Millennials Commit Less Crime Than Past Generations

Millennials Commit Less Crime Than Past Generations

"The best way to reduce crime in the future is probably what caused it to drop in the first place: helping our families, neighborhoods, and schools raise kids who are respectful of others and don't need to steal to get by," says Bill Spelman

Crime has dropped since 1990, but not for the reasons some might think, according to a new study.

The research suggests crime reduction efforts account for less than half of the crime drop since 1990 and essentially none of the crime drop since 2000.

The researchers also discovered that millennials commit less crime than prior generations.

“It’s time we shifted focus from stopping bad guys to helping kids be good guys.”

Most attempts to find causes and solutions to crime are focused on current conditions. But the researchers say current crime rates do not depend only on current conditions. Rather, crime rises and falls based on the life experiences and decisions of young children. Crime rates dropped rapidly among millennials (born after 1985). The age group born between 1946 and 1964, commonly known as baby boomers, was the most criminally active in modern history.

“Since criminal activity starts in the teens and peaks at about 18, this means improved conditions in childhood—families, neighborhoods, schools—were mostly responsible for the crime drop,” says Bill Spelman, a professor of public affairs at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the report.

“The best way to reduce crime in the future is probably what caused it to drop in the first place: helping our families, neighborhoods, and schools raise kids who are respectful of others and don’t need to steal to get by. It’s time we shifted focus from stopping bad guys to helping kids be good guys.”

Youth delinquency has long been associated with families in poverty, failing schools, disparities in income and social class among neighborhoods, and racial disparities in economic opportunity. Youth arrest rates can also be predictors of long-term crime prospects.

“The number of prison beds and police officers doesn’t matter as much as many expected, and gun and drug policies appear to increase crime rather than reduce it,” Spelman says.

“All this is aimed at increasing the costs of crime and reducing the benefits of it to people who are, right now, looking for criminal opportunities. The paper tells us that we’re digging in the wrong place. The criminal justice system can blunt the roughest edges of the problem. But only primary prevention can solve it.”

In general, birth cohort, age, and social and economic factors are about equally important in determining crime rates. Most crimes are committed by people ages 15-25, with criminal activity slowing or stopping entirely between the ages of 25 and 40, a pattern researchers call the age effect. Most crime reduction methods focus on currently active offenders and affect only criminal activity right now, a result called the period effect.

In the paper, researchers isolate the cohort effect: the relative criminal activity of people born in the same year. These cohorts also respond to age and period effects, so while most crime today is committed by people ages 15-25 (millennials born between 1996 and 2006), millennials are still less criminally inclined than previous generations.

Millennials’ peak of crime is still much lower than the Generation X peak, which is lower than the baby boomer peak. Thus, researchers say policies aimed at reducing delinquency among young children may be more effective in the long run than current policies aimed at incapacitation, deterrence, and opportunity reduction.

About the Authors

The study appears in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology.

Source: UT Austin

Original Study

 


 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

You May Also Like

INNERSELF VOICES

full moon over Stonehenge
Horoscope Current Week: September 20 - 26, 2021
by Pam Younghans
This weekly astrological journal is based on planetary influences, and offers perspectives and…
a swimmer in large expanse of water
Joy and Resilience: A Conscious Antidote to Stress
by Nancy Windheart
We know that we're in a great time of transition, of birthing a new way of being, living, and…
five closed doors, one pained yellow, the others white
Where Do We Go From Here?
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Life can be confusing. There are so many things going on, so many choices presented to us. Even a…
Inspiration or Motivation: Which Works Best?
Inspiration or Motivation: Which Comes First?
by Alan Cohen
People who are enthusiastic about a goal find ways to achieve it and they do not need to be goaded…
photo silhouette of mountain climber using a pick to secure himself
Allow The Fear, Transform It, Move Through It, and Understand It
by Lawrence Doochin
Fear feels crappy. There is no way around that. But most of us don't respond to our fear in a…
woman sitting at her desk looking worried
My Prescription for Anxiety and Worry
by Jude Bijou
We’re a society that likes to worry. Worrying is so prevalent, it almost feels socially acceptable.…
curving road in New Zealand
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
Life consists of choices... some are "good" choices, and others not so good. However every choice…
man standing on a dock shining a flashlight into the sky
Blessing for Spiritual Seekers and for People Suffering from Depression
by Pierre Pradervand
There is such a need in the world today of the most tender and immense compassion and deeper, more…
hnob2t7o
Why I Should Ignore COVID-19 and Why I Won't
by Robert Jennings, InnerSelf.com
My wife Marie and I are a mixed couple. She's Canadian and I am an American. For the past 15 years…
How Change Can Take Place in 30 Seconds
How Change Can Take Place in 30 Seconds
by Turīya
During an NHL hockey game, the average ice time for a player per shift is 30 seconds. When a player…
What is Beauty? Beauty is in the Heart of the Beholder
What is Beauty? Beauty is in the Heart of the Beholder
by Sarah Mane
One day at a retreat - I was quite young at the time - I was in a group, and we were asked to fall…

MOST READ

How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
How Living On The Coast Is Linked To Poor Health
by Jackie Cassell, Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology, Honorary Consultant in Public Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The precarious economies of many traditional seaside towns have declined still further since the…
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
How Can I Know What's Best For Me?
by Barbara Berger
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult…
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
The Most Common Issues for Earth Angels: Love, Fear, and Trust
by Sonja Grace
As you experience being an earth angel, you will discover that the path of service is riddled with…
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
Honesty: The Only Hope for New Relationships
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D.
According to most of the singles I have met in my travels, the typical dating situation is fraught…
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
What Men’s Roles In 1970s Anti-sexism Campaigns Can Teach Us About Consent
by Lucy Delap, University of Cambridge
The 1970s anti-sexist men’s movement had an infrastructure of magazines, conferences, men’s centres…
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
Chakra Healing Therapy: Dancing toward the Inner Champion
by Glen Park
Flamenco dancing is a delight to watch. A good flamenco dancer exudes an exuberant self-confidence…
Taking A Step Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With Thought
Stepping Toward Peace by Changing Our Relationship With Thought
by John Ptacek
We spend our lives immersed in a flood of thoughts, unaware that another dimension of consciousness…
image of the planet Jupiter on the skyline of a rocky ocean shore
Is Jupiter a Planet of Hope or a Planet of Discontent?
by Steven Forrest and Jeffrey Wolf Green
In the American dream as it's currently dished up, we try to do two things: make money and lose…

follow InnerSelf on

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconinstagram iconpintrest iconrss icon

 Get The Latest By Email

Weekly Magazine Daily Inspiration

AVAILABLE LANGUAGES

enafarzh-CNzh-TWdanltlfifrdeeliwhihuiditjakomsnofaplptroruesswsvthtrukurvi

New Attitudes - New Possibilities

InnerSelf.comClimateImpactNews.com | InnerPower.net
MightyNatural.com | WholisticPolitics.com | InnerSelf Market
Copyright ©1985 - 2021 InnerSelf Publications. All Rights Reserved.