• Chapter

Crime trends and debates


McCall, P. L., & Hendrix, J. A. (2015). Crime trends and debates. In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed., pp. 194-202). Oxford, UK: Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.45050-6


The reasons offered by criminologists for the greatest crime decline in the twentieth century, occurring between the early 1990s and 2000, have been varied and have led to a number of debates in the field. The crime decline during this period, explanations offered to account for this trend and related debates are the focus of this article. We discuss the demographic influence of age structure and ethnic immigration, incarceration, police forces and strategies, the waning crack-cocaine markets, the economy and abortion laws. No one of these by itself can account for the crime decline; but they all likely contributed to some extent.