The Causation of Crime in the United States – How It Has Spiked
The Causation of Crime in the United States – How It Has Spiked
The Covid-19 pandemic has, for the last six months, impacted economic, social, and political structures globally in different ways. This crisis’s distinctive element is the “stay at home orders” to limit the spread and protect life. These initiatives indicated a reduction in mass interactions and activities associated, therefore affecting many social activities. However, there existed exceptions to that rule; “the essential” workers or service providers who were allowed to operate past the curfew or restrictive hours. Practically, during night hours, the whole Nation ceased or essentially reduced activities that attracted social gatherings. Statistics and poll opinions conducted during March indicated that a massive population, including providers of essential services, preferred staying at home. (Stickle, & Felson, 2020, p. 525-536). Ultimately, the “stay at home” resulted in a drastic change in people’s social livelihood and conduct across the United States. Therefore, a positive outcome of these trends indicates a notable drop in the crime rate.
As per the statistics and research provided on the FBI public database, the surfacing of the pandemic introduced a significant shift in terms of crime rates across the United States. Prudent to say, the graph of crime rates in cities and towns became irregular. However, change has been absolute in the past six months due to the Covid 19 pandemic. A distinctive scenario is depicted in San Francisco and Auckland, where the Stay at home rules was issued earlier than other places, but the crime rates and crime prevalence still stand at a constant stage. During the first five weeks of the restrictions, shops and retailers in Chicago reported a 74% decrease in crimes involving robbery and burglary. This indicated inconsistency and shifting of the criminal activities due to the effect of the restrictions issued (Stalans, & Finn, 2016).
The FBI reports further indicated that burglary declined in Memphis and Boston; conversely, the rate of assaults in public dropped in only Louisville. However, these preliminary reports indicate that criminal activities have changed distinctively across diverse levels, locations, and periods. These alarming shifts and numbers in crime raise the question, “why have criminal activities spiked unpredictably?” The information and chance on criminal researchers will issue comprehensive coverage on the extent to which the acts influence the community and the ability to undertake actions. Prudently the statistics issued above will guide the discussion on how crime has developed or changed over the past six months.
At the advent of the Covid -19, preventive measures like lockdown and stay at home, poverty aspects, and social inequality did not change abruptly. Relatively, there were specific issues and elements of the society that changed. Part of the community developed strain and stress over the fear of the unforeseen. Admittedly, punitive solutions to crime, for instance, deterrence, were limited and or ceased due to the shutting down of court in various states. The fear of the unforeseen risk attributed to the pandemic constrained the systems to relax their crime prevention efforts and specifically arrests. Subsequently, police reduced their engagement with the people or masses in the spirit of social distancing, and detainees awaiting trial were released to reduce congestion in the facilities.
The current situation has defied some of the theories defining criminal activities due to the abrupt crime decline. I firmly trust that the current change in crime resulting from the Covid 19 pandemic will provide a challenge for the theories to prove criminal conduct. The principal element of the drop in criminal acts during the pandemic is the rules and orders relating to “stay at home” and lockdown to state and places. The orders indicated that people should stay in their places and only come out or interact, save for “essential” services, such as seeking medical care, obtaining food and banking, and any other activity that needed or expressed utmost urgency. The government efforts towards curbing the pandemic changed the everyday activities, and that it was the only variable that shifted before a significant fall in criminal activities around the Nation.
Notably, a detailed report showed a rise in crime for the first two months or the first sixty-five days indicated by the FBI. As the Stay at home rules continued to prevail, the criminal justice systems and enforcement bodies were limited to act in fear of spreading. As time moved, the Stay at home measures continued, and the convicts or people with past criminal records were left to the general population. As much as the dissolution of social gatherings limited their activities, the criminals had to find new tactics of undertaking their criminal acts. Therefore the gradual rise of crime in Atlanta as above expressed by the FBI statistics results from relaxed laws on arrest and apprehension.
Further, crimes reported in the last two months involved cyber-crimes and computer and data theft in various institutions. This can be attributed to the nature of change in the day to day activities. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) also recorded a decrease in foreign and unlawful immigration into the United States. The importation of illicit and untaxed items was still prevalent in the month of July and August, recording a flat curve in terms of crimes related to immigration. With the change in nature and the causation of crimes as expressed herein, it is prudent to highlight the theories illustrating crime.
Theories of crime
The biological theory draws a linkage and a connection between the biological conditions and the likelihood of a criminal act. This principle was deduced by an Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso. He drew reference from the skull of a human being to express how facial features draw criminal similarities. The theory has, over time, developed significantly to raise issues like criminal activities between twins or adopted children. The biological theory elaborates that (monozygotic) or identical twins bear parallel character regarding crime compared to fraternal twins who have distinctive character interns of crime. (Carrington, & Hogg, 2017 p. 181-197).The theory has further advanced to depict biological aspects with high aggressiveness and resulting in crime; this often may involve a person getting intoxicated and their prevalence of criminal activities.
The psychological theory aims at examining unruly or errant conduct by drawing reference from one’s personality. The mind plays an integral role in the conduct of a human being to the extent the person may react to a situation. For instance, the aspect of antisocial personality disorder, this condition is connected with the likelihood of committing a crime. However, it is shown that proving the same may be difficult in some instances. The psychological condition and place of a person or child who has grown in a violent family may indicate valuable information in terms of this aspect.
The sociological theory is a celebrated principle in criminology. The theory indicates that criminal behavior is learned to conduct either by either peers or society. The more everyday people are associated with criminals, the higher the likelihood that they will be criminals. The theory has further extended to explain that prisons should strictly aim at rehabilitation. If first-time offenders are incarcerated with regular offenders, it only increases the first-time offender’s criminal mind. The theory also explains that a person’s ability or a fragile mind to resist crime depends on the people around that person. These people must be of significant influence, and that the theory prevails only on personal influencing aspects. The sociological theory also presents the aspect of neutralization; this element indicates that it is complex to uproot extensive criminal prevalence; hence the neutralization aspect indicates that the society may still bear criminal thoughts but fail to conduct acts according to their thoughts.
In conclusion, the current changes in crime rates are admittedly influenced by the current pandemic, and that the theories play a role in defining the place of criminal behavior in a society. Further, advanced theories suggest that crime rates shift according to the nature of daily activities; therefore, the instability in crime rates across the United States is justified by the pandemic over the past six months. Summarily, criminologists momentarily aim to focus on developing aspects in the community connected with relatively minor advancements in crime rates; this extends to the issues in individuals associated with relatively minor advancements in the likelihood that they will commit crimes.
Carrington, K., & Hogg, R. (2017). Deconstructing criminology’s origin stories. Asian journal of criminology, 12(3), 181-197.
Stalans, L. J., & Finn, M. A. (2016). Understanding how the internet facilitates crime and deviance.
Stickle, B., & Felson, M. (2020). Crime rates in a pandemic: The largest criminological experiment in history. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 45(4), 525-536.