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Crime in America

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posted on May, 21 2015 @ 11:08 PM
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I was curious to see how much crime in America has risen recently, most importantly how much it has gone up since before our current and last president. The energy in the air is more tense it feels, and time seems to be flying by without pause. At least it feels a lot different than in the 80's and 90's. Ahh those were the days! At least that's what I had thought?

According to this little resource page I stumbled on Violent Crime was nearly double during George H.W Bush's term than when Obama took office. 758 violent crimes in 1991 compared to 386 in 2012. And property crime rates were sky high during Bush's term as well.

Here is a snippet below, and my question for ATS is out of these 7 theories which one do you believe has been most effective towards the decrease in crime and why? If you have a theory that is not one of the 7 below please feel free to add your own theory.

"After World War II, crime rates increased in the United States, peaking from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Violent crime nearly quadrupled between 1960 and its peak in 1991. Property crime more than doubled over the same period. Since the 1990s, however, crime in the United States has declined steeply. Several theories have been proposed to explain this decline:

1.The number of police officers increased considerably in the 1990s.[8]

2.On September 16, 1994, President Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act into law. Under the act, over $30 billion in federal aid was spent over a six year period to improve state and local law enforcement, prisons and crime prevention programs.[9] Proponents of the law, including the President, touted it as a lead contributor to the sharp drop in crime which occurred throughout the 1990s,[9] while critics have dismissed it as an unprecedented federal boondoggle.[9]

3.The prison population has been expanded since the mid-1970s.[8]

4.Starting in the mid-1980s, the crack coc aine market grew rapidly before declining again a decade later. Some authors have pointed towards the link between violent crimes and crack use.[8]

5.One hypothesis suggests a causal link between legalized abortion and the drop in crime during the 1990s.[10]

6.Changing demographics of an aging population has been cited for the drop in overall crime.[11]

7.Another hypothesis suggests reduced lead exposure as the cause; Scholar Mark A.R. Kleiman writes: "Given the decrease in lead exposure among children since the 1980s and the estimated effects of lead on crime, reduced lead exposure could easily explain a very large proportion—certainly more than half—of the crime decrease of the 1994-2004 period. A careful statistical study relating local changes in lead exposure to local crime rates estimates the fraction of the crime decline due to lead reduction as greater than 90 percent. [12]"

www.ask.com...


P.S. this is my first thread here so I hope it's in the right forum

Thanks!




posted on May, 21 2015 @ 11:21 PM
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a reply to: Illumin

I hate to say it because I don't agree with the guidelines. But one theory that was left out was the recidivism rate on returning convicts.

The 90s were big on mandatory minimum sentences and 85% prison time served.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: Illumin

I have to agree with Greathouse. I've worked in and around the criminal justice system and I can tell you precisely why the statistics for crime show a dramatic decrease.
1) The creation and proliferation of the "For Profit" Prison industry. In a deal signed by my State with a Prison Corporation, the State, get this, the State has to pay penalty fees to the Corporation if a certain number of people are not supplied to the Prison corporation. This has created a situation where Criminal District Court Judges are in effect being given quotas, i.e., told they must supply X number of people to the Prison System a month. Thus, if you're only standing in a room or store where a crime happens, you're likely going to be charged with something even though you may only be an innocent bystander.
2) Because of the situation described in item 1 above, more people are being charged with Felony offenses where in the past, the charge would have been reduced to a misdemeanor. That's because Felony crimes invoke "Penitentiary" or "State Prison" system sentences.
3) Because of the situation described in item 1 above, Felons are now serving 90 to 95% of their sentences, and once paroled, they can be assured of having their Paroles revoked and they're hauled back into the Prison system, sometimes with additional time being added on to their original offense sentence.

I could go on but I'm tired. Beware of one thing however, that is that the Numbers being reported are entirely bogus. The FBI and Obama's Justice Department have changed up the reporting system much like the Bureau of Labor Statistics has changed their system of reporting unemployment. So the net decrease in Crime is not what it seems. Yes, there's been a decrease, but not as dramatic as that which is being reported.

Cheers.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 07:46 AM
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a reply to: Illumin

I would be willing to bet that under Obama's administration WHITE collar crime is WAY up because he totally caters to the wealthy corporatocracy even More-so than a lot of Presidents have previously

Great first thread Illumin - thanks for sharing. Interesting topic and some good research



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:11 AM
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a reply to: Illumin

what you found was already known: crime in America is plummeting since leaded gas was outlawed in the late 80's. There are studies proving a near identical correlation on neighborhood by neighborhood level between lead contamination and violent crime.

this has nothing to do with Bush, OBama, our amazing FBI and their magical entrapment cases....this is just about us not being poisoned with lead en masse.

