up with; when a homeless person, or one who looks to be below the poverty line is near, thoughts of drugs, violence, gangs, and crimes flood the mind, and all precautions are taken to stay safe from any harm these people could potentially cause. Though, these precautions have not always been the case. Many years ago an individual could walk down the highway with one thumb erect in the air, and hitch a ride from a stranger to the nearest gas station, regardless of what this individual may look like, no questions asked. But as time continued to pass, so did violent acts of crimes from those hitchhikers, as it is now a common rule of thumb not to pick up strangers from the road. There is a huge difference between what poverty looked like then, and what poverty looked like now, both in the looks of the individuals below the poverty line, and also in the numbers that correspond with people below the poverty line. Though in any case, poverty has always played a key role in crime, both then and now.
In America, there are two very different versions of the word “poverty” used daily, with two completely different definitions. The first version of poverty, a version more commonly known, is the Federal poverty level, which is used by the U.S. Government to define who is poor. This version of poverty is figured based upon a family’s annual cash income rather than their total wealth. The second kind of poverty level is called the poverty threshold. This version is used for more statistical purposes. The Poverty Threshold is estimated by the Census Bureau to report how many Americans live in poverty each year. The poverty threshold is also used as the official federal poverty definition by the Office of Management and Budget. While comparing the two versions of poverty, it will be found that they both use what is called the “poverty...

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