The paper analyzes the significant increase in rural crime in post-independence Lithuania (1991-2004). It is argued that the changes in the crime situation in rural areas are associated with the formation of a stratum of post-socialist rural poor. Three sub-divisions of the marginalized rural poor are discernible: (I) pauperized post-socialist peasantry, (2) poor, impoverished, and culturally estranged urban immigrants to rural areas, and (3) marginalized second-generation rural youth. Political, socio-economic, and legal factors contributing to the formation of each of the three sub-divisions within the rural underclass are analyzed, as well as determinants of their group behavior. It is argued that in order to increase its effectiveness, rural policing needs to be more differentiated to be able to respond effectively to the group behavior typical of each of the three groups of rural poor.
- Rural policing