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Drugs and Crime

Discuss in detail the three contextual relationships between drug use and crime using examples from the newspapers, internet, or other professional or public journals. Your conclusion should include a comparative analysis of these relationships from your perspective, indicating which one invokes the greatest social threat.

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I also attached two excellent articles to also consider for your final paper.


1. Discuss in detail the three contextual relationships between drug use and crime using examples from the newspapers, Internet, or other professional or public journals. Your conclusion should include a comparative analysis of these relationships from your perspective, indicating which one invokes the greatest social threat.

Three contextual relationships between drug use and crime are family, school and neighborhood. These contextual relationships are linked to income inequality and education, because income inequality is linked to an increase in crime in lower income neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhoods: Drug use and Crime Relationship

Neighbourhoods are considered a contextual link between drug use and crime through age (youth) and socio-economic status of the neighborhood (high or low). Lower socio-economic neighborhoods also are linked to higher drug use, family violence and other variables that often perpetrate youth to become in, drug, gangs and crime. Race plays a role in family composition, as well the choice of neighborhood and income level of the family. That is, youth from higher socio-economic family compositions are more likely to not use drugs or be involved in drug use or drug crimes.

For example, in Chiu and Madden found that "richer neighbourhoods may have lower crime rates than poorer neighbourhoods because they may have a lower relative differential income inequality or because the richest households in the richer neighbourhoods adopt an effective defence technology against burglary" (p. 135).

There has been renewed interest in the possible use of employment programs for disadvantaged male youth as a policy to reduce drug crime, but little evidence exists on the youth employment/drug crime relationship and theory suggests that these programs may increase rather than decrease the amount of drug crime. Ihlanfeldt, for example, employed panel data at the neighborhood level are used to investigate the relationship between drug crime and young males' intraurban job accessibility. Results obtained from models that control for time and fixed effects, as well as other potential sources of bias, suggest that modest improvements in job access can substantially reduce the amount of drug crime within poor inner-city neighborhoods. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/rest.89.1.151?cookieSet=1

According to Freeman (1991) the higher income level of the "already rich" neighborhoods have had two important effects on crime; first, "the more money in the hands of the wealthy, the more lucrative is robbery or burglary, and the greater is the potential demand by wealthy for illegal consumption items such as drugs" and second, "the exogenous growth of criminal opportunities due to innovation and expansion of the drug business is also likely to have contributed to rise in youth crime" (p. 22). Freeman suggest that to improve less educated skills and to increase their legitimate opportunities should be part of any crime reduction programs.

In 2004, the Washington State Population (2004 WSPS) survey asked half of its respondents a new set of questions pertaining to the respondent's awareness of serious crime in their neighborhood in the past 12 months. These questions were originally part of the 1998 Criminal Victimization and Perceptions of Community Safety in 12 Cities Survey. The types of crimes that were asked about ranged from knowledge of drug crimes and theft to knowledge of violent crimes. The 2004 WSPS results are shown in Figure 1 (see http://www.ofm.wa.gov/researchbriefs/brief035.pdf).

? In the prior year, 18 percent of respondents said people in their neighborhood were openly selling drugs and 15 percent of respondents said people in their neighborhood had openly used drugs.
? Twenty-four percent of the respondents said they were aware of auto theft in their neighborhood, 43 percent were aware of theft of personal property, and 31 percent were aware of breaking and entering to steal personal property.
? Thirteen percent of respondents reported violent physical attacks had occurred in their neighborhood in the prior year, eight percent reported crimes committed with guns, seven percent reported sexual assault or rape, and six percent reported murderhttp://www.ofm.wa.gov/researchbriefs/brief035.pdf

Thus, neighborhoods are linked to drug use and drug crimes, with the relationship being that the lower the socio-economic status, the greater number of drug use and drug-related crimes. Drugs are implicated in most property and other crimes as well. Neighborhoods are the contextual link.

Other Resources: (see hyperlinks in attached response)

Also see neighborhood effects on crime and drug use at http://www.nber.org/~kling/mto/482.pdf

See the following resources on reducing drugs and crimes in high risk neighborhoods:

· The Drug Enforcement Agency's Get it Straight, The Facts About Drugs, explains why drugs are harmful.

· Research reports on drugs and crime are found on the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site. Statistics on drugs and crime are summarized and more detailed data are offered on the Bureau of Justice Statistics site.

· What Works--What You Can Do in Your Community (hyperlinked in the attached repsonse)
School and Community Interventions To Prevent Serious and Violent Offending describes school and community interventions shown to reduce risk factors for drug abuse and serious and violent juvenile (SVJ) offending. This Bulletin examines eight types of community interventions (citizen mobilization, situational prevention, comprehensive citizen intervention, mentoring, after school recreation programs, policing strategies, policy changes, and mass media interventions) and five types of school interventions (structured playground activities, behavioral consultation, behavioral monitoring, metal detectors, and school wide reorganization).

· The Community Capacity Development Office (CCDO) assists communities around America as they seek to prevent crime, increase community safety, and revitalize neighborhoods. The CCDO works with local communities to develop solutions that deter crime, promote economic growth, and enhance quality of life. Through training and technical assistance, the CCDO helps communities to help themselves, enabling them to develop solutions to community safety problems confronting them, as well as developing the leadership to implement and sustain those solutions.

· The Office of Weed and Seed is the CCDO's premier community development initiative. This community-based initiative is an innovative and comprehensive multi-agency approach to law enforcement, crime prevention, and community revitalization. Communities work with their U. S. Attorneys to develop a Weed and Seed strategy that aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. For information about the Office of Weed and Seed, visit the Community Capacity Development Office Web site.

· OJJDP provides technical assistance to communities wishing to implement a comprehensive strategy to address juvenile crime. http://www.usdoj.gov/whatwedo/whatwedo_pyv.html


Income Inequality

Note: The following above research is taken from the literature review in the attached article, so if you use this information, see the references in the attached article in the reference list. It also has other important research in this area to consider, which is also available online at http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/pdf/pubblicazioni/wp63_03.pdf.

Income inequality is another contextual variable explaining the relationship between drug use and crime. Research suggests that criminal activities are determined by economic motivations and a very ...

Solution Summary

Discusses in detail the three contextual relationships between drug use and crime using examples from the newspapers, internet, or other professional or public journals. It also assists in comparing these relationships and which one invokes the greatest social threat. Supplemented with research articles discussion the relationship between drugs and crime.