How does poverty cause delinquency?
Poverty’s effects on crime can be explained through a variety of reasons. “There is a higher rate of mental illness in the poor than in the rich” (Brill 40). [ Poverty can lead to high levels of stress that in turn may lead individuals to commit theft, robbery, or other violent acts. Moreover, poverty may lead to an actual or perceived inferior education, which would cause youth to count on
less access to quality schools, jobs, and role models, decreasing the opportunity costs of crime and increasing the probability of youth spending time on the street associating with gangs, etc (Ludwig 1).
Crime offers a way in which impoverished people can obtain material goods that they cannot attain through legitimate means. Often threat or force can help them acquire even more goods, this induces them to commit violent acts such as robbery, which is the second most common violent crime. For many impoverished people, the prize that crime yields may outweigh the risk of being caught, especially given that their opportunity cost is lower than that of a wealthier person. Thus, poverty should increase crime rates.
However, many other factors influence crime and are correlated with poverty as well. Higher unemployment would certainly increase poverty and at the same time lead to more crime due to depression associated with being unemployed. Personal income per capita, which is inversely correlated with the poverty level, still may increase crime since greater wealth means greater benefits to thieves and robbers. Furthermore, because of social class gaps, personal income per capita rates may not affect poverty to a great extent (the income may be concentrated in a small percentage of the population). It might even accentuate the difference between the upper and lower classes, thereby inducing more crime ]
There are no new answers.