The nature of violent crime is the loss of life, or the maiming and/or destruction of a life to such a degree that the victim seldom, if ever, recovers fully from the incident.
Another aspect of the nature of violent crime is, in this writer’s view and experience within the system, the lack of and/or failure of, for whatever reasons, of rehabilitation. The thought process among those who deal with violent offenders particularly Correction Treatment Specialists is that most violent offenders cannot be, rehabilitated. That mind set has become an overwhelming “nature” of violent crime.
The extent of violent crime has crossed all boundaries of society to include social, biological, psychobiological, and environmental issues that run the gamete from education to poverty. As a result of the extensiveness of violent crime, the criminal justice system is hemorrhaging a plethora of theories to explain the whys and wherefores of violent crime.
Within the biological spectrum, the main issue is believed to be, genetically based criminal tendencies in that these tendencies may be passed on from one generation to the next. Additionally, it is believed, that within this theory “at least some human behavior is the result of biological propensities inherited from more primitive development stages in the evolutionary process”. Frank Schmalleger, Criminal Justice Today, Chapter 3.
Social issues seems to be the most ardent factor affecting violent crime although, in this writer’s opinion, social issues only fan the fires of biological and psychological factors. The most common social issues believed to affect violent crime are where a person lives in a community, i.e. the wrong side of the tracks, poor education or lack thereof, poor parenting or lack of parenting, minimal resources to enrich life, etc. Take these social issues and apply them to individuals with underdeveloped or absence of cognitive skills, bad role models, little or no accountability to authority for inappropriate behavior, minimal or no absolutes established as a compos for acceptable social behavior, and learned behavior within the family and home, and you have an atomic bomb named “violent crime” painted on it.
Unfortunately violent crime is no longer a definitive issue of the poor and uneducated but has extended to well known media personalities, i.e., OJ Simpson, Robert Blake, Mike Tyson, just to name a few.
Today’s trend in violent crime according to an FBI report June 4, 2007, “crime is inching higher in the U.S.” The nation’s murder rate rose slightly last year but the number of robberies skyrocketed by 6 percent, preliminary FBI data released Monday show. The statistics were part of an overall 1.3 percent rise in violent crime across the country in 2006 – the second straight annual increase. However, car thefts, arsons and other property crimes dipped for the second straight year, the data show.
As of this writing, the United States ranks number 9 on the list of 65 for crime at 0.301318 per 1,000 people.