Poverty is currently up, but crime is down. Crime did not spike during the Great Recession either.
The reason is that crime and poverty come from an entitlement mindset in which people believe they have been giving a raw deal and are owed something.
Actions and choices cause poverty. For example, if man with dependents commits a crime and gets incarcerated then those dependents are much more likely to live in poverty. Criminal activity makes it very difficult for someone to settle into long term employment and long term housing. Such a lifestyle makes it difficult to save money and build a better life. The easy come easy go attitude of getting something for nothing is not conducive to long term financial planning or saving money.
98% of people who graduate from high school, work, and get married before having children live above the poverty level.
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/01/san...g-on-marriage/Ron Haskins, co-author of the Brookings study, which looked at Census Bureau data on a sample of Americans, wrote that the analysis found that young adults who finished high school, worked full time and got married after age 21 and before having kids “had a 2 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 74 percent chance of winding up in the middle class (defined as earning roughly $50,000 or more). By contrast, young adults who violated all three norms had a 76 percent chance of winding up in poverty and a 7 percent chance of winding up in the middle class.”
More information on the connection between crime and poverty.