The Violent Crime Rates in Chicago, Free Essay Example

Published: 2022-03-11
The Violent Crime Rates in Chicago, Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Criminal law Society
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1906 words
16 min read

Crime is a significantly complex phenomenon that is distinct across different cultures and societies. Different crimes often have distinct causes that revolve around particular social, political and economic influences. It is however factual that criminal activities tend to draw significant influence from people, social circumstances as well as other external forces that are within the societal context. Criminals encompass people of all racial backgrounds and who are majorly influenced by poverty and social instability of the neighborhoods they live. Poor economic and social environments are capable of producing all types of crime.

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Crime rates in the United States have significantly increased over time with aspects such as economic hardships being one of the significant factors that contribute to elevated crime activities in certain cities such as Chicago. Segregation is one of the causes of crime rise in Chicago. Chicago city in comparison to other cities remains segregated with poverty lines standing out. One of the reasons behind Chicago's high crime rate in comparison to other cities in the United States is the lack of adequate resources. Majority of Chicago residents have little to no hope especially when it comes to employment (Lindberg 2015).Education levels in Chicago are relatively lower with significant dropout cases of young people who lack proficiencies to secure jobs to sustain them hence the majority of these young individuals end up engaging in criminal activities. There are no opportunities for advancement in Chicago unlike other cities such as New York an aspect that has substantially fostered the escalating crime rate. Individuals in Chicago, therefore, tend to rely on alternatives such as engaging in crime-related dealings such as drugs and robbery since they lack job prospects as well as lacking solid money prospects.

The population is also another crucial factor that has led to the rise in crime in Chicago. The population problem in Chicago is specifically brought about by the increase in crime that leads to the migration of individuals from this city to escape the unsafety in Chicago. This migration in Chicago dramatically comes along with adverse effects such as businesses closing, the middle class leaving town, a collection of less tax revenue as well as crumbling the city's infrastructure. Another critical problem that has led to the rise in crime in Chicago is the inadequacy of police to manage fighting crime in the city.

Crime infested zones in most cases bear a history of criminality that consecutively brings forth a gradual rise in crime rates. In Chicago, there is ongoing inherent anger and grudge over what for instance happened over the past years mainly within different gangs that have been in place for decades. Individuals and gangs in Chicago find it difficult letting go past conflicts that for example led to the loss of their loved ones. When their friends, family and gang members get killed even over minor issues, they seek to revenge hence leading to the continuation of crime over and over again as time goes (Lindberg 2015). Chicago city contains numerous gangs that in this case day by day fight to avenge for the murders of their friends and members by other rivals as well as families and individuals who sought to kill for payback purposes for instance after getting their treasured one's murders.

Gang violence is a critical aspect that triggers and leads to the increase in crime rates with new and young members joining these gangs for different reasons. Some of the ideas range to secure financial freedom as well as factors such as security with the majority of the people identifying with particular gangs. Gang violence in Chicago substantially draws a massive influence from the historical tensions between these gangs that have resulted in the gradual rise in crime.

Routine Activity Theory

Routine activity theory explains that three elements ought to be present for a crime to take place. The factors, in this case, include; a motivated offender with intentions to commit a crime, a suitable target or victim as well as absence of a capable guardian who is reliable in preventing crime occurrence (Clinard & Meier 2015). For a crime to take place, the three essentials ought to converge in a given space and time. A prospective offender, in this case, refers to any given individual with an inclination to crime while a suitable target can be a person or object that in this case might be of value or reward to the offender such as that of monetary value. The capable guardian comes in handy to prevent crime from taking place by avoiding the merge in space and time of both the delinquent and the target and thus in the absence of the guardian, the possibility of crime to occur is very high.

Taking an example of an individual drawing motivation from achieving a particular reward such as money from robbing a store thus making the person a likely offender who is driven by the target that is, in this case, the store and the owner. The storekeeper tends to be a suitable victim to the offender and with lack of proper guardianship comes the robbery that is, in this case, the crime likely to occur. In the example once the three elements converge at a particular time and space the crime takes place, on the other hand, if guardianship was in place, the crime's probability of occurring would be near zero (Eck & Weisburd 2015). Therefore when it comes to Chicago and the rising crime rates, it is apparently in line with the routine activity theory whereby proper and capable guardianship in most cases lacks hence leading to criminal activities occurrence. Poverty, for instance, is one of the significant factors luring individuals to identify suitable targets thus they advance to commit crimes with the aim to achieve specific rewards such as money and getting a better life. It is therefore with the lack of proper guardianship in Chicago that the routine activity theory satisfies the three elements hence resulting in criminal activities.

