It is believed that most crime in the United States is linked with narcotics, either by people indulging in habits or dealing in them. A paper from John Jay University indicates the crime rate lowers when narcotic prices drop. Article source: Study suggests lower price of drugs leads to less crime
The crime drop
In the early 1990s, crime, or at least the number of crimes committed, started to drop drastically. The effects were particularly noticed in large cities where crime rates were formerly high, most notably NYC. According to CBS, many in the police force community feel, naturally, that it was “more effective policing.” However, a recent paper by anthropologists from John Jay University has a various take.
According to the Daily Mail, a recent report titled “More Drugs, Less Crime” asserts that the prices of harder street narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin, have fallen through the floor since the 1980s, leading to criminals not having to commit as several crimes to secure their supply.
It was eas-ier for narcotics such as heroin and cocaine to come in after the new narcotic law enforcement the Reagan administration started, as reported by the Atlantic. This new policy said that law enforcement needed to step up their game when it came to drugs. Only weed was focused on though, which meant that other narcotics were not watched as carefully.
The prices of heroin, crack and cocaine tumbled. In the mid-1980s, one gram of pure cocaine cost up to $460; by 2000, it had fallen to less than $200. Similar drops in drug costs were observed in heroin costs; in 1984, 0.4 grams of pure heroin cost $1,072; in 2007, the same amount cost $345.90, almost two-thirds less.
Along with the drop in cost was a drop in crimes. Assaults in NYC in 1988 were 966.9 per 100,000 people. In 2007, the assault rate was 332 per 100,000, an almost identical decline.
According to the report, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 17 percent of state and federal prisoners had committed crimes to get money for drugs as of 2004. As the university report's author note, “there is a virtual industry” that explains why violent crime and property crime dropped in the 1990s and into today. According to a 2009 article in the New York Daily News, the National Bureau of Economic Research found it was also tied to more and better psychotherapeutic pharmaceutical narcotics being accessible, especially those that combat Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. More individuals are medicated, in a better men-tal state and thus less likely to commit crimes.
Since it became easier for women who would be at the most risk to have children who become criminals to get abortions in the 1970s, there was a drop in crime. Fewer children were born to be crooks with this theory. “Freakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt, an economist at the University of Chicago, suggested this theory, although it is very controversial.
New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/drugs-crime-health-reformers-worry-se...
More Drugs, Less Crime (PDF - Requires Adobe Reader): http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/Wendel_Curtis_Hamilton_Dhondt_and_Riggs.pdf