In the late 1960s, violent crime rates exploded in the United States, and then dived down decades later. Today the Federalist Radio Hour spoke with Barry Latzer, whose new book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America, covers this trend and how the fear of murder, rape and robbery affected American civilians.
Latzer is a criminologist and professor emeritus at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The author said the three big factors he found in his research on crime trends were demographics, the caving of the criminal justice system, and the migration of African-Americans to northern and western cities in the U.S.
“The system was caving because it was swamped with cases. This sudden and massive rise in crime simply overwhelmed the system,” he said.
Later in the hour, he discussed the #BlackLivesMatter movement, how the loss of legitimacy, criminal justice reform, and whether the government is capable of creating a solution. “A lot of people in the media tend to jump at the racial narrative,” he said. “I must say, it didn’t help that the Obama administration bought into that same approach.”
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