The Tendency of Crime Rate in New Orlean - Essay Example

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The writer of the current essay seeks to evaluate the issue of crime rate in New Orlean city using several theories such as Differential Association Theory and the Marxist Theory. Moreover, the essay additionally, lays out some background statistics regarding the problem…
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The Tendency of Crime Rate in New Orlean
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According to Dunaway, Francis, Velmer and David (2000), the city of New Orleans, Louisiana State, has the highest rate of crime compared to other cities in the United States. These crimes include rape, murder, theft of motor vehicles, aggravated assault, robbery, and burglary among others. In addition, although New Orleans was highly affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the rate of crime, especially in murder, has increased from 162 cases reported in 2006 to 209 cases in 2007. The stories of street killings have increased despite promises from leaders to control the violence testifying that the crime cases are likely to descend. Thus, Dunaway et al. (2000) argue that the crimes are affecting and preventing the rebuilding of New Orleans especially after the Hurricane.
Crime can be best explained using several theories such as Differential Association Theory and the Marxist Theory. The Differential Association Theory is based upon the social process theories which focus on how people interpret their social reality and its meaning while interacting with each other. They seek to explain the process of criminal socialization and how this process forces people to commit antisocial acts. Thus, differentiation association theory explains the processes through which people acquire attitudes that promote criminal behavior. It states that people learn criminal behavior through interacting with people in the process of communication. This usually occurs through intimate, personal interactions and includes techniques of committing the crime, attitudes, drives, and direction of motives among others.
Therefore, according to the Differential Association Theory, the crimes committed in New Orleans are the result of criminal behavior learnt by individuals through interacting with others in the process of communication. This means that rapists, murderers or robbers learnt this criminal behavior from the society through association as a way of expressing needs and values. On the other hand, Marxist theory, which is an example of social conflict theory, explains that individuals, as well as social groups in the society, have different amounts of resources, both material and non-material (the poor and the rich). In this case, the rich are said to be more powerful than the poor, hence, use their power to exploit and oppress the poor. For this reason, the poor feel the need to fight back, accordingly, ending up committing crime. Thus, according to the Marxist theory, crime in the city of New Orleans is due to the exploitation of the poor by the wealthy people which forces the former to fight back by committing crime, robbery for example, in order to gain resources which will enable them to achieve power.
In New Orleans, the rate of crime is higher than the national average crime rate across all the cities in the United States. According to The Federal Bureau of Investigation (2010), New Orleans has a crime ratio of 45 crimes to 1000 residents. However, despite this high ratio, it is still not among the cities with the highest crime rate in the United States. In addition, the chances of one becoming a victim of property or violent crime such as rape and murder in New Orleans are 1 to 22. The FBI crime data show that the rate of crime in New Orleans is higher than 78% consideering all the cities in America. Hence, it is not among the safest cities in the United States.
Moreover, New Orleans has the highest violent crime rate in the United States including forcible rape, armed robbery, murder and assault among others. The rate of property crime (theft of motor vehicle for instance), burglary, and arson is about 38 per a thousand population which means that the chances of one becoming a victim of property crime is 1 to 27. It has the highest rate of theft of motor vehicles in the nation as shown in the FBI crime data. In fact, according to The Federal Bureau of Investigation (2010), the chances of having a car stolen are 1 to 142 in New Orleans. Therefore, New Orleans is not the city with the highest crime in the United States.
In New Orleans almost all the poor people are blacks. According to Schwartz and Dragan (1996), the population of New Orleans comprises 67% black people and has a poverty rate of 28%. Approximately 25% of families in New Orleans live on less than 15,000 dollars a year. Thus, the high rate of poverty is likely to influence the youth who engage in crime to earn for a living. Furthermore, a combination of poverty and poor education in New Orleans is contributed to the high rate of crime. The number of students who drop out of school seems to be on the rise due to the high rates of poverty.
Thus, the only way to curb the rise in crime is to ensure that there is an equal education for all and the poor are taken care of in the society. Moreover, marriage is also another factor that influences crime especially among children brought up by single parents due to divorces or early parenthood. Single-parent family is a trend that is rapidly increasing in New Orleans which is usually associated with low socioeconomic status (Schwartz & Dragan, 1996). For instance, children brought up by single parents get low level of education and are likely to have a high rate of school drops.
According to the Differential Association Theory, delinquency is learnt from the outside environment. Therefore, external factors have a high influence on human behavior which means that people acquire their criminal behavior from what they learn from outside. The Marxist theory explains the differences between the rich and the poor in terms of wealth or resources. Hence, there are many poor people in the society who are likely to engage in crime in order to have resources just like the rich.
Works Cited
Dunaway, Gregory et al. “The Myth of Social Class and Crime. Revisited: An Examination of Class and Adult Criminality.” Criminology. Vol. 38, 2000, pp. 589-632. Print.
Schwartz, Martin, and Dragan Milovanovic. Race, Gender, and Class in Criminology: The Intersection. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000. Print.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Crime in the United States. The US Department of Justice. Retrieved April 03, 2012, from Read More
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