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Crime Wave Mirrors Problems in Eastern Europe

NCJ Number
Crime & Justice International Volume: 15 Issue: 24 Dated: 01/1999 Pages: 11,12,32,34
Anna Mantarova
Date Published
January 1999
4 pages
This article discusses crime in Bulgaria today and suggests that analysis of the phenomenon is to a great extent valid for other societies in transition.
Among the social conditions forming the background of the present Bulgarian crime wave, inadequate legislation, destabilization of institutions--especially of law enforcement--poverty and moral crisis are of special importance. The lack of proper penal laws has left organized crime without any counteraction. Delay in convicting perpetrators of some widespread crimes such as theft has contributed to the expansion of crime. Since the end of the 1980s, Bulgaria has been in profound economic crisis. Those living on incomes below the social subsistence level grew from 31.7 percent of the population in 1990 to 92.5 percent in 1996. Nearly full employment has been replaced by high unemployment, most of it long-term. The article examines the complex and dynamic relationship between unemployment and crime, the correlation between attitudes to the law and monetary situation of households, and the correlation between attitudes to the law and social status. Figures