This week, MARRI released a report looking at the social science behind the violence in Baltimore. This report offers a different outlook on the social issues surrounding Baltimore than many other institutions. It shows that family intactness, education, and economic outcomes are a far higher predictor of violence and crime than race. The following is an excerpt from that report:
There is a clear and even desperate need to restore marriage among the poor in inner-city Baltimore. This task, however, is beyond the competence of government. That is not a fault in government—it is the nature of the problem. No one goes to government for love.
Marital stability depends on affection, care, loyalty and sexual fidelity, which is formed in the home. If the City Councils, the State of Maryland, or federal Cabinet members want to combat the social collapse of American cities, they must ask parents, church leaders, school principals and teachers to take on this work of the mind and heart.
An impoverished boy from inner-city Baltimore will not escape criminal activity because the city of Baltimore receives a stimulus bill from the President; he will escape it if a caring teacher, compassionate pastor, or thoughtful adult mentors him so that he feels the support necessary to finish school, work at a job, and marry the mother of his children.
Government is not capable of doing everything, and clearly does not know how to heal the social brokenness of such communities. It will continue to fail the youth of Baltimore unless it looks to other institutions—the church, the school, the family and the influential business leaders—to restore the family by restoring marriage in inner city Baltimore. Until that day comes the problems will only worsen; but when that day does come hope will already have arrived.
To read our entire analysis on the violence in Baltimore, visit our website: http://www.marri.us/baltimore-violence