Though crime is a problem in American society, it is not the problem. Crime, to a very large extent, is a problem that the U.S. Government has created from whole cloth.
The government, by injecting itself into every facet of domestic life, has made even the prospect of being a spouse or a parent a dangerous and potentially criminal proposition. For example:
If a couple becomes involved in an argument and the police are called, one or the other (usually the male) will be arrested, and will acquire a criminal record as a result, even if no violence or harm occurred.
The government has made it a crime to discipline your children. To spank a child in American society is to abuse that child. It can result in criminal charges being files against the parent, the incarceration of the parent, and the removal of the child from the home.
Those accused of terrorism are without defense, because evidence is not required for conviction.
And then there are drug laws. I would challenge anybody to name even one way that any drug law makes society safer. Nonviolent drug laws (i.e. possession, sale, transportation, etc.) account for 15-20% of all criminal justice activities, but this figure is misleading. Drug offenses are only one small piece of the drug laws puzzle. These laws, more than making the manufacture, sale, transportation and possession of said drugs illegal, gives license to organized crime and invited into our midst a smorgasbord of collatoral crime (i.e. gang activity, weapons crimes, violence and murder, prostitution, sexual slavery and the exploitation of children, and more). These crimes are seldom associated with drug laws, but they are associated with, and, in many cases, a direct product of them.
Is the deception accidental? You can bet it is not. Take this as an example of purposeful deception: Prison population statistics show that only a very small percentage of the prison population is imprisoned for minor or nonviolent drug offenses. What these statistics do not show is that repeated minor offenses (through enhancement provisions) become classified as something other than minor offenses. A person, then, can end up with a fifty year prison sentence because, on three different occasions, he was arrested with an insignificant amount of cocaine in a baggie. The nature of the crime is minor, but its classification is not. The moral of this story: Official categories of crimes cannot be trusted.