Poverty and Crime - Oxford Handbooks
These more informal elements of urban spaces have received less . are included in relation to the design of houses in poor and informal. Theory, practices, and discourses of urban criminal populism Homicides with direct and indirect links to the night-time economy () . Population Crime: a game theoretic and spatial model perspective mechanisms involving social disorganization lead to lower life expectancy among poor African-American more. In the US, urban crime is often perceived as a problem amid areas with high it again examines the relationship between crime and poverty and how this.
Even though this report is already almost two decades old, it hits the nail on the head. Below are some of the statements this report makes concerning some of the correlations connected with criminal activity, including some occasional added commentary: Children born illegitimately are more likely to commit violent crimes than those born legitimately.
There is a connection between lack of parental attachment and violent crime. A rise in violent crime over the previous thirty years correlates to a rise in fatherlessness, and high-crime neighborhoods are characterized by single-parent households with no father. The role of fatherlessness in criminal activity will be discussed later. The type of aggression and hostility usually seen in adult criminals can be seen, or foreshadowed, in those same people earlier in their lives, such as by unusual aggressiveness seen as early as 5 or 6 years of age.
A neighborhood with a high-degree of religious practice is usually not a high-crime area, whereas a neighborhood whose dwellers have low levels of religious practice correlates to a higher level of crime. This may be because religion has traditionally been a strong influence on the moral behavior and aptitude of those who practice its tenets.
If a person who has been a habitual criminal matures to the point of maintaining a stable marriage, this parallels a gradual decrease in criminal activity by the same person.
Under such conditions the child is at risk of becoming a psychopath. Between andwelfare expenditures by the government continued to grow until by it was 8 times what it was inwhereas the number of felonies per capita rose three-fold in the same time period, suggesting that this program, meant to reduce the environment that causes crime, has really been an all-out failure, and has actually lead to the type of environment that produces crime.
Poverty is not the chief cause of crime, as crime actually grew during periods of economic growth, including the periods andand actually decreased during periods of economic decline, including the Great Depression and the recession of The welfare system was originally devised as a good thing that helped people in need, including single mothers, but when the system stipulates that, as a single mother, that you must stay unemployed, and not get married, especially to an employed male, to continue to receive welfare checks, the financial incentives to these single mothers hindered the creation of intact families and a proper work ethic.
By creating unintended incentives that propagated the conditions that correlate with crime, the state was actually facilitating the long term rise in the rate of crime. This information comes from a conservative think tank, which means that it tends to be ignored by people on the political left. The truth, though, is that they hit the nail on the head, and that family, stable home environment, and fatherhood have a lot to do with influencing future social behavior in the up-and-coming generation.
A father that goes to work each day, knows how to treat his wife and children and other members of the community, stays out of trouble, and knows how to handle his finances well, has a very, very powerful influence on his children's, particularly his sons', behavior, than anything else in society.
A good role model, right in the same house, who shows that he personally cares about the child's well-being, is so much more successful at developing a child's future behavior that it makes all government programs that try to influence a child's behavior look worthless in comparison. Fatherlessness According to one article in a French-Canadian journal, there are several correlations between fatherlessness and different societal problems, including many urban crime problems.
Among the many social problems and criminal activity problems associated with fatherlessness are the following facts: Fatherless children are 5 times more likely to commit suicide. Fatherless children are 14 times more likely to commit rape. Fatherless children are 9 times more likely to drop out of high school. Fatherless children are 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
Fatherless children are 9 times more likely to end up in a mental institution. Fatherless children are 20 times more likely to end up in prison. Negative Effects of Government Policies When it comes to some government policies, especially government welfare state safety net policies, we find that there is tremendous evidence that these programs, including some financial aid programs, housing, food stamps, AFDC, and so forth, when it comes to their policy rules, have not just failed at their intended purposes, but have, in fact, backfired, leading to social breakdown.
It has lead to a rise in welfare dependency, poverty, illegitimate births, non-employment, violent crime, and possibly the abortion rates. But why do we continue to promote policies and government programs that end up having the opposite effect as their intended goals?
