Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hester: Research Shows Wet Counties Crime-Ridden

Prominent Jonesboro activist Bob Hester has some strong stats to back up his contention that booze is bad: Bad for increasing crime, and bad for hurting community growth and development. I am ambivilent about beer and wine at least, but these figures have made me take a new look at my assumptions. These stats were taken from a study using 1998-99 figures. The study so far as we know has not been repeated since then.

Percentages were figured per 1000 population and are averages of all counties.

Wet county / dry county crime comparison of
8 major crimes for 1998
Percentage difference

122% more murder in wet

96% more rape in wet

326% more robberies in wet

127% more aggrav. assault in wet

61% more burglaries in wet

29% more thefts in wet

86% more motor vehicle thefts in wet

205% more arson in wet

(continuted- click "Tuesday" below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)

15 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Wet county / dry county crime comparison of
8 serious but not major crimes for 1999
Percentage Difference

142% more negligent manslaughter in wet

27% more simple assault in wet

120% more stolen property in wet

92% more vandalism in wet

90% more weapons violations in wet

29% more DUI’s in wet

106% more drunkenness in wet


....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Average number of Law Enforcement Personnel in 1998 for wet and dry counties.
(Taken from the Arkansas Criminal Information Center) Wet - 1 per 318 citizens Dry - 1 per 501 citizens
or
37% more law enforcement personnel in wet

Average population growth from 1990 to 2000
in wet counties and dry counties
(Taken from 2000 census data)
Wet - 7.4% avg. growth
Dry - 22% avg. growth

,..
Adult and Juvenile Drug and Drunk Driving Arrests
The following information was taken from “Risk Factors for Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Arkansas,” published by the Arkansas Dept. of Health, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention. Statistics reflect rates from 1992 to 1996.
Average number of Adult Drunk Driving Arrests per 1000 population -- 1992 - 1996
was 30% more in wet counties

Average number of Adult Alcohol & Drug Arrests per 1000 population - 1992 - 1996
was 34% more in wet counties

Average number of Juvenile Arrests for Drug Violations per 1000 population - 1992 - 1996
was 32% more in wet counties


Hester points out that even these figures could under-report the increase in crime prevelent in wet counties, because whatever effect is causing the increase could "spillover" into the dry counties if they had wet counties on their borders.

11:11 AM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the entire country of Afghanistan is dry

ANd they are crime free!

11:59 AM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can you say "logical fallacy"?

12:54 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Yes, I can say that. Can you explain away these stats using logic and reason rather than mere hand-waving?

I am aware that correlation is not equal to causation, but the reason so many people get paid to look for correlation is that their often IS a relationship in the correlating items. Some people want to expand Pre-K and spend $100 million of our money on studies that use correlation to make their point, but the correlations are not as strong as those in this study- not by a long shot.

1:00 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

11:59

You know Afganistan is not crime free- they are the number 1 producer of opium poppies. Alcohol is nothing compared to the dope they smoke! Still, their DRUNK DRIVING rates will be a lot lower than the rates of the wet counties in Arkansas, you can be assured of that.

The reason is the lack of access to alcohol. We DON'T KNOW what their crime rate would be if alchohol were available legally in Afganistan. It might be far higher than it is now. What we do know is that in Arkansas Counties in the late nineties it WAS far higher where booze was readily available.

I am not a prohibitionist, and I have not decided where I come down on this, but facts are facts.

1:05 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vernon Robinson for President!

http://vernonrobinson.com/twilightzone.shtml

1:08 PM, July 11, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would not the Poverty Index be a better indicator of those trends then just the wet/drive issue?

12:05 PM, July 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if poverty in wet counties is more common because of alcohol abuse? I'd say that's a more likely scenario than poverty being entirely independent of alcohol causing an increase in the crimes cited.

5:43 PM, July 12, 2006  
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4:40 PM, March 06, 2007  
Blogger Jeff said...

Can you provide a link to this "study"? Bob posted the same information in a letter to the editor in the 02/22/08 edition of the Jonesboro Sun. However, once again, there was no specific source for the study. He said, "I took some raw crime figures for each county reported by the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Arkansas." I was unable to find such statistics. If you can find the source of that information, I'd sure like to read it.
Thanks,
Jeff

11:38 AM, February 22, 2008  
Anonymous M. A. Berry said...

It is a researched fact that crime rates increase with population. In essance, this "study" compares the crime rate of a town of 10,000 to a city of 150,000. It just so happens that the largest cities in Arkansas are wet. They suggest the causation is because of a county being wet when the major factor is one of population.

Studies controlling for population, that is comparing wet and dry counties of comparable size, come up with different results.

M. A. Berry
Arkadelphia

6:48 AM, September 12, 2008  
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