Article

Crime Trends

Eric P. Baumer

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195396607-0058
Crime Trends

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Although there are a few rich historical studies of crime trends and some research on both cross-national and American post–World War II trends, the amount of scholarly attention devoted to this topic increased substantially during the 1990s and 2000s. The increased volume of research and public discourse on crime trends during the past two decades has followed the well-publicized sharp spikes in youth gun violence during the mid- to late 1980s in America. Attention to crime trends has grown in particular on the heels of a widespread and significant crime decrease in several parts of the world that began in the early to mid-1990s and appears to have continued in many nations. The existing literature has documented trends in homicide during the past several centuries and described in detail trends for a variety of other violent and property crimes over the last half of the 20th century. There is less research directed at explaining the observed changes in crime rates. The explanatory research has covered a wide variety of issues, but has focused most heavily on the response of crime rates to levels of incarceration, policing, and economic adversity. The explanatory research that has been done does not permit definitive conclusions to be drawn, but does point to several factors thought to be highly relevant to shaping observed crime trends.

Article.  4849 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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