Property Crime vs. Drug Crime

Topic: Property Crime vs. Drug Crime

For this discussion board, consider the issue of property crime. You are at a meeting of some law enforcement officials. Some of them argue simply that drug crime is driving property crime. Other non-law enforcement participants say that, since police have taken resources away from property crime enforcement and have given them to drug enforcement, they have negated a deterrence for property crime. Those that previously committed property crime are doing more of it, and those who weren’t doing it are more tempted to do so. Additionally, they argue that selective drug enforcement has driven up the cost of drugs thus increasing the occurrence of property crime. Consequently, property crime is driven by police resources, not drug crime. In your thread, take a position and defend it using peer-reviewed journal articles or other scholarly works.



Discussion Board Forum Instructions

There are 4 Discussion Board Forums completed in this course. You are required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 500 words with at least 2 citations in current APA format and must demonstrate course-related knowledge.


In addition to the thread, you are required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words with at least 1 citation in current APA format. Responding to a classmate’s post requires both the addition of new ideas and analysis. A particular point made by the classmate must be addressed and built upon by your analysis in order to move the conversation forward. Thus, the response post is a rigorous assignment that requires you to build upon posts to develop deeper and more thorough discussion of the ideas introduced in the initial posts. As such, reply posts that merely affirm, restate or unprofessionally quarrel with the previous post(s) and fail to make a valuable, substantive contribution to the discussion will receive appropriate point deductions.


Acceptable sources include peer-reviewed journal articles from the Liberty University’s Online Library (ProQuest, ERIC, EBSCO, JSTOR) and other scholarly works to include volumes or books (as well as Scripture).


This course utilizes the Post-First feature in all Discussion Board Forums. This means you will only be able to read and interact with your classmates’ threads after you have submitted your thread in response to the provided prompt. For additional information on Post-First, click here for a tutorial.

Submit your threads by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned modules/weeks. Submit your replies by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the same modules/weeks except for Module/Week 8. For Module/Week 8, submit your replies by 11:59 p.m. (ET)



Student 1:

Drug crime is driving property crime in the United States.  When someone is an abuser of drugs they will do everything in their power to get the high that their bodies desire.  According to the text, “Drug users report greater involvement in crime and are more likely than nonusers to have criminal records.” ( Schmalleger, pp. 248).  People have broken into cars in the middle of the night just looking to anything they can find of value.  People wanting to get the drugs that their bodies crave have broken into a car just to get the change out of it that they can see in the car.  I have personally been a victim of someone braking into my car simply for the few cents I had in my cup holder of my car.  “The cost of drug habits induces some users to commit crimes to support their drug habits.” (Schmalleger, pp.248)  A person may even go as far as stealing from a store and then taking the items back to the store or the same store just a different location.  They will then say they do not have the receipt and just want the cash back for the items.  People will do anything to get the money they need to get the drugs they want, even if that means stealing.


Student 2:

Police departments have a tough job allocating the scarce resources that they are given to combat crime.  There are many different crimes that need to be enforced, investigated, and prosecuted and the police department needs to stay ahead of the trends and be proactive in their enforcement.  While focusing on drug enforcement may seem to increase property crimes the alternative would be worse.

Property crimes include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson (Schmalleger, 2014).  There are many different motives for committing property crimes and, other than arson and vehicle theft, most of those motives revolve around the idea of fast cash.  Burglary for example, is a crime where the offender breaks into a house and grabs cash or anything else that is worth money and can later be quickly traded for cash at the local pawn shop or online.

Drug offenses are any laws that pertain to the use, possession, distribution, sale, or manufacturing of drugs that are considered illegal (Schmalleger, 2014).  The war on drugs costs a great deal of money.  The entire criminal justice system, which includes investigations and arrests, incarceration, and other costs total nearly $110 billion annually.  There is no doubt that the war on drugs is costly, but this focused enforcement is needed due to how drugs are most times at the center of the complicated web of crime.

Law enforcement should continue to fight its war on drugs because it directly effects other crimes, such as property crimes.  Benson et al. (1992) argues that drug users are a large part of the criminal element that commit property crimes.  Benson et al. (1992) also claims that through self-reporting and drug testing many persons who are arrested for property crimes have tested positive for drug use and therefore can conclude that many drug users commit burglary and larceny to fund their drug addiction.  It is true that drug enforcement may raise the prices of the drugs and may contribute more towards property crimes, but if there were no drug enforcement then that would mean drug prices would fall and therefore making it easier for drug addicts to obtain them.  This, in turn, would fuel public disorder which correlates to public intoxication and the general quality of life that one can expect in their community.  Schmalleger (2014) notes that treatment costs that are associated with illegal drug use surpasses $11 billion per year.  This number would only escalate if illegal drugs were made cheaper and more accessible.  Furthermore, Robb London (2005) says that drug use is down President Nixon first declared the war on drugs and attributes the decline to the criminal justice system adding drug treatment to its focus.  Courts offer rehabilitation and “drug court”, which is a strict program that allows offenders to serve less time if they complete an outlined schedule.  This renewed effort will also have effects on property crime and lower its frequency.  With drug offenders kicking their bad habits there will be no need to fund their drug addiction and consequently be no need to commit burglaries and larcenies.

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