May 13, 1996
Crime rates may have fallen somewhat in recent years, but they are still near all-time highs. And there is worse to come, according to criminologists.
- There are now about 10 million violent victimizations annually.
- Americans are twice as likely to be assaulted, robbed at the point of a gun, raped or abducted as they are to be seriously injured in a car accident.
- Experts say the recent mild decline in crime is due to the aging of the Baby Boom generation.
- But by 2000, there will be about 500,000 more 14-17 year old males than now -- many from fatherless ghetto homes and so out of control that they scare older convicts now doing time with them.
Criminal experts see no easy answer to the approaching crime wave. These up and coming criminals are unreachable by appeals to human empathy or threats of future punishment. The results are predictable.
- According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the teen murder rate in the U.S. grew by 22 percent in the period 1990-1994.
- In states where over-crowded prisons forced convicts to be released early, violent-crime rates rose 10 percent faster than the nation as a whole.
- Such early-release prisoners committed and average of two to three additional violent crimes annually.
Experts say that society must put its hopes and resources into more prisons and more police to avoid a predicted future crime bloodbath.
Source: Paul Akers (Scripps Howard News Service), "Tracking the Crime Curve Into the Future," Washington Times, May 13, 1996.
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