Essay: Crime rates

A lot of scientific researchers consider that racial differences greatly influence the crime rate. Thus, the system of social and demographic statistics shows that the crime rates of Afro-Americans remain higher than White crime rates.

Marvin E. Wolfgang has studied over 600 criminal cases in Philadelphia and came to the conclusion that
70% of thefts, robberies and assaults were committed by Afro-Americans (Wolfgang 1996).

This statistics can be traced in other states too, and suggests that Afro-Americans are more prone to criminal behavior than White people. However, some researchers claim that in most cases Afro-Americans carry out minor crimes, while most of White convicts commit more serious offence. Nevertheless, according to FBI statistics (2000) 50% of murderers and rapers appeared to be Afro-Americans.

Moreover, in 90% of cases Afro-Americans and White criminals attacked victims of their own race. The latest data shows that this tendency remains unchanged throughout the country. Hammond’s research emphasizes that
nowadays Afro-American children, women and men are most likely to become crime victims, especially those living in big cities (Hammond W.R. & Yung B.R. 1993).

Moreover, Growing violence in mass media leads to higher measures of aggression and attacks in the streets of big megapolises.

Another factor accounting for differences in racial crime rates lies in the probability of being attacked. As a rule the chances of an Afro-American man to be attacked in the street is 1/40, while the probability of a White man to become a victim is 1/299. Evidently we can see it as a result of social inequality and the infringement of rights in courts and jails.

Furthermore, most Afro-Americans have less chance to defend their rights and be released from jail than White people which is another factor for differences in the Afro-American and White crime rates.

Hammond W.R. & Yung B.R. (1993). Psychology’s role in the public health response to assaultive violence among young African-American men. American Psychologist.
Marvin E. Wolfgang and Franco Ferracutti. (1996). The subculture of violence: towards and integrated theory in criminology. New York: Tavistock.

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