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NCJ Number: 119366 Find in a Library
Title: Social Change and the Future of Violent Crime (From Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime, P 235-250, 1989, Ted Robert Gurr, ed. -- See NCJ-119355)
Author(s): W G Skogan
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Violent crime in the United States in the last 25 years is examined in terms of the influence of three factors: demographic characteristics, economic hardship, and family and community social disorganization.
Abstract: Discussion of these factors inevitably involves a discussion of race, because most of the factors that seem to lead to crime are disproportionately concentrated among black Americans and thus this relatively small group's condition and experiences disproportionately affect the crime problem affecting the nation as a whole. The available data show steadily increasing rates of violence in the United States since the mid-1950's. However, the more serious types of crime are less common than less serious forms. Crime is disproportionately concentrated among youthful males, particularly those under age 25. Blacks are also overrepresented in those arrested for violent crimes. Their overrepresentation in the group aged 15 to 24 has contributed to increases in the national crime rate over time. Data on economic hardship also suggest direct and indirect connections between local factors and local rates of property and violent crime. Finally, social disorganization as indicated by illegitimacy, teenage mothers, divorce, and single-adult families all show connections with trends in violent crime. Overall, the changes in the age structure suggest that violent crime will decrease for the rest of the century, but that the racial distribution of high-risk individuals and the worsening economic conditions and family disorganization among whites as well as blacks and Hispanics will increase the group at risk and increase crime rates. Figures and reference notes.
Main Term(s): Society-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Demography; Economic influences; Future trends; Social change; Social cohesion
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