Comprehensive View of Violence in America - Organized Crime (Under Construction!)
Frequently, and particularly in recent years, there has been a lot of debate on methods or approaches to solving crime in the U.S. Ranging from gun control, to increased presence of police, to decreased presence of police, a myriad of different approaches have been suggested to curbing violent crime, which has stirred up considerable national debate. While no singular option or avenue is capable of solving as complex and multifaceted an issue as crime, particularly violent crime, there are ways to shed light on the current situation to best formulate our approach to reducing crime.
Obviously, crime is a multifaceted issue, with a variety of different potential causes or influences. Ranging from socioeconomic issues, to wealth inequality, to culture, to the effectiveness of law enforcement, to technological development, to poverty levels, the prevalence of organized crime, and a general sense of randomness, there are many contributions to crime. While poverty is unequivocally associated with the success of criminals, there are incredibly poor communities, in particular tribal one's, which experience little to no crime, despite their lack of basic amenities. While wealth inequality often yields high crime rates, there are quixotically examples of countries with extremely wide margins between the rich and poor who do not possess such high crime rates, such as Switzerland. While technological developments, such as DNA processing or trace forensic analysis, help to catch criminals and therefore prevent future crime, technology also opens up new avenues of crime, such as computer hacking, financial manipulation, and even allows for more sophisticated weaponry (such as firearms or explosives) to come in to play. No single issue can be considered responsible for the prevalence of crime, and no single issue by itself can possibly have an influence on it's own. Crime doubling in one area may be ineffectual compared to another, when one has almost no crime to begin with. Just a handful of murders could offset the murder rates in countries like , which statistically have 0 homicides per year. Trying to find or process any singular factor to crime would be almost impossible to do, and blatantly ignores the basis of human behavior.
Poverty is associated with crime, but not all poor people are criminals. Technological development is associated with low crime, but not all low developed communities are rank with crime, and not all developed communities have low crime. Culture is associated with crime, but often times subcultures develop which ignore or even counter the existing culture, defying societal trends normalized for the majority of society which possess a strong anti-violence belief. Countries with all the right mixtures of low poverty and strong cultures may be ideal nesting places for criminal organizations, who drastically increase crime rates by their sophistication and infrastructure which allow the widescale smuggling of illegal contraband, such as drugs or firearms. Sometimes, crime is completely random. While crime in Germany by modern standards could be considered relatively low, just 70 years ago in 1945, nearly 20% of the population was killed off, in one of the worst genocides in modern history. Likely more people died in this single timeframe than will ever die from homicide in Germany for the next 1000 years (Homicide rate). Trying to pin-point exact reasons why crime is prevalent will yield little results. While general trends can be established, it's important to keep in mind that nothing can reliably predict crime rates, and that is it never a societies fault for their high crime rates, or why they are frequently victims. Crime simply happens, it is an element of human behavior found in almost every culture and society of the world.
The Hard Maths
At some point, the only way to dispel certain myths or beliefs, or to have a legitimate concrete basis, is to look at the facts and statistics. While human behavior is a complex issue, there are certain trends in human behavior which can at the very least by analyzed. While they aren't indicative of ultimate solutions in any case, they can present a common thread among them.
Organized crime - Career Criminals
According to the FBI, roughly 48% of violent crime in the U.S. is committed by organized crime, and that is what is proven. Roughly 45% (Page 30) of homicides were committed by organized crime, with 40% of it alone being committed in large cities (57.7% * 69.6% = 40.1592% ). While the definition of gang related varies, in general these definitions refer to crimes committed by a gang member, compared to crimes which were proven to be committed in order to advance the goals of the gang. Because only 64% of homicides have resulted in a conviction for a murderer, this represents just a fraction of all crimes which have been proven, with estimates suggesting much higher rates of violent crime of gangs (up to 90% in some jurisdictions). Disregarding potentially higher estimates, nearly half of all violent crime and homicide are correlated directly with organized crime. Despite this, out of a country of approximately 321 million people, there are only approximately 1.4 million gang members, including street and prison gangs. This correlates to approximately 1 in 229, or .436% of the population being responsible for roughly 48% of the crime, being over 100 times more likely to commit violent crimes than the average population. In fact, the average person's murder rate is taken up disproportionately by organized crime, making the rate compared to non-gang members effectively over 200 times higher, or 220. A tiny fraction of the population is responsible for the majority of violence in this country, with the entire rest of the population, or the other 99.5%, responsible for just 50%. Among these, a small percentage of repeat offenders are generally responsible for the majority of the violent crimes.
According to the BJS, An estimated two-thirds (68 percent) of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years of release from prison, and three-quarters (77 percent) were arrested within five years. Recidivism rates are unusually high, with most career criminals committing multiple crimes in their life, while the average person will rarely commit a major crime. Around 1 percent of the population is responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes. The average rapist will rape 5.8 people in their lifetime. An unknown number of these criminals are enabled by criminal organizations which sell their products, be them weapons, drugs or even people, whom wouldn't have or have been be able to commit their crimes otherwise. A small percentage of career criminals are responsible for the vast majority of violent crimes in this country.
It's no secret that poverty is explicabley linked with crime.
Demographics and Prison
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