Sending the Federal Law Enforcement Agencies to Chicago

With the rise in crime rates and killings for instance in Chicago, getting a solution to restrain this problem has been quite a challenge. The administration intends to bring in the federal law enforcement agencies with an aim to curb this crime epidemic. It is a move that will significantly control the extent to which violence and crimes have reached over the years (Lindberg 2015). The federal agents teaming up with the police will efficiently moderate and minimize crime rates despite the opposition that this move will receive. Gun violence and carjacking have been so rampant subsequently increasing in 2017 in comparison to the 2016 statistics that show a relatively lower rate of crime. With unending and increasing crimes and murders in Chicago, President Donald Trump suggested that sending the feds would significantly help end the intensifying crime rates in Chicago. The more these gangs and crimes rise, the more difficult it gets to handle and counter the problem hence bringing in the feds is a noble move that will reduce and discourage crime activities by the people of Chicago.

Social Groups and Deviance

Social groups in most cases tend to create and enforce specific rules that in this case uphold particular behaviors as well as forbidding some. Deviance entails the breaking of set rules by any given individual who identifies with the specific group. (Clinard, & Meier 2015). In this case, any member who goes against the rules is considered an outsider or rather a deviant consecutively leading to fellow members losing the trust in such people.

The society upholds specific codes of conduct that for instance, in this case, consider drug and substance abuse as a breach of the societal set code of conduct. Drug abuse has a severe impact on both the user as well as the whole society in ways such as addiction, loss of life, crime and public impairments thus facing enormous opposition from the entire community. Engaging in drug abuse violates the formally endorsed rules. Natalie would be considered a deviant to both the society at large as well as to her peers especially with the fact that she is seen to go against the general and fundamental social norms and culture. These norms get enacted by the law and since she engages in illegal drug abuse despite the knowledge on its condemnation alongside adverse effects associated with substance abuse. Both her peers and society at large are expected to follow and uphold state laws that in this case entail the illegality if drugs abuse. Natalie, therefore, is said to be deviant of such state enforced laws as well as society morals from her drug abuse behavior.

According to (Becker 1963) there are four types of deviant behaviors, and for instance, in this case, Natalie falls under the Secret deviance type that relates to individuals who are not perceived as deviant or rather engaging in any rule-breaking behaviors. Secret deviance entails an aspect where a group member goes against specific rules within the society and social groups, yet no one notices it despite knowing that it violates individual laws. Natalie, in this case, is secretly atypical to the societal norms by personally participating in riskier and widely opposed means of substance abuse for example by her friends. Knowing that her friends would condemn her if they knew that she was up to engaging in more complex ways of using methamphetamine, Natalie opts to go ahead and participate in the substance abuse means she aspires from a different place hence concealing her behavior.

In Natalie's case, she kicks off her drug abuse habit by snorting meth to a point where she adapts to the attained level of highness from snorting meth thus opting to try smoking meth with the significantly perceived notion that through smoking one gets to a better standard of high. Gradually and over time she ends up injecting the drug into her body with the sole aim to attain a certain level of highness that in this case lacks to the average degree of high reached from smoking the drug.

Drug abuse comes along with an addiction aspect that leads the abuser to always rely on the specific drugs to satisfy the developed reward once one engages in any form of substance abuse. At the initial stages of substance abuse, individuals rely on relatively lower quantity and types of drugs. As the behavior gets repeated, the human body adapts to the initial and routine amounts and means of abuse to a level of attaining a usual level of high bringing forth the need to get a better highness. At this point, the individual is dependent on the particular drug, and hence the only way to achieve a better high is through changing the means of drug use or instead of shifting for a stronger drug.


Akers, R. L. (2013). Criminological theories: Introduction and evaluation. Routledge.

Bacot, J., & Posick, C. (2017). Routine Activity Theory. The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice.

Becker, H. (1963). Outsiders. Glencoe. The Free Press), 9, 1982.

Clinard, M. B., & Meier, R. F. (2015). Sociology of deviant behavior. Nelson Education.

Eck, J. E., & Weisburd, D. L. (2015). Crime places in crime theory.

Lindberg, R. C. (2015). Gangland Chicago: Criminality and Lawlessness in the Windy City. Rowman & Littlefield.

Taylor, I., Walton, P., & Young, J. (2013). The new criminology: For a social theory of deviance. Routledge.

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