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HEROIN RELATED CRIME

NCJ Number
50260
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
1977
Annotation
STATISTICAL SURVEYS AND RESEARCH STUDIES DEALING WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF HEROIN-RELATED PROPERTY CRIMES ARE REVIEWED IN ORDER TO ESTIMATE THE INCIDENCE OF HEROIN-RELATED CRIME.
Abstract
THE BASE YEAR OF THE REPORT IS 1974, AND IT IS ESTIMATED THAT HEROIN USERS COMMITTED $3.9 BILLION WORTH OF PROPERTY CRIME IN THAT YEAR. THIS FIGURE REPRESENTED ABOUT 19 PERCENT OF ALL PROPERTY CRIME IN THE UNITED STATES. HEROIN USERS COMMITTED ABOUT 100,000 ROBBERIES, BURGLARIES, LARCENIES, OR AUTOMOBILE THEFTS EACH DAY, IN ADDITION TO AN UNDETERMINED AMOUNT OF CRIME INVOLVING BAD CHECKS AND CREDIT CARDS. THERE ARE THREE GENERAL APPROACHES USED TO ESTIMATE HEROIN-RELATED CRIME: (1) THE 50-PERCENT AND HIGHER ESTIMATES THEORY WHICH STATES THAT AT LEAST 50 PERCENT OF PROPERTY CRIME IS HEROIN RELATED; (2) IDENTIFYING HEROIN USERS AMONG AN ARRESTEE POPULATION; AND (3) ESTIMATING THE COST OF CRIME BASED ON ADDICTION FACTORS. THE JAIL SURVEY TECHNIQUE IS VIEWED AS A VIABLE WAY OF IDENTIFYING THE PERCENT OF HEROIN USERS AMONG AN ARRESTED POPULATION. ANOTHER FEASIBLE APPROACH MULTIPLIES VARIOUS ADDICTION FACTORS TO ARRIVE AT A DOLLAR COST OF HEROIN-RELATED PROPERTY CRIME. BOTH OF THESE APPROACHES ARE UTILIZED IN THE DERIVATION OF HEROIN-RELATED CRIME ESTIMATES. THE ESTIMATES CONCERN PROPERTY CRIME, ADDICT CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, HEROIN USERS, AND HEROIN-RELATED CRIME IN TERMS OF SOCIOECONOMIC CONDITIONS SURROUNDING ADDICTION. FOR MANY ADDICTS, CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR PRECEDES ADDICTION. IT CANNOT BE ASSUMED, THEREFORE, THAT THE ELIMINATION OF HEROIN USE WILL ELIMINATE ALL CRIMES COMMITTED BY HEROIN USERS. SOCIAL CAUSES OF HEROIN-RELATED CRIMES ARE HIGHLY COMPLEX AND MUST BE ADDRESSED BEFORE A MAJOR REDUCTION IN THE CRIME RATE CAN BE EXPECTED. SUPPORTING DATA RELEVANT TO THE ESTIMATION PROCEDURE, REFERENCES, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)