Authors: Ann Dryden Witte
Fannie Mae Foundation

Research suggests that some social and criminal justice policies can affect the crime rate. This article considers the major criminal justice and social policy issues related to urban crime, such as drugs, domestic violence, property values, and the underground economy, as well as family disruption, limited economic opportunities, and unoccupied and unsupervised youth, which also are associated with urban crime. The article concludes that major reductions in crime are likely to result only from increased economic and social opportunities for families and youth, particularly for young males. Intensive programs directed at families and at-risk youth are more likely to lower crime than are programs directed at people already heavily involved in illegal activities.

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