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Essay Sample: The Relationship Between Poverty and Crime

3 pages
612 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
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Scholars from different fields hold are that poverty and crime are intimate. Poverty and crime have similar implication in the society. For example, in the process of trying to fight poverty in the society, the government encounters criminal activities. In most cities, criminal activities are many in dark streets inhabited by poor people (Haushofer, and Fehr. 2014). The purpose of this essay is to explain the relationship between poverty and crime.

Crime creates a vicious circle of poverty. Most African leaders are corrupt and deprive the citizens of the fund for developments and eradication of poverty. The economic instability, high levels of unemployment leave people with few alternatives to meet their daily needs. Often, in situations where the poverty level is very high, people resolve to either to look for legal jobs or engage in criminal activities to earn some income. Poverty pushes the people to limited choices to earn a living. Criminal activities exist in different forms. There individuals who resolve to engage in robbery with violence and others who decide to engage in illegal businesses such as drug smuggling. For this reason, poverty pushes people into criminal activities while attempting to meet all their needs.

An inequality causes social aggression. In some societies, some communities are discriminated because of race. The people who are discriminated develop aggressive behavior counteract the social bias. Injustices result from social bias cause pain and violence. The resultant animosity among the neighbors provokes violence and criminal activities. Discriminations in the society make some section of the populations rich and the other section poor (Raphael, 2015). The poor community develops jealousy and wage war against the source of the oppression. There are police operations in communities with many criminal activities and violence.

Idleness weakens cohesion in the community. It is apparent that in places where the majority of the people are jobless, there is no cohesion in the community. It is a difficult task to restore cohesion in the community when criminal activities are many (Coggins, 2015). The high level of poverty in the community increases the level of poverty thus creating a vicious circle of poverty. In such cases, people resolve in stealing and venture into illegal business. An illegal business such drug trafficking makes drugs available to young people. Drug abuse is the main cause of divisions in the community. For decades, poor people abuse drugs to avoid the pains of poverty. It is common in the streets to find poor people abusing drugs because they are idle and wish to void facing the reality.

Poverty halts children from attaining their dreams. It is difficult for families living in abject poverty to finance education for their children (Caetano et al., 2017). In most cases, children born to poor parents are aggressive and desire to improve the standards of living of their families. However, the lack of education prevents the children from getting good jobs that can bring changes in their families. As a result, such aggressive children will accept any kind of job that will help them earn a living. The children of this type are willing to engage in violence and criminal activities to help their families. Besides, intelligent people that fail to secure well-paying jobs resolve to criminal activities to live their dream life.



Caetano, R., Schafer, J. and Cunradi, C.B., 2017. Alcohol-related intimate partner violence among white, black, and Hispanic couples in the United States. Domestic Violence: The Five Big Questions.

Coggins, B.L., 2015. Does state failure cause terrorism? An empirical analysis (19992008). Journal of Conflict Resolution, 59(3), pp.455-483.

Haushofer, J. and Fehr, E., 2014. On the psychology of poverty. Science, 344(6186), pp.862-867.Raphael, J., 2015. Listening to Olivia: Violence, poverty, and prostitution. Northeastern University Press.

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