Violent Crime On The Decrease? Essay

1657 words - 7 pages

No simple solution for solving violent crimesPosted Oct. 29, 2002 -- Murder, rape and other violent crimes committed throughout the country are up from last year, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was the first time in a decade that crimes have shown a year-to-year increase.The statistics are from the FBI report "Crime in the United States," an annual survey of crimes reported by 17,000 law enforcement agencies throughout the country.Murders were up for the second year in a row after several years of decline, the Associated Press reported. About 15,980 murders occurred in 2001; 2.5 percent more than 2000. Forcible rapes were up .3 percent, while robberies rose 3.7 percent. The only violent crime that decreased was aggravated assault; it went down .5 percent in 2001.At the same time, overall crime was down 10 percent compared to 1997, AP reported.CMU expert expects 1 percent increase a year.Abortion could be responsible for the drop in crime in the 1990s, but violent juveniles -- the "super predators" -- are coming in the next decade and it's going to be a blood bath.Or maybe not.A provocative study linking the legalization of abortion in the 1970s with the declining crime rate in the United States captured the nation's attention. The authors, Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and John Donohue III of Stanford University Law School, argued that many people who would have been criminals of the 1990s were never born because they were aborted in the 1970s.Legalized abortion, they said, may explain as much as half of the overall crime reduction between 1991 and 1997. Abortion might well be a factor in the drop in crime, but the study failed to give adequate attention to other factors, among them the decline in crack cocaine street dealing, the booming economy and the efforts of police to take guns out of the hands of juveniles.At a presentation in 1995, James Alan Fox, dean of the college of criminal justice at Northeastern University, warned of a coming "blood bath" of youth violence that would accompany the increasing size of the juvenile population after the turn of the century.Fox still maintains that youth violence will increase in the early years of the millennium because the number of black and Latino teens will climb dramatically. And because blacks and other minority group members are more often involved in crime than whites, he said, violent juvenile crime will rise, even if the overall crime rate continues to drop.Homicides spiked between 1985 and 1991, driven largely by young blacks dealing in crack cocaine and using semiautomatic weapons for protection in the nation's big cities. After a peak in 1991, the homicide rate has been dropping. In 1997, the rate fell to its lowest level since 1967.No one can say for sure why, but many factors point to: a decline in crack dealing on the street by young blacks, a healthy economy providing jobs for minorities, prisons filled with drug dealers, a drop in domestic-violence...

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