Alcohol persists to flourish in today’s society just as it did in the tradition of hard-drinking, bar-brawling frontiersmen in the early days of the nation’s existence. Alcohol and violence have been closely connected and deeply tied into American custom.
The continued use of alcohol can negatively affect all aspects of a person’s life, impact their family, friends, community, and place an enormous burden on American society. This is the simple perception from the average citizen who has witnessed the effects of alcohol. However, two economists known as Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner conducted a research study on the 1990s, discussing possible factors which may decrease the crime rate including: policing strategies/numbers, prison reliance, crack market, and some other effectors.
In their research, they discovered something that many may disagree with for the fact that it is a controversial topic: the abortion-crime link. Levitt and Dubner argue that the legalization of abortion will terminate unwanted pregnancies by teen mothers and such; which therefore, decreases the crime rate. On the other hand, Levitt and Dubner fail to mention the clear correlation between alcohol and crime. Throughout their entire work, not once is alcohol mentioned. Common crime can be expected from the misuse of alcohol, so it’s surprising to see no mention of the topic.
This literature review will answer this question: Is there a clear correlation of increase in crime that is linked to greater alcohol consumption, and by what amount? This review will construct research that discovers if there are numerical links between several kinds of alcohol-related crime incidents. Also, this review will attempt to explain the present and historical strategies behind reducing alcohol-related crime, and whether or not they succeeded. Overview Because alcohol use is legal and pervasive, it plays a particularly strong role in the relationship to crime and other social problems.
In the 1996 Analysis of National Data on the Prevalence of Alcohol Involvement in Crime, the U.S. Department of Justice discusses the many variations of crime that come with the abuse of alcohol. Statician, Lawrence A.
Greenfeld analyzes the many types of crimes and the probability of the misuse of alcohol, which is something many criminologists fail to recognize. Some of the most common crimes would include Driving Under the Influence. Greenfeld reports from the 1998 National Symposium on Alcohol Abuse and Crime addressing the compilation of data in which 4 of 10 violent victimizations involve use of alcohol, 4 of 10 fatal motor vehicle accidents are alcohol-involved; and about 4 of 10 offenders, regardless of probation, jail time, or prison time, said that they were using alcohol at the time (U.S. Department of Justice 4). To further the research, Greenfeld delves deeper into more specific offenses particularly involving domestic violence. Greenfeld found that, “Among spouse victims, 3 out of 4 incidents were reported to have involved an offender who had been drinking.
By contrast, an estimated 31% of stranger victimizations where the victim could determine the absence or presence of alcohol were perceived to be alcohol-related” (U.S. Department of Justice 5).
These numbers only account for those who victimized themself. Those who were convicted show even greater numerical evidence for instance, of the 5.3 million who were convicted offenders under the jurisdiction of corrections agencies in 1996, almost 36% were estimated to have been drinking at the time of the offense (U.S. Department of Justice 6). The point of this in depth research was to uncover whether or there was a clear correlation between alcohol and crime situations, which in fact there is. Alcohol has been proven in several instances to be the most closely related with violent crime such as murder, rape, and assault. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence explains the statistics of alcohol-related crime that occurs in college (Wilcox).
Wilcox boldly grabs our attention with statistics from research performed in 2015: Each year, more than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. 95% of all violent crime on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both. 90% of acquaintance rape and sexual assault on college campuses involves the use of alcohol by the assailant, victim or both. (Wilcox)The crime performed in this instance was most often times done by an underaged drinker who should not have the availability of the alcohol. So the question is: Shouldn’t the rates of alcohol-related crime be dropping if the drinking age is set at 18, alongside the many other restrictions of alcohol use? As part of a larger study on Latino youth violence and the impact of alcohol (see Alaniz & Parker 1997), an opportunity to examine the impact of a reduction in alcohol availability in Union City, California.
The study was conducted by the author, Maria Alaniz (San Jose State University) and Deborah Plechner (University of Minnesota, Duluth).The study period was the years 1992, 1993, and 1994, and data on youth violence were collected from the Union City police department.Youth violence included homicide, robbery, assault, arson, rape, and weapons violations.
In 1994, the decrease in sale of alcohol resulted in a decrease in outlet density and was measured and included in a model, and found to have a significant and negative relationship with youth violence. Overall outlet density had a significant and positive effect on youth violence as well, and the block groups with a higher proportion of young males had higher rates of youth violence (Alaniz). This goes to show that the reduction of alcohol had a direct cause and effect method when it came to reducing crime among youth, who are only a small portion of the population of offenders.