Dear Dr Crime

Dr. Crime is a pseudonym for a social scientist holding a Ph.D. degree in sociology and in criminology. He has worked in all major parts of the criminal justice system. Drop him a note at the website www.keepkidshome.net if you or your child is in trouble, he may be able to help, give him a call (252-339-0000).


Dear Dr. Crime: You keep telling us to not smoke pot, and I think you are dumb. Its ok and it is legal in many states. Again, poo on you. Smoker

Dear Smoker: I will agree there may be legitimate uses for pot, but do not ignore the downside. A recent studyi in the journal Clinical Psychological Science reported on 947 New Zealanders followed to age 38. The pot-heads in the representative sample had more serious money problems than the non-pot-heads. That relationship remained even when they controlled for qualities that might be thought to cause such things as not paying for food and rent, welfare , and failing on credit card payments. Again, unless there is one of the unlikely medical reasons for smoking pot, especially for kids, I say stay away.

Dear Dr. Crime: Why are you so down on everyone? You paint a depressing picture of America. Flag-waver.

Dear Patriot. Sorry I have distressed you, but some aspects of crime are awful. Some of the child custody cases I have handled have make me very mad and the many victims sadden me. But, the picture is good in many ways. The National Crime Victimization Survey reports on a random sample of USA households and their results will make us both happy. They found that non-fatal violent crimes has made a big drop, with the rate of violent crime going from almost 80 victims per 1,000 households in 1993 to 18.6 victims in 2015. Now that is a happy drop!!!!

The education picture has some good news.ii Research shows that success in education is associated with lesser likelihood of criminal behavioriii. The recent report of the National Center for Education showed that enrollment in public school is up, and the drop-out rate from 1990 to 2013 went down from 12.1% to 6.8%. For the 10 year period after 2000 college enrollment went up 37%. The % of minority students went up !!!! And, the % of older youth with higher education degrees went up. How is that for good news!!!

Dear Dr. Crime: Our son is graduating from college and wants to fight crime. What should we tell him? Mom and Pop

Dear Wonderful Parents: One thing would be to work for a time as a line police officer. Another avenue would be the US Bureau of Justice Statistics - BJS's Visiting Fellows Program. That great programs funds research around recidivism patterns, juvenile justice populations and enhanced law enforcement data collections. The fellowships run up to $200,000 and he might get a local department interested in working with him. Good luck to your son. We need guys like him.

Dear Dr. Crime. Where can I learn more about violence in dating relationships ? My daughters have me worried. Parent

Dear Parent. See https://www.ncjrs.gov/teendatingviolence/ and you will be led to many resources that will help you. Do not just let your concerns slide. Dating violence is known to escalate as well as influence later relationships. Good luck.

Dear Dr. Crime. Are sex crimes really a problem? Humankind has been dealing with that for a long time and we are getting along well. Observer

Dear Observer. I urge you to visit your local court and spend some time just sitting in adult court. Carry a bag in case you throw up.
i M. Cerdá et al. Persistent cannabis dependence and alcohol dependence represent risks for midlife economic and social problems: a longitudinal cohort study. Clinical Psychological Science. Published March 23, 2016. doi: 10.1177/2167702616630958. Further Reading L. Sanders. Legalization trend forces review of marijuana’s dangers. Science News. Vol. 185, June 14, 2014, p. 16.

ii https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2016006
iii NCJ Number: NCJ 195783 Title: Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports
Dear Dr Crime Dear Dr Crime Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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