Reasons for High Crime Rate in US

Reasons for High Crime Rate in US

Since the tremendous outbreak of crime in the United States in the 1960s, America has enacted tough laws to fight crime, including mass incarceration, stringent border laws, and other measures to ensure crime is brought down in the US. Despite all these measures, crime rate in the US has still remained high compared to other developed economies. During this paper, the failed role of incarceration and poor gun laws shall be discussed as contributions to the high rates of crime in the US.

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As crime rates increased in the US, stringent measures were put in place to curb the rising insecurity, leading to mass imprisonment of law breakers. According to Walmsley (2013), the US stands number one with the highest rates of incarceration in the world. The intended purpose of incarceration was to reduce crime by isolating the culprits from the street and crime life and empowering them through education and high levels of discipline. However, it is no longer the case! Studies have revealed that incapacitation has led to more crimes by converting small crime offenders into high profile criminals. High crime incidences have been recorded in area where incapacitation is highest with repeat crime incidents rising (Vollaard, 2012).

The ease at which guns are accessed in the US has been termed as an important contribution to violence and crime in the United States. A lot of Americans die daily as a result of reckless gun shots. The rate of homicides in the United States has been rated 25 times on the higher side compared to other similar level income countries (Grinshteyn & Hemenway, 2016). While America is still debating applicability gun control, other countries have gone a step ahead to enforce stringent gun laws that have seen a rapid decline in gun violence.

In conclusion, incarceration has failed to attain its purpose of curbing crime leading to increased crime rates. Poor gun laws have seen people easily accessing guns leading to increased gun violence. Proper strategies and gun policies need to be enacted to curb crime in the US.


Grinshteyn, E., & Hemenway, D. (2016). Violent Death Rates: The US Compared with Other High-income OECD Countries, 2010. The American Journal of Medicine129(3), 266-273. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2015.10.025

Vollaard, B. (2012). Preventing crime through selective incapacitation*. The Economic Journal123(567), 262-284. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0297.2012.02522.x

Walmsley, R. (2013). World Prison Population List (10th edition) (10).

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