John Jay College Name: Osman WaheedCJBS 415 Date: 01/08/2018
Prof. Dr. Maria Haberfeld
Short Assignment #1
Crime has been steadily dropping in American, yet compared to other developed countries lethal violence is still up. In all categories crime has gone down, even in homicides yet America still has a violent culture. Some cities with the strictest gun laws still battle against high rates of shooting and violent crime. One reason for this could be the enormous gun culture the United States has in many states. The laws vary state by state and the laws can go from strict to lax. Also, the large population can attribute to the violent crime more people, more crime. In addition to this America also has the most diverse population in the world with people from all over living in the United States. This makes the United States unique, no other country is as diverse and the laws can differ from state to state making it harder to pinpoint the exact problem.
In America crime has been dropping little by little since 1990’s in every category. In 1990 the violent crime rate was 730 per 100,000 and in 2015 the violent crime rate has gone down to 373 per 100,000 in the United States (Law Street). According to Blumstein between 1990 and 2000 there has been a decline in murder and robberies in the United States by 40 percent. In New York alone homicides fell from 31 per 100,000 to 11 per 100,000 between 1990 and 1997 (Davis, Mateu-Gelabert, ; Miller, 2005). New York is not the only city to see this type of reduction. During this time the nation as a whole was seeing a reduction in overall crime. Yet, if the United States was compared to other developed nation the violent crime rate is still high. In America there are 29.7 homicides per 1 million due to firearms (Lopez, 2017). In Canada the nation we border it is 5.1 homicides per 1 million due to firearms (Lopez, 2017). That is six times more that Canada and we border that nation, yet they have six times less homicides cause of firearms. Reason why America has more deaths due to firearms is because of the gun culture within this country. America only makes up 4.4 percent of the world’s population but it makes up for half of the civilian owned guns around the world (Lopez, 2017). There are 644 million civilian owned guns in the world and forty two percent of those guns are in the United States (Lopez, 2017). It is safe to say that regardless of all the laws and regulations in place for guns many people own them. These guns placed in the wrong hands are the reason for the lethal violence in America.
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting there have been 1,500 more mass shooting (Lopez, 2017). In this case a mass shooting is defined as shooting were four or more people have been shot (Lopez, 2017). According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development the United States is a society where more people die violently when compared to other developed countries (Healy, 2017). One explanation is the availability of guns and the amount of people in the United States that own them. While violent crime has been decreasing it is still more than what other developed nations are experiencing.
The violence problem in the United States stems from the fact that guns are much more available than in other nations. Even with the gun laws and rules and regulations criminals find their ways around it whether they take it from a family member or friend who legally owns it. Preventing this is a difficult task and hard for the government to track. These guns sometimes end up in the hands of gang members which can be use to commit violent crimes. In many cities in the United States gang violence is an issue that they are dealing with and the availability of guns give these gangs the fuel to commit their crimes. As long as there is a buyer someone is willing to sell a firearm to them.
In the early 1990’s the criminal justice system was focused on mass incarceration of criminals. The attitude was lock them up and throw away the key; rehabilitation was not the number one priorities. In NYC the police department was following the broken windows theory. The broken windows theory was about focusing on the minor crimes to prevent the big one. Example would be stopping people who are drinking at 6 pm to prevent a robbery at 11 pm when the individuals are drunk. Many cities in the United States had this tough on crime outlook. As time progressed, crime went down all across the United States. This caused police departments and local governments across the United States to reevaluate their police strategy. The strategy changed to a more community focus in order to reduce violent crime. The idea of justice changed from arresting and incarcerating, to being able to rehabilitate a person to become a functional member of society.
The reduction in crime has been so dramatic in parts of the United States that perspective on how it should be handled has changed. While violent crime is still an issue that America faces, they will have to find new ways to combat it. The perspective on how crime and criminals have changed and community policing is being introduced into many cities. The people of the community are being asking to help the police by working together and not against each other.
Crime has been dropping in America since the 1990’s. Still compared to other developed nations the United States has more violent crime, even with the drop in crime. Many factors can cause this from the large gun culture that is popular in America to the diverse nature that the United States holds. The perspective on crime has changed from being tough on crime to attempting to give people a second chance. Also, with community policing building relationships with the local community to prevent violent crimes has become increasingly popular. The concept of justice also changed to be about rehabilitating offenders, instead of locking them away.
Blumstein, A., & Wallman, J. (Eds.). (2006). The crime drop in America. Cambridge University PressDavis, R. C., Mateu-Gelabert, P., & Miller, J. (2005). Can Effective Policing Also Be Respectful? Two Examples in the South Bronx. Police Quarterly,8(2), 229-247. doi:10.1177/1098611104269531
Healy, Kieran. (2017, November 5) America is a violent country. Retrived from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/03/america-is-a-violent- country/?utm_term=.b7285d0deadc
Law Street. Crime in America Interactive Statistics: Trends in America’s Largest Cities. (n.d.). Retrieved January 08, 2018, from https://lawstreetmedia.com/crime-statistics-trends-dashboard/
Lopez, German. (2017, November 5). America’s unique gun violence problem, explained in 17 maps and charts. Retrieved from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/2/16399418/us-gun-violence-statistics-maps-charts
John Jay College Name: Osman WaheedCJBS 415 Date: 01/08/2018