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Drug use and Crime - Essay Example

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In a Chicago boarding house on July 13, 1966 Richard Speck murdered eight nurses and raped one of the victims. The day before, he had been drinking and taking Sodium amytal and sodium seconal. Although sentenced to die, Speck would live out his days in prison…
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Drug use and Crime
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Download file to see previous pages However, had he not been high it is likely the eight young women would not have died.
While Speck's case might not be a good indicator of the relationship between drug use and crime, other authorities recognize the relationship. The Drug Enforcement agency has compiled statistics for years concerning the relationship between drug use and crime. A 1997 study of violence against Law Enforcement Officers conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation showed that 24 percent of the assailants were under the influence of drugs at the time of the assault and that 72 percent had a history of narcotics violations. (Speaking out Against Drug Legalization, Drug Enforcement Agency fact Sheet 7)
Far from being a victimless crime, Drug usage leads to other crime. The United States Postal Service investigated 29 incidents that resulted in 34 deaths in a period spanning thirteen years between 1986 and 1999.
Twenty of the thirty-four perpetrators either had a history of substance abuse or were known to be under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs at the time of the incident. (Speaking out Against Drug Legalization Fact Sheet 7, Drug Enforcement Agency)
Unfortunately, Richard Speck isn't an anomaly. Brenda Spencer, a sixteen-year-old high school student went on a shooting rampage January 29, 1979. The troubled teenager was frequently absent from school, was involved in several petty thefts and had a history of drug abuse. She killed two school employees and wounded several students and a police officer in her shooting spree. (World Encyclopedia of 20th Century Murder, Jay Robert Nash, Paragon House Page 533) A 1994 Journal of the American Medical Association article reported that cocaine use was linked to high homicide rates in New York City. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimated that there were 53,000 drug related deaths in that year. The Vietnam War's death toll was 58,000 for an eight and a half year period.
And it isn't just murder. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, drug use was linked to crimes against property in 26.9 percent of the reported crimes in 2002. This was an increase of 2.4 percent from just six years earlier. These crimes were committed to get money to buy drugs with. Of all crimes compiled for the report. 16.4 percent were committed to raise money for drugs in 2002, an increase of 1.3 percent from 1996 (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002, NJC 209588, July 2005.
Approximately two of every five rapes or sexual assault committed against college students, the victims perceived the perpetrator was under the influence of drugs. Of all violent crimes against college students, persons perceived to be under the influence of drugs committed 41 percent. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995- 2000, NJC 196143, December 2003)
The statistics become even grimmer when we look at probationers. The first national survey of adults on probation conducted in 1995 found that 14 percent of the probationers were on drugs when they committed their offense. Among those on probation 49 percent of the mentally ill used drugs or alcohol at the time of their offence and 46percent of others used drugs or alcohol at the time. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995, NJC 166611, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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