What factors account for the decline in crime since the early 1990’s? Two factors, incarceration and abortion, stand out. There are other factors as well, but these two cannot be denied.
“The theory goes: The more criminals are put in jail, the fewer are on the streets to commit crimes. The United States has reached a critical point at which a majority of violent crime offenders are behind bars, many criminologists say.
“By building more prisons and incarcerating more people, we’ve taken criminals off the street,” says Kirkpatrick of the University of New Hampshire.”
“Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and John Donohue of Yale University revived discussion of this claim with their 2001 paper “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime”. Donohue and Levitt point to the fact that males aged 18 to 24 are most likely to commit crimes. Data indicates that crime in the United States started to decline in 1992. Donohue and Levitt suggest that the absence of unwanted children, following legalization in 1973, led to a reduction in crime 18 years later, starting in 1992 and dropping sharply in 1995. These would have been the peak crime-committing years of the unborn children.”
If we truly want to to be preventive rather than reactive, we would try to address the conditions that lead people to commit crime instead of removing potential criminals from being born or taking away their liberty.
What are those conditions? Let’s discuss.