An Arcata, California URL asks what are the factors having the greatest effect on crime.
The primary factor inhibiting crime is fear of punishment, starting with the ability of potential victims to effectively resist criminal predators. After that, criminals fear a prompt trial, where the particulars are still fresh in the victims mind, and enough punishment to put a crimp in the predators activities. The ideal seems to be trial within 14 days, with incarceration beginning when the judge hands down the verdict, and lasting long enough to get him out of touch with his partners in crime.
The next fact is social. Those who preach violence as a cure for all ailments will always find eager disciples, but advocating violence is illegal and should be curbed.
And the third major factor is economic. Pay close attention to the commercials, and you will find citizens are being fed material that creates a demand for upscale products that are far beyond the ability of the masses to afford. The message a high percentage of young people get is they too can live a champagne and Rolls Royce life on a plain water and wheelbarrow income.
It does not take long for that $10,000 couch, $2,000 chair, and $25,000 rug to turn into a young person thinking “I am entitled to live like that.” But those who can only unload trucks and drive a push broom do not make that kind of money.
Since they cannot afford the nice things they see on the commercials for coffee that has already been through the lemur, or the pot to brew it, they take what they think they are entitled to. And wind up in jail, prison, unable to find a job and become career criminals.
Allow the law abiding the tools to defend themselves, recast the advertising code to let the ads reflect reality, teach every young person at least one salable skill starting in Jr. High, and stop the practice of postponing trial until the witnesses die of old age, and judges handing down “slap on the wrist” punishment for serious crime, And the crime rates will fall to much the same as they were in 1958.
In fact, it would not take that much more, and would take none of our freedoms, to where we were in 1900. When only one new home in six had door locks.