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Crime and Poverty - Thesis Example

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The essay concerns the controversial issue, namely, whether poverty is the cause for crime. Reportedly, a validation of the statement that poverty alone leads to the commission of a crime is presented as the purpose of the research. …
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Crime and Poverty
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Download file to see previous pages For purposes of this study, a definition of poverty and crime is outlined. A crime is an act committed in violation of the law commanding or forbidding it and for which a punishment is imposed upon conviction Legal definition of the word states crime is a wrongdoing classified by the State or Congress either as a Felony or Misdemeanor. A felony is a serious crime punishable by at least one year in prison. During the term of sentence, a person charged with felony loses certain rights such as the right to vote and hold public office. A convicted person is also not allowed to make contracts, get married, suing or keeping professional licenses. A misdemeanor is a crime for which punishment is usually a fine and/or a jail sentence of up to one year, but repeated offenses become a felony.
Poverty is defined as a state of condition of having little or no money, goods or means of support. Several studies provided different measures on how poor a family or a person is. According to Boyes & Melvin, a family is poor if its income falls below a certain level and it is defined in an absolute sense: The U.S. uses poverty level, the World Banks uses per capita GNP, and economists use economic security index. The poverty level in U.S. for 2011 was set at $22,350 for a family of four. The World Bank uses per capita GNP of $755 or less as its criterion of a low-income country. In this definition, poverty becomes a relative concept, because the poverty level in U.S. would represent a substantial increase in the living standard of most of the poor people in the world....
Data showed that people do not readily conform to the poverty threshold or level set by the government. People contends that the $20,000 poverty threshold for a family of 4 does not reveal the true situation of poverty level, while others believed it should be higher. Poverty threshold is used by the government as a measure of poverty for a family to qualify in government programs, such as Head Start, Food Stamp Program, National School Lunch Program, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, etc.
The review also revealed causes of poverty among the people of the United States, stating drug abuse as a major cause, health problems causing huge medical bills, and unemployment reasons. It is also noted that there is a rise in unemployment because of the economic crisis, but I find it intriguing to see too many single parents as a cause of poverty. I did not find any substantive data to support this claim of respondents of survey. Other reasons fall under social and culture since reasons given is that poor people lack motivation, a decline in moral values, while others put the blame on the poor quality of public schools. Drug abuse, health care, education and employment problems are concerns of the government and are larger in scope because of government funding needed to solve them.
Towards the review three theories emerged why crimes are committed, the sociological, psychological and economic theories. These theories nullify the hypothesis that poverty is the cause of crime. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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