Decreasing Crime Rates in the U.S.

Crime rates have always been a source of stress and worry. Luckily, in recent years the crime rate in the United States has been decreasing. There is no single, overpowering reason why this has happened but there are multiple factors that contribute to this result. One of the more popular ideas to reduce crime rate is incarceration, but that is not the most effective way to reduce crime.

Myth About Crime Rates

A big myth surrounding crime rates is the idea that the more criminals who are jailed, the less crime there will be. This has been proved wrong by several studies that show jail time and crime rates are not directly linked. Most of the people who get jail time are people who have committed non-violent crimes or are in holding until their trial is finished.

Incarceration and Crime Relationship

High crime rates are not a direct cause and effect of low body counts in jails. Most criminal defense lawyers will agree that having a lot of people in jail does not make the streets safer. In fact, the “criminogenic effect” that happens to people while inside prison may encourage violent behavior due to the anti-social atmosphere.

Other Factors Affecting Crime Rates

Since there is no foolproof way to make crime rates plummet, several factors must be taken under consideration. For example, growth or shrinking incomes, employment status, age, presence of police, and amount of alcohol consumption are all different reasons why crime may rise or fall depending on geographic region.

Citizens Contribution in Fighting Crime

Due to the uncertainty of what affects crime as a whole, there is no one way to fight crime as average citizens. What can help is when each community forms a neighborhood watch program to let criminals know that they are being watched and are not wanted in that part of town. Of course the best thing to do is to call the police when suspicious activity is spotted in the neighborhood and let them promptly handle the situation.