Title

The War on Drugs and Crime Rates

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-30-2012

Publication Title

Journal of Business and Economics Research

DOI

10.19030/jber.v10i5.6980

ISSN

2157-8893

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effects of the War on Drugs on crime rates. Many in the field of law enforcement believe that incarcerating drug offenders reduces crime. However, time-series analysis of four types of crime rates in the United States does not support this view. Using seven explanatory variables, including federal spending on the Drug Enforcement Agency, incarceration rates for drug offenders, and abortion rates, the results suggest the incarceration of drug offenders causes a crowding-out effect in prisons, releasing non-drug offenders and thereby potentially increasing, rather than reducing crime.

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