Violent crime has been falling in recent years in South Carolina, but it remains higher here than in most other states in the country, according to a new study.
The analysis by 24/7 Wall St found South Carolina has the nation's fifth-highest violent crime rate. The study pointed to a potential relationship between lower income and education levels and crime.
South Carolina had nearly 559 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. Only Tennessee, Nevada, Alaska, and New Mexico have higher levels of violent crime.
The study said violent crime remains stubbornly high in South Carolina, even though the state has transformed itself into a manufacturing hub with the opening up of new facilities by companies such as Boeing and BMW.
"Its murder rate of 6.9 per 100,000 is the fifth worst in the country. Its aggravated assault rate is the third worst. Roughly 25 percent have bachelor's degrees, among the nation's lowest figures," the study stated.
About 18.3 percent of people are living below poverty levels in South Carolina, the ninth worst in the country. The figure is well above the U.S. average of 15.9 percent, 24/7 Wall St. stated in its study.
John Roman, a senior fellow in justice policy at the Urban Institute, which studies the link between prosperity and crime, said there is no "silver bullet" or simple remedy.
"Even if you can help somebody overcome a whole bunch of problems that led them to be criminal, if they're going back to a place where crime is the social norm, it's not reasonable to think they'll be successful," he was quoted as saying.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections told The Greenville News earlier this year that the number of inmates in state prisons was falling but violent offenders make up two-thirds of the prison population.
Historically, Richland County has had the fifth highest rate of violent crimes throughout the state. The large proportion of violent offenders in South Carolina's prisons speaks for itself. If you are accused of any type of violent crime, prosecutors will seek a tough sentence. It's important to be represented by experienced Columbia criminal defense attorneys.