Magazine article Corrections Forum

Fed Report Analyzes Crime in 28 Cities

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Fed Report Analyzes Crime in 28 Cities

Article excerpt

Associated Press

A new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that unemployment and low wages do not have a significant effect on crime - at least in the short term. But when they do, the crimes tend to be nonviolent offenses such as property theft rather than murder, assault and rape.

That was true for most of the 23 large U.S. cities analyzed by economist Thomas Garrett. He said it takes time for worsening economic conditions to affect crime. Earlier research has explored how unemployment or low wages affect crime over 10 or 20 years. The Fed study looked at how month-to-month changes in wages and unemployment impact crime.

Garrett said the findings beg other questions, such as where is the tipping point for those who would commit crimes? "How long does a person have to be unemployed or experience low wages to commit a crime? …

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