And yet imprisonment continues to increase. Go figure.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:33 AM
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I don't think crime is down. Some one is fudging the figures.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:45 AM
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Really a combination of things.

1) It's being reported differently. There's a reason statistics are called "lies, damn lies".

2) The lead factor.

3) Convicts serving more time.

4) The prison corporation mentality.

5) Many states legalizing pot, so having a legal narcotic drives demand (and crime) down involving the heavier stuff. This is a relatively new factor, so we won't see a big impact until a few years.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:46 AM
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Here is some linkage to chew on:

www.motherjones.com...

(yeah, not a fan of MotherJones....but the article is good)



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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Many folks think crime has increased because of the 24/7 media. Crime was pretty bad in the 80s when I was growing up but you really didn't get bombarded with the stories because you only had the local 6pm news. Now you have internet, 24 hour news, etc so you see more stories that probably would not have been reported before.

Crime is also highly concentrated in low income urban black neighborhoods. Just a reality. When you look at murder and violent crime stats on a per capita basis, it is largely a black problem and to a lesser degree, Hispanic.

I think the high incarceration rates has helped reduce crime some. However, I don't think it does anything to break the cycle of crime because it removes fathers from the community. Kids with no fathers around are much more likely to fall into a life of crime and so you just create a new generation of thugs.

I'm a tough on crime guy, but the prison system is obviously failing. I'd rather see a lot of the non-violent perps out of jail and that money spent on education, rehab, etc. Maybe create a nightswatch and put some of these guys in the military. IMHO, jail should be for those who commit violent crimes - attempted murder, rape, Chomos, etc.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 10:05 AM
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originally posted by: Edumakated
Many folks think crime has increased because of the 24/7 media. Crime was pretty bad in the 80s when I was growing up but you really didn't get bombarded with the stories because you only had the local 6pm news. Now you have internet, 24 hour news, etc so you see more stories that probably would not have been reported before.

Crime is also highly concentrated in low income urban black neighborhoods. Just a reality. When you look at murder and violent crime stats on a per capita basis, it is largely a black problem and to a lesser degree, Hispanic.

I think the high incarceration rates has helped reduce crime some. However, I don't think it does anything to break the cycle of crime because it removes fathers from the community. Kids with no fathers around are much more likely to fall into a life of crime and so you just create a new generation of thugs.

I'm a tough on crime guy, but the prison system is obviously failing. I'd rather see a lot of the non-violent perps out of jail and that money spent on education, rehab, etc. Maybe create a nightswatch and put some of these guys in the military. IMHO, jail should be for those who commit violent crimes - attempted murder, rape, Chomos, etc.


Misattributed correlation.

Being black or hispanic doesn't make you more violent.

The simple fact is: urban areas have insanely high amounts of lead contamination compared to rural areas. The "white flight" of the 70s and 80s ensured that inner cities were left with mostly minorities. When they say "the meek shall inherit the Earth", they don't mention that the Earth they inherit will be contaminated with lead, and would be the cause of the biggest spike in violent crime in human history.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan

originally posted by: Edumakated
Many folks think crime has increased because of the 24/7 media. Crime was pretty bad in the 80s when I was growing up but you really didn't get bombarded with the stories because you only had the local 6pm news. Now you have internet, 24 hour news, etc so you see more stories that probably would not have been reported before.

Crime is also highly concentrated in low income urban black neighborhoods. Just a reality. When you look at murder and violent crime stats on a per capita basis, it is largely a black problem and to a lesser degree, Hispanic.

I think the high incarceration rates has helped reduce crime some. However, I don't think it does anything to break the cycle of crime because it removes fathers from the community. Kids with no fathers around are much more likely to fall into a life of crime and so you just create a new generation of thugs.

I'm a tough on crime guy, but the prison system is obviously failing. I'd rather see a lot of the non-violent perps out of jail and that money spent on education, rehab, etc. Maybe create a nightswatch and put some of these guys in the military. IMHO, jail should be for those who commit violent crimes - attempted murder, rape, Chomos, etc.


Misattributed correlation.

Being black or hispanic doesn't make you more violent.

The simple fact is: urban areas have insanely high amounts of lead contamination compared to rural areas. The "white flight" of the 70s and 80s ensured that inner cities were left with mostly minorities. When they say "the meek shall inherit the Earth", they don't mention that the Earth they inherit will be contaminated with lead, and would be the cause of the biggest spike in violent crime in human history.


I never said being black or Hispanic makes you more violent. I said that violent crime is largely concentrated in low income urban black neighborhoods. Look up murder stats by race. We can argue all day about why, but the fact of the matter is that unless you argue the FBI is faking their numbers, blacks and to a lesser degree, Hispanics are more engaged in violent crime at exponentially higher levels on a per capita basis. I'd even argue the same occurs even in rural areas.

