Unit 6-Chapter 22
Chapter 22: The Causes of Crime

Theories and Approaches | Social and Cultural Factors | Individual and Situational Factors

Theories and Approaches

Leading Causes of Death Reports Government statistics on the causes of death. (Centers for Disease Control)
Division of Violence Prevention Run by the Centers for Disease Control, it has four priority areas for violence prevention: youth violence, family and intimate violence, suicide, and firearm injuries.
Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence Research and databases on violence. (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Map & Graph: Crime: Murders (per capita) Data on the murder rates in most countries of the world. (NationMaster)

Social and Cultural Factors

Poverty, Unemployment, and Racial Discrimination

Concentrating Poverty Breeds Violence A 1996 article reports that concentrating poverty breeds violence. Scroll down to find the article. (Population Today)
Higher Crime Rate Linked to Low Wages and Unemployment, Study Finds Report of a long-term study linking poverty to crime. (Ohio State Research)
Poverty in the United States Statistics, publications, history, FAQs, and other information. (U.S. Census Bureau)
Overall Unemployment Rate in the Civilian Labor Force, 1920–2005 Statistical table. (InfoPlease)
Poverty, Inequality, and Crime Overview of how poverty and inequality can influence crime rates. (MegaLinks in Criminal Justice)
Labor Markets, Employment, and Crime (Text) (PDF) A research study. (National Institute of Justice)
Jobs and Crime A review of the book Crime and Work: What We Can Learn from the Low-Wage Labor Market. (United Auto Workers)

Child Abuse and Neglect

An Update on the Cycle of Violence (PDF file) Long-term study of victims of childhood neglect and abuse, examining whether a cycle of violence exists. (National Institute of Justice)
Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Recommendations to Improve the Criminal Justice Response to Child Victims and Witnesses (Text) (PDF) A 1999 report on how to treat children crime victims and witnesses. (Office for Victims of Crime)
Ten Critical Threats To America’s Children: Warning Signs for the Next Millennium (PDF file) A 1999 report. (National League of Cities, National School Boards Association, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, and Youth Crime Watch of America)

Values That Make Crime More Acceptable

Media

Children and TV Violence Fact sheet discussing the adverse effects of TV violence on children and teenagers. (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)
Violence in the Media Fact sheet on psychological research on the effects of TV and other media violence on children. (American Psychological Association)
Motion Picture Association (MPA) This organization serves as the advocate of the American motion picture, home video, and television industries. Among other things, the site contains information about movie ratings and TV parental guidelines.
National Television Violence Study This three-year study, funded by the National Cable Television Association, is a highly comprehensive scientific assessment of television violence.
Contributors to Violent Behavior Among Elementary and Middle School Children This study published examines the relative contributions of exposure to violence, parental monitoring, and television-viewing habits to children’s self-reported violent behaviors. (Pediatrics)
Trained to Kill This article by David Grossman, a military expert on the psychology of killing, argues that how today’s media conditions kids to pull the trigger. (Christianity Today)
What Makes Kids Kill? This 1998 article by Jon Katz argues that the media are not to blame but “the gun lobby is our modern equivalent of Murder, Inc.” (Wired)
Television Violence Monitoring Project An extensive UCLA study of violence on network television.
Can a Video Game Lead to Murder? Story of a murder spree allegedly caused by person who played Grand Theft Auto. (CBS 60 Minutes)
Online NewsHour: Violent Video Games
NewsHour Extra: Judge Weighs Ban on Video Game Sales A curriculum on this case study. (PBS)
Violent Media is Good for Kids Comic-book author Gerard Jones argues that violent media helps rather than hurts children. (Mother Jones) He expounds on this argument in a Fresh Air interview.

Individual and Situational Factors

Biology

Crime and Biology Links Links on the biological causes of crime. (Cybrary)
Crime Times Research reviews and information on the biological causes of criminal, violent, and psychopathic behavior. (Wacker Foundation)
The Evil Gene This article argues that there is little possibility of a gene for criminal behavior. (Research in Review)
Psychobiological Criminology Good overview of the possible effects on crime of hormones, neurotransmitters, and drugs. (MegaLinks in Criminal Justice)

Drugs and Alcohol

Alcohol and Crime A 1998 report. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)
NCJRS: Alcohol Publications and links from the federal government. (National Criminal Justice Reference Service)
NCJRS: Drugs and Crime Publications and links from the federal government. (National Criminal Justice Reference Service)

Guns

Join Together: Gun Violence A national resource for communities working to reduce gun violence. (Boston University School of Public Health)
National Rifle Association
Gun Owners of America A member organization that supports the rights of gun owners.
Brady Campaign to Stop Gun Violence A leading gun-control organization.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Fact Sheet: Handguns (American Public Health Association)

Rational Choice

Opportunity Makes the Thief (PDF file) Ronald Clarke and Marcus Felson argue that opportunity is a root cause of crime and illustrate how opportunity theories of crime assist thinking about crime prevention.
Situational Crime Prevention — Everybody’s Business Article by Ronald Clarke. (Australian Crime Prevention Council)
Reorienting Crime Prevention Research and Policy: From the Causes of Criminality to the Context of Crime (PDF) (Text) A research report advocating looking at the situations surrounding crime. (National Institute of Justice)
Situational Crime Prevention Resources Links to research articles, government and organization web sites, and other sites.
Situational Crime Prevention A clear explanation of the rational choice theory and many links to articles. (Center for Problem Oriented Policing)
Classical School Criminology An outline of the school of criminology that holds that criminals act rationally. (John Hamlin)
What Causes Crime? (PDF file) A brief overview of what is known about the causes of crime. (Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Australia)
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior An overview of recent research by Caitlin M. Jones, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Lecture Notes on Criminology Links to lecture notes on many different theories of crime. (MegaLinks in Criminal Justice)

 


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