Many social factors can contribute to violent crime. Issues of poverty, general economic inequality, and inequality based on ascribed characteristics such as race may all have an impact on the prevalence of violent crime. In 2015, 69.7% of all persons arrested were white and 26.6% were black (FBI, 2016a). African Americans made up 38% of the prison population (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2016). Social factors such as different opportunities and different legal representation may account for this disproportionate representation. Rural communities have been considered safer from violent crime, but a large metropolitan city may have a higher prevalence of violent crime due to areas of increased poverty. When looking at violent crime statistics, it is important for a forensic psychology professional to look at the social factors that contribute to violent crime.
In this Discussion, you analyze the UCR to determine what social and cultural factors might explain the prevalence of violent crime.
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