You'll find that we have two problems on our hands. On the one hand, you have politicians continuing to push these programs, particularly ones who represent poorer inner-city constituencies, because they, unlike the traditional politician who took time out of his busy life, putting on hold his normal professional duties, or duties as a business owner, to contribute to his community, state, and nation through creating new legislation, before going back to his normal work, we, instead, have a more professionalized set of politicians, who see being a representative or senator as a life-long career, and know that creating these welfare programs helps to cause people to become more dependent on the government and the politicians that promote them, helping to create the environment that allows for their political career to stay safe.
On the other hand, you end up with a constituency that, because they become dependent on these government programs, continue to vote back into office those same politicians that create these policies and programs — this constituency doesn't realize that they are ironically continuing to propagate the bad policies and programs that cause themselves to suffer, all by voting back into office those same politicians.
President Roosevelt, when giving his State of the Union message to congress inwhen talking about the need to find actual work for able-bodied, but destitute, working people, gave a warning about the negative effects of dependence on government: To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. In fact, much of the crime done in urbanized areas happens in the inner core of that urbanized area, or the central city. Why does much of our crime happen in these central core areas? We know that these central core areas have the oldest, poorest and worst housing, which is that left behind as people, who have better financial foundations have built new homes, or purchased newer and better homes in the suburbs that surround that oldest core area of a city.
This leaves these old houses either abandoned, or taken or rented out, by the poorest people among us. We also know that the poorest among us happen to be single parents, especially single mothers who got pregnant at an early age and decided to keep their children, which made it especially difficult for them to continue their education to get the skills needed to get that higher-paying job to better take care of themselves and their new family, because they now spend all their time just trying to make enough so that they and their children can survive.
They end up taking the most affordable housing for their situation, which also happens to be the poorest and oldest housing. This leaves us with many problematic situations.
One problem is that you now have entire communities of children who are living in single-mother homes. Since the mothers are out working long hours for measly pay, the children end up being home for long hours without the kind of nurturing love children need from mothers.
This causes for a rather poor environment, and a poor influence, in the upbringing of the next generation of adults.
Urban Crime: Its Causes and Solutions
The poor community environment then magnifies the effects of a poor family environment, by putting all the negative influences and influencers together in one place, and thereby increasing the possibility of future criminality. Perhaps we can call this magnification effect a negative form of synergy?
Those people that are married into a stable relationship also tend to be the same people with stronger financial foundations which lead them to seek housing in better neighborhoods which they can afford, neighborhoods full of families that are healthier, that have two adults in them, and have better relationships with their neighbors. Rural areas tend to have a different culture and social environment altogether than that found in even suburban areas, in that they tend to be more individualistic, hard-working, self-sufficient, and have a better understanding of the concept of loyalty and how better to have healthy relationships with spouses, other family members, friends, and others within their area community.
There still is some crime in suburban areas, as well as in rural areas, but the rates in those locations are not nearly as high as that found in the inner-city, and even when there is criminal activity in those areas, it tends to come from people who grew up in the same negative family and, possibly, community environments as those bred from the inner-city.
What are some policy solutions that we could make in our society to decrease our crime rates? Here are some solutions, based on what an understanding of the core causes of criminal activity.
Such observations have global purchase, evidenced by the international CPTED literature and its wide impact on responses to crime.
However, these critical social elements arguably political and economic ones too are not the focus of this particular paper, which instead, explores the physical elements of housing in the global South, recognizing of course that socio-physical processes intersect. Wider social processes are critical in shaping crime experiences and prevention in informal housing elucidated through the work of Monday et al.
The significance of these factors is paramount, supporting Carrington et al. Much of the current literature on designing out crime in the context of residential areas focuses predominately on the spaces external to the house or those that relate the house to external space, namely the relative positioning of the property, the public urban realm, pathways and mobility corridors.
For example, Armitage provides a checklist of the key factors shaping residential security, which include road network; access to footpaths etc. Target hardening encompasses physical elements of the house, which limit or prevent access: Stollard points to the role of housing layout in reducing crime on public housing estates in the United Kingdom Stollard and using the work of Winchester and JacksonPoyner As a function of context the global Northhouse-building standards are currently at an all-time high double glazing, security features etc.
