Can Crime Control Be Justified? Essay

1341 words - 5 pages

Over time, our nation has swung the balance towards the crime control model and thus puts more and more emphasis on the reduction of street level crime. Street level crime consists of everything from burglary, rape, and all types of drug felonies. These crimes cost American people millions of dollars a year, whether it is in direct effect from a crime or it has to do with the after affects of a crime.With the increase of the assembly line effect, the cost of crime has risen dramatically over the years. One has to take into account all that goes into the criminal justice system. Estimates suggest that incarceration in the United States costs over $20 billion annually, with over 11 million new admissions a year. The cost of the victim also has to be taken into account. These are the major economic costs that go along with crime. They include; the value of property stolen or damaged, medical costs coming from injuries sustained, the cost of lost production from the victims job, the new preventive measures a victim and his family might take to protect themselves from further harm, and the economic costs caused by sociological problems. These problems that result from being a victim include a new fear, helplessness, loneliness, and a new aberrant behavior. In a study done by Gallup Polls, 50 - 55% of people said they were afraid to walk alone at night, 55% of people polled said they would become a victim of a crime in the future, and 25 - 30% surveyed said that the issue of crime is at the forefront of their minds . These numbers show how crime affects the common person.Crime costs in all areas. If we have to pay for it all we eventually have to take away from other things. For every dollar we spend on fighting crime, we take away from other social services, which include but are not limited to, education, public health, and the infrastructure of roads and bridges. Ironically, crime funding may intensify criminogenic factors. Less money for education means less access to education. Less education can lead to less opportunity for legitimate success, leading in turn to conditions of strain and hopelessness, which historically have been associated to increased risk for criminal like behavior. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, the total cost of state-issued bonds to build prisons surpasses the total issued to build colleges.We pay a lot for fighting and reducing crime, yet our approach to fighting crime has worked in some areas, but not in others. With our assembly line system, we may reduce the numbers of criminals on the street for that very instant, but another will step up. We can never fully reduce all street level crimes, but we can control them. Our nation has taken several steps, which include, the three strikes law, mandatory sentencing, the elimination of parole at the federal level, the reduction of the amount of parole at the federal level, and an increase in the seeking of the death penalty. All these steps, in...

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