Can Crime Control be Justified?

Essay by ladderman301 April 2004

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Over time, our nation has swung the balance towards the crime control model and thus puts more and more emphasis on the reduction of street level crime. Street level crime consists of everything from burglary, rape, and all types of drug felonies. These crimes cost American people millions of dollars a year, whether it is in direct effect from a crime or it has to do with the after affects of a crime.

With the increase of the assembly line effect, the cost of crime has risen dramatically over the years. One has to take into account all that goes into the criminal justice system. Estimates suggest that incarceration in the United States costs over $20 billion annually, with over 11 million new admissions a year. The cost of the victim also has to be taken into account. These are the major economic costs that go along with crime. They include; the value of property stolen or damaged, medical costs coming from injuries sustained, the cost of lost production from the victims job, the new preventive measures a victim and his family might take to protect themselves from further harm, and the economic costs caused by sociological problems.

These problems that result from being a victim include a new fear, helplessness, loneliness, and a new aberrant behavior. In a study done by Gallup Polls, 50 - 55% of people said they were afraid to walk alone at night, 55% of people polled said they would become a victim of a crime in the future, and 25 - 30% surveyed said that the issue of crime is at the forefront of their minds . These numbers show how crime affects the common person.

Crime costs in all areas. If we have to pay for it all we eventually have to take...