Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(1):(9-318)


Health, violent crimes, murder and inflation: public health phenomena

Paul Andrew Bourne, Ikhalfani Solan

Abstract

Introduction: The Jamaican Ministry of Health published a report which showed that in 2006, the direct health care cost of violence was approximately Jamaican $2 billion. Despite this reality, there is a paucity of empirical studies on health crimes in the nation – the study of crimes statistics from a health perspective. Objectives: This paper 1) evaluates the role of inflation on murder as well as violent crimes, 2) examines the influence of murder on violent crimes, and 3) how illness impacts on the murder rate. Methods: The current study utilizes published data to carry-out its analyses. The data were collated from Jamaica Government Publications, namely Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica, and Bank of Jamaica. Results: Between 1988 and 2011, the average numbers of violent crimes were 17,301 with 1,042 people murdered. A strong negative statistical association existed between lnviolent crimes and murder (P < 0.0001); weak direct relationships were found between lnviolent crime and inflation (P = 0.014) and low inverse correlation between lnmurder and inflation (P = 0.011). Of the two variables that were used to examine logmurder, only lninflation was statistical correlation with lnmurder (P = 0.033), with the factor accounting for 36.5% of the variability in lnmurder. An inverse statistical correlation emerged between lnviolent crimes and lninflation (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Inflation is a public health challenge in Jamaica as it has two separate and distinct effects on murder and violent crime, which is problematic for policy makers.

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