Monday, July 17, 2006
From democratandchronicle.com: According to preliminary FBI statistics released in June, the current spike in violent crimes is most pronounced in communities beneath the top tier of America's largest cities.
Cities about the same size as Rochester, NY — from 100,000 to 249,999 people — had the highest percentage increase in murders at 13 percent. Those with populations between 250,000 and 499,999 had the largest average increase in overall violent crime at 9 percent.
Edmund McGarrell, a criminologist at Michigan State University and research director for the U.S. Justice Department's Project Safe Neighborhoods, has developed a working hypothesis that multiple factors put added strain on police, including:
- Tighter municipal budgets have led to a reduction in the number of police in many cities.
- Homeland security concerns raised by the 9/11 attacks are further stretching law enforcement resources.
- Criminals are forming gangs in more small and mid-sized cities that did not have gang problems in the past.
- Increased incarceration rates during the 1990s are now resulting in an increase in the number of convicted felons released from prisons.
- A culture of violence in prisons has extended to urban streets.
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]