victims perceived the offenders to be under the influence of alcohol compared to to those under the effects of drugs at almost a 3 to 1 ratio, with 13.8% of respondents reporting their perception that he offender was under the influence of alcohol, and 5.1% reporting that the offender was under the effect of drugs.
Greenfield, L.1998 Alcohol and Crime Bureau of Justice Statistics Retrieved January 17, 2014 from HTTP://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ac.pdf
My opinion is that most crime is committed by people with low self-control;
"I see it, I want it, I take it" or "You made me mad, so I hit you".
Low self-control may be a result of poor socialization, but I do see middle-class people do dumb spur-of-the-moment things all the time (they have a little more leeway financially). If I knew rich people, I would expect to see a certain percentage of them behave completely irresponsible.
Another way of saying low self-control would be the lack of ability to calculate the pain/pleasure matrix of consequences.
This ties into substance abuse/use because it is a bad decision to drink or snort so much you lose control; maybe somebody has low self control, but enough to not commit crime when sober, unfortunately, the self-control doesnt prevent him from getting wasted, and escalates from there.
Let me know if I'm still not being clear!
I think that a person with low self-control is even more likely to commit a crime when under the influence of a substance then he is when sober.
Finally, I think that a person with low self-control is more likely to be under the influence of a substance then a "normal" person; leading back to that second condition (the last sentence)
The NIBRS may make it easier to determine motive, but doesn't specifically collect the motive as data; what it collects that may have an effect on motive are"
Characteristics of victim(s) and offender(s).
Relationship between the victim and offender."
Even that would involve guesswork; I think you would have to collect data on motive specifically, and that would be difficult in cases where the arrestee is proclaiming innocence.
"Sources of Crime Data: Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting System"
To test for this you would have to identify other indicators of low self-control; speeding tickets, at-fault traffic accidents, failing grades in school, children out of wedlock ( or having kids without the personal ability to feed them), substance abuse, multiple job firings, etc.
You would have to be clear as to HOW these indicators would mark low self-control; for example, some businesses hesitate to hire people who move jobs every three years or so, but that isn't something I would consider as an indicator.
You would then set up some sort of scoring measure for the value of "self-control"; or perhaps you could measure for each indicator of low control and aggregate them.
You would then take random samples of the population by using a survey that measured the self-control indicators; you could either use a self-report on the same survey to measure crimes committed, or you could gain permission to check criminal records. You would then check the proportion of crimes commited by those with low self-control versus those that did not.
I don't think you would want to sample arrestees because you are drawing from a biased sample.
I did want to reiterate that is what I think causes most crime, but not all crime!
“This study explores the relationship between alcohol and cocaine use and crime from 1989-1998, based on findings from the Drug Use Forecasting/ Arrestee Drug and Alcohol Monitoring Program and the Uniform Crime Reports Program “ (Martin et al, para.1)
The first clause is simple enough, however it does lead to some ambiguity when modified by the second clause. Is the study only supposed to apply do the population of substance use arrestees, or to the general population at large?
Martin et al clarify their intent with further remarks linking alcohol use and crime. “This lack of policy attention to the alcohol-crime link beyond DWI is perplexing since research findings that stretch back nearly 50 years to Wolfgang's classic study of homicide have consistently documented an association between alcohol consumption and violent crime “ (Martin et al, para.4) They further state that studies have "indicated that alcohol outlets raised the rate of violent crime within the immediate neighborhood context “ (Martin et al, para.4)
Their policy solutions also suggest a causation between alcohol use and crime; "The findings suggest that to reduce violent crime rates, policy makers need to focus on addressing the contribution of alcohol” (Martin et al, para.1) Their solutions of taxes and other restrictions upon the freedom of the general populace are based upon a relation between alcohol use and crime in general, not upon a correlation between alcohol use and criminal offenders (DUF/ADAM subjects). An example of a solution based on the second relationship would be additional incapacitation for offenders under the influence.
As to the use of an illicit substance being a crime in of itself, it is hard to address without coming close to circular logic, but I'll try to return to my interpretation of the purpose of the study: Why is the use of some drugs illegal if that use does not cause crime to begin with? The researchers controlled against heroin users because of an known correlation. Martin et al did note the legal distinction, and their focus seemed to be on the alcohol/crime link. They also contrasted cocaine use against alcohol use; “Cocaine use, in contrast, is not closely associated with either property or violent crime rates in the multivariate analyses “(Martin et al, para.1) And their proposed solutions were also focused on alcohol.
Both points return to the purpose of the study and it's practical significance.