Does high unemployment translate into more crime? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Does high unemployment translate into more crime?

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To some crime pays; when long lines at the unemployment office don't. "That's actually what we call the net payoff to crime," said Economics Professor at Darton College Aaron Johnson.

A study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta explains his point. "There's the punishment to doing crime and getting caught. Then there's the benefit of doing crime and getting the spoils from it," said Johnson. 

The study found criminals are paid higher when punishments are low. But when the punishment is equal the pay drops.

"There's a hidden cost there. If you commit crime it becomes much more difficult for you to make a living later," said Johnson. 

Albany Police say, crooks have given excuses of hunger, or need as the reason why they robbed. "When there's less job opportunities, now doing illegal activity becomes more attractive," he said.

So will bringing in more jobs make the community a safer place? "When you bring jobs in, that's going to increase your tax space. With the increase, you can hire more law enforcement," said Johnson.

To view the net pay off to crime study click HERE.

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