Poor People Have High Levels of Arrest and Incarceration Rates than Rich People

PoorPeople Have High Levels of Arrest and Incarceration Rates than RichPeople


Poorpeople have high levels of arrest and incarceration rates than richpeople

  1. Specific Hypothesis

  1. Poor people have high levels of arrest and incarceration rates than rich people or economically able people

  • In this regards, there exists a statistical correlation between poverty and crime rates

  • Poor people are more likely to commit crime than economically able people

  1. Applicable Sociological Concepts

  1. Social Conflict Theory

  • Power and Deviance: Labelling deviant people depends on power i.e. powerful people are less probable to carry the dishonor of deviance and if alleged, they have the material possession to resist such labels.

  • Social conflict theory postulates that deviant behaviors resulting to crime originate from material, social, or political inequalities. Poor people do not have much material possession, so more likely to commit crimes

  • Blue Collar and White-collar crimes: The highest number of incarcerated or arrested people involves blue-collar crimes committed by the people.

  1. Practical Implications

  1. Suggestions for public policy

  • Education: Research shows schooling increases the yields to appropriate work raising the opportunity costs of illegitimate behavior. In this regards, training people, increasing their education opportunities, or putting more emphasis on education increases economic opportunities for them. Educated people have increased economic opportunities than less educated people.

  • Transformation of the social fabric: Public policies should focus on systems of social integration to reduce levels of inequalities in the society.

  1. Suggestions for the society

  • Community policing to understand types of crimes and areas mostly affected

  • Sensitization on available opportunities in the society

  1. Evidence

  1. Strain and depression

  • Hipp &amp Yates (2011) suggest that poverty can lead to increased levels of strain, which may lead people to commit crimes. In fact, Hipp &amp Yates (2011) show that disadvantaged neighborhoods in America have the highest forms of crimes.

  • Ousey &amp Kubrin (2014) contend that robbery remains one of the most committed crime in America

  1. Biases and alternative interpretation to strain

  • Poverty does not have a direct correlation to crime rates, but contribute to crime rates when the society label certain neighborhoods or people as susceptible to criminal activities

  • Wilson (2012) show that poor people do not commit crimes more than rich people. Research by Hipp &amp Yates (2011) shows that rape, murder, and white-collar crimes have increased.

  1. Poverty acts as a catalyst for violence

  • In areas where poverty is followed by high levels of discrimination and inequalities, it causes criminal activities as people develop deviant behaviors

  • Poverty makes people desperate to survive thus, they develop all sorts of means even if illegal to survive

  • However, Ousey &amp Kubrin (2014) show that breakdown in families rather than poverty has contributed to increased criminal activities

  • Wilson (2012) shows that Sweden has one of the highest level of rape despite it being a rich country. Therefore, poverty contributes to crime rates but does not cause crimes in a direct manner.

  1. Conclusion

  1. Criminality offers an approach in which poor people can attain goods that they cannot realize through genuine means

  2. poverty can lead to enhanced levels of strain, which may lead people to involve themselves in crimes

  3. Most crimes occur in poor neighborhoods

  4. Most of the available body of literature shows that poverty contributes to criminal activities, but counterarguments occur to that effect thus, it does not cause crimes directly but contributes to crime rates.


Hipp, J. R., &amp Yates, D. K. (2011). Ghettos, Thresholds, andCrime: Does Concentrated Poverty Really Have an AcceleratingIncreasing Effect on Crime?*.&nbspCriminology,&nbsp49(4),955-990.

Ousey, G. C., &amp Kubrin, C. E. (2014). Immigration and thechanging nature of homicide in US cities, 1980–2010.&nbspJournalof Quantitative Criminology,&nbsp30(3), 453-483.

Wilson, W. J. (2012).&nbspThe truly disadvantaged: The innercity, the underclass, and public policy. University of ChicagoPress.

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