Criminal Justice: Crime Rate Comparison

Crime rates in the United States (US) have been rising. Certain rates for certain crimes are available for the previous years. The recent data has also corroborated the same trend (Disaster Center, n.a.); however, particular crimes for which the increase or decrease are still not clear. The purpose of this paper is to compare the crime rates of two selected states of the US, Nevada, and Arizona, specifically for aggravated assault, so that trends over the years and future prospected outcomes could be compared easily.

Prevalence of the Crimes Examined

For Nevada, Boulder City Police Department is selected for taking a clear view of the aggravated assault in the county. In contrast, for Arizona, Apache County Sheriff was selected for the same objective. The latest data available on both these pages were for the year 2005, in which Nevada had 14 aggravated assault crimes while Arizona had 12 for the same year. It has been noticed that aggravated assault has been declining over the past few years in Nevada whereas, in Arizona, it has been drastically on the decline from 2001 till 2005. In Nevada, crime was on the decline in 2004 compared to 2003, but it went on a slight rise again in 2005. Still, the pattern of decline could be noticed from the year 2001 in Nevada as well.

Causal Explanation for Variation in Crime between States

Three common causes for aggravated assault include domestic violence, intoxication, and road rage (The Rickman Law Firm, n.a.). If one of the factors is taken for explaining the causal occurrences of the crime variation in the selected states, then substance abuse would be focused on. The five most prevalent drugs in Nevada for which several patients were admitted for treatment are alcohol, methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and others (Canfield, 2004, p. 4). In 2004, the admission for alcohol dependence treatment accounted for 40%; methamphetamine treatment was 29%, marijuana was 13%, cocaine 9%, heroin 6%, and the rest were for the others. The annual average for substance abuse was even greater for 2005 to 2010 in Nevada, being the highest among Las Vegas and the overall United States, which was 10.3% (SAMSHA- The NSDUH Report-a, 2012, p. 3). Hence, this could be the reason for a slight increase in aggravated assault in Nevada since one of the causes of aggravated assault surged between 2004 and 2005. The remaining causes and factors on the crime variation still need deeper probation for a clearer picture.

For Arizona, the primary treatment admission for drug use was seen declining in 2002, 2003, and 2004, including cocaine, heroin, marijuana, stimulants, and other types (Office of National Drug Control Policy, n.a., p. 1). The annual average for substance abuse was again higher during the years 2005 till 2010 when compared with the overall U.S. and Phoenix-Mesa Glendale MSA, which was 10.2% (SAMSHA- The NSDUH Report-b, 2012, p. 3). Hence,…disorders, road rage, personal hostility, etc. Since substance abuse is one of the three major reasons behind the aggravated assault, with the aim of future investigation, one of these factors is taken for a deeper probe and its connection with the crime in both states. Additionally, it could also be investigated that certain drug types have different effects on the violent crime committed by the offenders. It has been verified by research that criminal motivations differ considerably across crime types and the types of drugs used, such as methamphetamine, heroin, and alcohol (Sutherland et al., 2015)

The changing patterns and their causes would be better explained if the relationship is validated with the proposed research. Substance use and persistence of violent behavior have been confirmed with studies over time as there have been problems associated with drugs, cognitive functioning, aggression, and recidivism among the victims (Lammers et al., 2014).


The aggravated assault rates in the United States have been declining since 2015, whereas they kept rising in the previous years. A similar, somewhat distorted pattern has been observed in Nevada and Arizona, for which the latest data was only available till 2005. The changes in crime patterns are expected to be because of substance abuse since it is one of the three major reasons for aggravated assault. In the future, the proposed research design would be based on exploring the relationship between substance abuse and aggravated assault in Nevada and Arizona so that governments…


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