I live in Chicago and of the 400 or so murders every year, less than 10 of the victims / perpetrators are white. Something like 75% are black with the balance being Hispanic. This is in a city that is only 32% black.

I point this out because I often see a lot rural / suburban folks worried about crime when if you look at the stats, they really have nothing to be concerned about. The day to day violent crime is highly concentrated in certain areas of large urban cities.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Wait...so you are saying that in rural areas the crime is mostly black and hispanic folks, and that the statistics you see in inner cities holds true in rural areas as well?



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Here some images that should help. You are from Chicago....here is a poverty map:



And here is a crime map:



And here is lead contamination:




Imagine that: the most contaminated areas are where the poor get stuck living....and its also where the crime is highest. Also, notice that with decreasing lead contamination, crime decreases.

Yes...a bunch of correlative evidence. No proof. But the evidence is strong enough that I need no more proof. Because you can do this exact same exercise in every major city in the US, and get the exact same results: poor people get pushed into contaminated areas, and suffer the ill effects of that contamination. Such as:



Imagine that: as lead contaminants decrease in Chicago, child math scores improve.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 11:20 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: Edumakated

Wait...so you are saying that in rural areas the crime is mostly black and hispanic folks, and that the statistics you see in inner cities holds true in rural areas as well?



In many rural areas, you still have lower income minority neighborhoods with high crime. So while the overall area may not be considered "urban" in the traditional sense, there are still certain high crime areas concentrated in lower income minority areas.

In regards, to your map the poorer areas do correlate with lead. But as you know, correlation does not equal causation. The high levels of lead are probably because the housing stock in those areas is not as good. However, if lead were solely the cause, why did we not see as much murder and mayhem among other populations who also are exposed to the same levels?

The lead didn't just appear in those neighborhoods. The housing stock in those areas in many cases exceed 100 years old. Many of these communities actually used to be integrated till the 60s / 70s. If lead were the cause, why wasn't the white population living in those communities killing each other at the same levels?

I believe the bigger correlation is the break down of family as in many of these areas something like 90% or more of the kids don't have fathers in the home. All this crime and mayhem didn't start till the 70s which ironically also correlates to high usage of the welfare state. You see an almost direct correlation in the black community between increases in the welfare state, single parent homes, and crime over this period.

The pattern repeats itself in the white community too. it just isn't as highly concentrated right now.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Using the below map of lead contamination by district in Chicago:



Can you correlate the "white neighborhoods" with the heavily contaminated ones? What i see is:



a very segregated city, with the heaviest contamination in the same areas with the least amount of white people.

To argue that lead has no measurable effect on the developing brain of children at levels that were deemed acceptable in the 1980's seems to be absurd.


It is well known that exposure to lead has numerous adverse effects on behavior and development. Using data on two cohorts of children from the NLSY, this paper investigates the effect of early childhood lead exposure on behavior problems from childhood through early adulthood. I find large negative consequences of early childhood lead exposure, in the form of an unfolding series of adverse behavioral outcomes: behavior problems as a child, pregnancy and aggression as a teen, and criminal behavior as a young adult. At the levels of lead that were the norm in United States until the late 1980s, estimated elasticities of these behaviors with respect to lead range between 0.1 and 1.0.


www.nber.org...



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:19 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

You are missing my point. Many of those neighborhoods were white PRIOR to the time period and most assuredly had lead paint, etc in those same homes. However, I've yet to see any stats showing the same levels of violence and mayhem. If it were solely caused by lead, you'd expect to see the same levels of violence.

I'm not arguing that lead exposure is good or not harmful, I just don't think it necessarily explains the cultural dysfunction found in those areas. The correlation is suspect imho.



posted on May, 22 2015 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Lead based paint is miniscule compared to the lead pumped into the atmosphere by cars during the suburban movement post WWII. Those areas....most densely populated parts of that community. The most buses, congestion, cars, and especially the cars of the lower income (i.e., older and lacking emissions control).

Sure, there was lead contamination anywhere there were cars. But more cars, even when sitting idle, equates to more lead pumped into the atmosphere. The drops in blood levels is a direct result of the banning of leaded gasoline. All the other lead...miniscule in comparison.

And if this correlation was only seen in Chicago...i'd buy that it wasn't evidence of anything other than coincidence. But this same exercise can be done in every single major US city, and the same results happen: the areas with the highest violent crime are those with the:

- highest lead contamination
- highest concentration of minorities
- lowest income
- lowest performing schools

Not just one or two....but all. And as lead contaminants reduce, violent crime reduces as does general cognition among students.
edit on 5/22/2015 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)




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