Yet the argument about housing layout and the role of public space and pathways also points to explicit contextually specific assumptions about how neighbourhoods are designed and settled, how housing is built and the role played by the presence or absence of roads and pathways: The meaning of target hardening is also context specific.
These are abundantly evident in South Africa but are usually beyond the reach of the urban poor, so too are the alarm systems that Poyner What constitutes residential crime is also significant.
This is a highly complex issue and not one that can be adequately addressed in this paper. Design is deemed an inappropriate response to domestic violence as it is too crude, usually focused on public space and considered unable to address its social complexities Whitzman Yet the gendered analyses outlined below aim to partly address this debate revealing that the design characteristics of homes do shape such violence in small but relevant ways.
The significance of visibility, surveillance and territoriality in deterring and shaping crime, identified in the CPTED literature, are critical to experiences in informal settlements in the global South.
It concentrates on elements such as fencing, landscaping etc. Yet the enactment of territoriality is clearly dependent upon land rights and rules, practices of possession and the physical expression of ownership.
Again context matters, as in informal settlements, a lack of legal status, alongside organic settlement, unclear or variable processes of authority over land use, together with a frequent inability to precisely demarcate territory results in processes of territoriality occurring differently.
Literature that focuses on crime and violence within informal or slum contexts, some of which explicitly draws on CPTED-like concepts alongside concepts sensitive to the impact of the environment on crime situational preventionis highly valuable for this paper, but does not always address the particularities of informal houses, impermanent in form UN Poor availability of public toilets, and waste collection, the lack of motorable access to compounds and the limited availability of access to security and fire personnel are key issues underpinning vulnerability to crime Monday et al.
Yet few papers examine the very detailed physical properties of housing within informal settlements or slums in relation to crime. The country is also the recipient of international attention in the form of funding and research on this issue. This brief review of literature illustrates that context is key, as the specifics of housing design, build, materiality and layout are not globally consistent. Recognizing the centrality of social processes shaping crime and prevention, the physical and material elements of urban housing, and more significantly, those shaping informal housing, evident in the global South, lack emphasis in the current CPTED literature.
In order to contribute to these debates, the paper turns first to a discussion of informality and insecurity in order to identify key analytical concepts. Criminalization, Crime and Violence, and Hyper-permeability in Informal Settlements The materiality of informal housing 1 and surrounding neighbourhoods, which shape their defensible capacity, are theorized here in relation to three key concepts: Informal settlements are not neutral spaces but rather foster particular sets of political and legal practices, which shape how crime unfolds and is negotiated and hence how security is affected.
Below, crime and violence in South Africa is specifically considered, but first the links between crime and violence and informal living are examined. Informal settlements are often criminalized spaces, and their residents often criminalized by association.
The UCR report, for example, indicates that law enforcement personnel varied between 2. Climate, associated with geographical location, is also believed to affect crime - more temperate climates being positively correlated with crime. Cultural factors such as recreational activities, religious characteristics, and family cohesiveness are all associated with geographic regions of the US and influence crime.
Because of the manner in which population density influences living conditions ie: Studies have found that "more densely populated neighborhoods tend to be poorer, have higher percentages of persons in the age range of 12 to 20, have larger concentrations of single-parent households, and larger nonwhite populations" Short This study first examines how poverty affects crime in the simple regression model.
Then, controlling for the aforementioned factors - race, unemployment, personal income, population density, geographic location, and age distribution - it again examines the relationship between crime and poverty and how this relationship is influenced when these factors are held constant. Each MA contains a population of at leastinhabitants of which fifty percent or more live in urban areas. Seventeen of the MA's have been eliminated due to a deficiency in the data.
Since this study is based on crime in urban areas, these data provide an excellent resource for determining the causes of crime. Data from larger areas such as states would be too general and too many conflicting characteristics within the area would be incorporated into the data. The Metropolitan Areas provide a sample composed of similar makeup, but with sufficient variation to provide a good model. Each area has different poverty levels, population density, etc.