Violence refers to inflicting physical or psychological harm by one party to another in an attempt to gain control over them (Britt, 24). Britt, (54) defines violent crime as the use of force by offenders to harm their victims. Violent carries heavy punishment such as death penalty in some countries a d life imprisonment in others. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a must for all violent crimes to involve the use of weapons as some of the violent crimes such as rape do not involve the use of weapons.
It has been found that, violent crime involves more men than it does women and therefore most of the convicts of violent crime are men (Hirsch, 92). Perhaps nothing attracts much debate when it comes to violent crime than the debate on the most appropriate form of punishment which should be applied on the offenders. While some favor capital punishment other opposes to that kind of punishment and tend to favor correctional approaches such as life imprisonment.
Traditionally capital punishment has been almost universally adopted by several societies to act as a deterrent to crime. The rationale has always been that since no person wishes to be executed then the punishment of death would serve to discourage anyone who might think of committing capital offense. The methods of punishment or execution have been different in different societies and they had their purpose in deterring criminal activity. Some more crude modes include stoning, crucifying, hangings among many others.
Debate has been rife whether capital punishment still acts as a deterrent for criminals. There has been no evidence in research to relate capital punishment with reduction in crime, neither is there evidence that capital punishment encourages capital crimes (Britt, 76). However, some have attempted to link crime statistics to the existence of capital punishment. For instance a recent study by Amnesty International suggested that homicide rate is higher in states that sanction capital punishment than in those that are without it.
Violent crime in the United States of America comprises mainly of offenses such as robbery, assault, murder, as well as manslaughter all of which involve threatening of the victim by the offender of offender with force incase of noncompliance and use of actual force in some cases (Britt, 35). There are many causes of violent crime key of which include, poor parenting, welfare dependency, as well as lack of parental attachment, poor educational backgrounds, as well as abject poverty, decreasing attachment to religious practices, ineffective legislations, high unemployment rates and cultural influences.
Racial orientations have also been found to influence crime with African Americans more likely to commit violent crime than the whites in the United States of America (Britt, 52). Another form of violent crime results from youth violence and is commonly referred to as juvenile crime. Youth violence refers to a situation where adolescents engage in acts of lawlessness something, which not only interrupts peace in the environment but also has an adverse effect on the adolescents’ lives (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 56-89).
Considering the fact that youth violence is caused by a wide different number of factors, dealing with the problem is not easy. Fighting youth violence requires a multisectoral approach. One in which the underlying social problems causing youth violence is considered as a health problem as a drug problem, as a result of poverty or as a problem resulting from the disintegration of the family unit. According to (Hirsch, 25) individual characteristics play a very important role in influencing youths into violent crime.
Individual factors include; family history in that, a youth who grows up amidst domestic violence, is likely to be influenced negatively and end up in promiscuous behavior (Hirsch, 49). Emotional factors such as distress also cause most youths to engage in youth violence, this also includes circumstances in which the young person exhibited emotional problems since childhood. Youths who involve in drug abuse such as the abuse of alcohol or cocaine are more likely to end up engaging in violent crime. Socio-cultural factors have also been found to significantly cause violent crime amongst the youth (Hirsch, 87).
This is because of the fact that, an adolescent who is brought up in an environment which is permissive to anti social behaviors such as drug abuse, are more likely to get involved in violent behavior. Conclusion Violent crime is a form of crime that, the nation must decisively deal with give the fact, that, it costs a lot of taxpayers’ money to prosecute violent crime cases as well as shouldering the heavy costs associated with life imprisonment. However, compared with the social and economic impact of violent crime, any measure that holds solution to change the worsening trends of violent such measures must be pursed at all costs.
Page Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 1995. Washington, D. C. : U. S. Government Printing Office. 1995. Britt, C. Crime and Unemployment in the United States, 1958-1990: a time series analysis. American Journal of Economics and Sociology. 53. 1994. Hirsch, A. Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments. New York: Hill and Wang. 1976. Kaminer, W. 1995. It’s All the Rage: Crime and Culture. New York: Addison – Wesley Publishing Company.