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Family Income, Neighborhood Poverty, and Crime

Family Income, Neighborhood Poverty, and Crime

(p.419) 9 Family Income, Neighborhood Poverty, and Crime
Controlling Crime
Sara B. HellerBrian A. JacobJens Ludwig
University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the existing theory and evidence about how and why government efforts to reduce family- or neighborhood-level poverty might influence aggregate crime rates, and is organized as follows. Section 9.2 presents descriptive patterns for poverty and crime, while Section 9.3 provides a conceptual framework that lays out how additional income might affect crime, focusing on juvenile crime. Section 9.4 reviews the available empirical evidence about the relationship between family or neighborhood poverty and crime, particularly how policies designed to change these social conditions affect crime. The final section discusses what is known about how intervention programs would operate at a large scale as well as the difficulties that would arise from trying to substantially expand the scope of these types of programs. It also discusses what is known about the benefits and costs of these types of interventions compared to alternative crime-control efforts, including mass incarceration and human capital interventions. A commentary is included at the end of the chapter.

Keywords:   poverty reduction, crime control, crime prevention, crime rates, intervention programs, juvenile crime

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