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New Studies Suggest that Raising Minimum Wage to $12 Could Decrease Rate of Crime by 3 to 5 percent (250,000 to 510,000 crimes)

For many researchers, sociologists, and criminal justice reform advocates, the question on many of their minds is the exact root of criminal behavior and activity. In other words, what makes people act criminally? Though there is never just one reason for why someone acts the way they do, there is a hope that by determining the root cause for many criminal defendants for why they act criminally, the cause may lead to a solution. In a few recent studies, an obvious but understated root cause raises to the surface. According to a new study, if the minimum wage were raised, crime might be reduced by 3 to 5 percent.

Incarceration Not the Resolution to Lower Rates of Crime

In the past, many believed that higher rates of incarceration would lead to lower levels of crime. The mentality of “if you find all the criminals and put them away, you no longer have criminals,” missed the underlying issues surrounding crime. It is not that people are inherently criminals; there is more of a relationship between circumstances that affect people as an incentive to commit crime. What findings have shown in the White House report is that incarceration does not resolve the underlying issues surrounding crime.

What Can Reduce Crime Rates in the United States

What does? More educational opportunities, more job availabilities, basic living wage, and school activities that enrich youth and inspire their passion can help reduce crime rates. One of the statistics found that providing these things, which ultimately reduce the impact of poverty, offsets the pressure to commit criminal acts. Where non-college educated men received a 10 percent increase in wages, there was approximately a 10 to 20 percent reduction in crime rates. The study hypothesizes that if minimum wage is raised to $12 by 2020, crime will be reduced by 3 to 5 percent, approximately 250,000 to 510,000 crimes. Society will then benefit between $8 to $17 billion as a result of the reduction in crime.

The Effect of Employment and Job Training on Crime Rates

Another factor that could reduce crime? Employment. According to a study conducted in Liberia, where the participants received job training, money, supplies, and employment opportunities, they were less likely to be involved in economically-motivated crimes, like theft. The study provided job training, employment, and resources to former soldiers of Liberia’s civil wars once involved in theft and other illegal activities. The program that they participated in provided them with training in agricultural skills, counseling, and literacy classes, and gave them money to start working on their agricultural exploits. The economic incentives encouraged a significant reduction in illegal and violent activity, though the men never fully gave up their illicit contacts. They were, however, incentivized to pursue their agricultural businesses at the expense of wasting time, energy, and resources to pursue the criminal activity of their old life.

Though jobs, money, and education all have a serious impact on crime reduction, criminal justice reform still is a work in progress in Florida, which has one of the highest incarceration rates in the United States.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale

If you or a loved one has been arrested for violating Florida’s criminal statutes, it is important to speak with an experienced defense attorney like Kevin J. Kulik who advocate on your behalf and guide you through the criminal justice system. Contact Kevin J. Kulik today for a free and confidential consultation in the Fort Lauderdale area.

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