Education Help Prevent Crime

Criminologists offer a number of explanations for the increase in murder rates in several cities over the past month, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. In Washington in April 2008 there were 18 murders during the 13-day explosion of violence.

Other cities including Chicago and Philadelphia had similar waves of killing during the same period. This makes criminologists wonder if this signals a new trend. People who study crime tell us that they cannot see easy explanations, aside from the usual reasons such as poverty, gangs, easy access to weapons and the economy.

Murder rate statistics overall have dropped for years, but lately have been inching up in the black community — accounting for only 13 percent of the country’s population. However more African-Americans are killed in the U.S. than any other racial group, and it accounts for 49 percent of all murder victims, states the FBI.

One Cincinnati county medical examiner analyzed all the available data on his region’s most recent murder victims and he thinks that the main reason is education – or lack of it. This Hamilton County medical examiner studied the death certificates of his victims and realized that 60 percent of them had quit school over a five-year period.

There are a number of organizations that are trying to do something about the negative aspects in their communities, including Children of the City in Brooklyn who believe that improving the quality of life involves breaking the cyclical effects of poverty, therefore giving families hope. In this community alone there is a 48 percent high school drop out rate. With 30,000 children, that means 15,000 are dropping out. One in three families are under the poverty level. A culture of drugs and gang, 1,000 deaths annually. Youth today are into violent acts and drugs.

They believe that the only way to fix the problem is via educating kids and their families. For more than two and a half decades, this group of volunteers has been making a difference through programs like its Create Success program, countering the near 50 percent drop out rate and instigating positive change.

Nearly half of the children enrolled in this education program believe that it helps them stay away from drugs, and gives them confidence and hope for a better future.