2020 DHS memo revealed strain from pandemic would possibly 'increase some to turn to violence'

Petty crime, violent crime and nearly every other category of crime is up in Houston and all across the country after the start of the pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security anticipated an increase in crimes, warning about the danger of social isolation which could "increase the vulnerability of some citizens to mobilize to violence" and "could accelerate mobilization to violence with extended periods of social distancing." The isolation is a "known risk factor" in inciting violent extremism, according to DHS.

Howard Henderson, the director of the Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University, said the key now is providing support to underserved communities as we come out of the pandemic.

"Without work, without jobs, without opportunities, violent crime had a tendency to rise. It feeds off of that in these poor communities," Henderson said. "When people feel like no one is listening to them, when they feel like they have nowhere to go, when money is short, when unemployment is high, frustration has a tendency to lead to violence and that's what is happening here."

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