“The motivation to kill is both born out of desperation and opportunity,” explained Dr. Robert Fischer, Poverty Center co-director, to the Times-Picayune in “Why does New Orleans have more murders than similar cities? Experts search for answers” on May 11.
The article explores why New Orleans has a higher murder rate than cities of similar population and poverty level. For example, the population of Cleveland is larger and suffers from a slightly higher poverty rate but experiences fewer murders with a murder rate almost a third less than New Orleans in 2015.
Dr. Fischer believes that a connection between poverty and crime has been proven over time due to desperation and opportunity. “I think poverty drives both of those in a way because desperation makes you more likely to take risks and envision opportunity through a criminal act like homicide,” he said.