Running Head: Crime in America
Economics, Crime, and Prevention in America
Clara m. Jones
Instructor: Dr. Astiage Tondari
Economics 405: Economics of Social Issues
June 7, 2012
Economic theories of crime have long been put forward in an attempt to explain criminality. They undertake to explain crime in terms of economic reasons as we as in terms of the structuring of society. Two of the most prolific of these theories look at the country of America and present differing explanations of the causes of crime in this country (Merton 1938; 1949; 1957; 1968; 1995; 1997; 1999; Clubb, 2001). Robert Merton seeks to explain crime in terms of a strain to anomie’ ...view middle of the document...
What we call criminal activity has been with us since dawn of history, crime control has long been a primary concern of politicians and government leaders. l worldwide. Still the Americans experience with crime during the last half of the century has been especially influential in shaping the criminal justice system of today. In our country crime waves have come and gone, including 1850-1880 crime epidemic, which was apparently related to social upheaval caused by large-scale immigration and the Civil War. A spurt of widespread organized criminal activity was associated with Prohibition years of early twentieth century. Following World War II, however, American crime rates remained relatively stable until the 1960s (Schmalleger, 2009).
Economically with Crime There Will Always Be Some Cost
There are four categories of crime listed in the textbook, and they are (1) violent crimes. (2) Crimes against property, (3) traffic in illegal goods and services and, (4) other crimes. Violent crimes are crimes against persons. These include murder, rape aggravated assault, and arm robbery. Crimes against property consist include such things as fraud, burglary, theft, embezzlement, forgery, arson, vandalism. Traffic in illegal goods and services are made up of dealings such things as gambling, narcotics, loan-sharking, prostitution, and alcohol. The “other crimes” classification is of course a catchall for every from nonpayment of alimony to speeding. Crimes are thought to be a very serious problem in the United State (Sharpe, Register & Grimes, 2010). Turning points were not precisely the same for each category, it was roughly summarized by saying that crime decreased during the early 1980s and continued to fall until about 1985, which time it increased again the early 1990s and has generally declined since until 1990s, and has generally declined since, though there was a slight uptick in violent crimes in 2005 and 2006.
Economic Cost of Crime
Crime having an economic cost is certain. The measurement of those costs, however, is at present very inaccurate. Many criminal activities go unreported is at present very inaccurate. First there I criminal activity that go unreported. Second, an accurate dollar value cannot be attached to the cost of those crimes that are reported. Nevertheless estimates of the costs of crime are necessary if decision making regarding the level of crime prevention activities is to have any degree of economic soundness. The better the estimates, the better the decisions can be made. The basis for measuring the cost of crime is the opportunity cost principle. The net economic cost of crime to the society is thus the difference between what the gross domestic product (GDP) would be if were neither criminal, nor crime prevention activities and what GDP and currently is, given present criminal and crime prevention activities. Current reports on crime are concerned solely with the number of crimes committed, not with dollar...