Giving Compass' Take:
- Victoria Yu synthesizes research suggesting that crime reduction efforts account for less than half of the crime drop since 1990 and that improved conditions in childhood for millenials were mostly responsible.
- Why might typical crime reduction efforts be functionally useless at actually reducing crime rates? What does this research suggest about what we should invest in to lower crime rates?
- Learn about the link between access to health care and lower crime rates.
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Crime has dropped since 1990, but not for the reasons some might think, according to a new study.
The research suggests crime reduction efforts account for less than half of the crime drop since 1990 and essentially none of the crime drop since 2000.
The researchers also discovered that millennials commit less crime than prior generations.
Most attempts to find causes and solutions to crime are focused on current conditions. But the researchers say current crime rates do not depend only on current conditions. Rather, crime rises and falls based on the life experiences and decisions of young children. Crime rates dropped rapidly among millennials (born after 1985). The age group born between 1946 and 1964, commonly known as baby boomers, was the most criminally active in modern history.
“Since criminal activity starts in the teens and peaks at about 18, this means improved conditions in childhood—families, neighborhoods, schools—were mostly responsible for the crime drop,” says Bill Spelman, a professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the report.
Read the full article about the drop in crime rates by Victoria Yu at Futurity.