The second comment above is confused and politically biased, as well as wrong.

First, drug addiction does correlate with and lead to crime -- mostly petty theft (like meth addicts stealing copper wire from public utilities) but sometimes more violent crime. As someone who works in public defense, I see this routinely: a large number of defendants arraigned for theft, burglary, etc. have substance abuse/addiction issues.

As for the general theme of the article: this is hardly a "reversal" of the conventional wisdom that poverty causes crime, rather, it is simply a reciprocal effect -- a "structural coupling" of the two phenomena. But pervasive, concentrated, multi-generational poverty creates the "fertile soil" for crime.

That said, if anything, crime makes poor persons even poorer (e.g., through the imposition of excessive court and jailing fees).

The reality is that while poverty in itself does not make an individual a criminal, the state of poverty encompasses a complex of risk factors for criminality: economic stress, family instability caused by said stress, malnutrition, cognitive deficits [which manifest as poor decision-making], mental illness, drug abuse, physical abuse/neglect [which can produce psychopathic/"anti-social" personalities], etc.

And, there are social - ecological factors at work in the interaction of poverty and crime. Poor neighborhoods are commonly in the most polluted sections of a city. Lack of investment in local businesses (and the low presence of loaning institutions) also play a role. There is no single cause here; poverty represents a "syndrome" of causal factors that makes crime more likely amongst those most at risk (who have the most risk factors).

Couple these factors with the over-policing and targeting("surveillance bias") of poor neighborhoods/citizens (another reciprocal effect going on), and, the readiness of CPS to remove children from poor homes verses middle class or wealthy ones (a large percentage of persons in the criminal justice system come from broken homes and foster care systems)...and, what results is a "recipe" (a 'socially patterned" prescription) for a higher rate of crime and criminality among low socio-economic status neighborhoods and persons.

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