Crack Cocaine and Violent Crime

Crack Related to Violence

Crack cocaine or cocaine-base was introduced into the Unites States in the early 1980’s in the inter-cities of the Miami and New York. The book Dynamics of Drug Abuse defines cocaine-base as a form of cocaine that has been crudely refined and composed of cocaine-sulfate and impurities.   The process of refining crack reduces it from the powder form (cocaine hydrochloride) to cocaine-base.   Crack use quickly spread across the country.   Crack is used mostly in low income, inter-city, African-American neighborhoods (Dubner, 2005).   Crack cocaine is a stimulant.   When used crack produces a high that will last about ten minutes.   The high is followed by an intense desire to get more crack. Crack users have been identified as leaches of society by the general public and are associated with crime and violent behavior.   This criminal behavior is driven by the need for the user to gain money for more crack as the user struggles for the feeling from his first high. (Baumer, 1998)

By examining historical analysis and case studies, research has shown that crack use has been related to an increase in violent crime rates such as robberies and homicide and decrease in non-violent crime rates such as burglaries.   Law enforcement and the courts system have responded to combat the use and sales and to increase penalties related to possession of crack.   Violent crimes have increased in communities where crack has been introduced. (Baumer, 1994)

Case studies have shown that robbery rates have spiked due to the introduction of crack in a given city.   Due to the lack of a legitimate income crack addicts turn to illegitimate means to gain income to support their habit.   This has been the general motive of users who commit crimes against others.   In cities with populations over 250,000 or more robbery rates increased drastically by 22.8 percent between the mid-1980 through the early 1990’s (Baumer, 1994). Robbery is believed to be the...