Crime is the act of deviating from the norms and expectations of the society and engaging in activities that are against what the society expects. Individuals who engage in crime are referred to as criminals and the study of their behavior tries in explaining what causes crime and even how to prevent it. To understand crime and its causes it is important to understand why some people just decide to commit crime? Are they aware of its benefits and dangers? Why is it that some people just commit crime while others cannot commit rime regardless of their circumstance?
Understanding these lead questions clearly points out that crime is the result of an individual making the choice to commit crime but not essentially issues of social circumstance since majority of people are exposed to the same conditions yet they do not result to crime. Some people consider the life of being a criminal better than any regular jobs considering the great rewards associated with crime. Social circumstances that surround an individual determine their exposure to crime. A person’s relation with parents and family background determine the kind of live children shall live when they grow up.
Parents with historical cycles of violence tend to mistreat their children, who will in turn repeat the same pattern to their children. Mistreated children often feel neglected and abused and tend to commit crime later in life than those who were not mistreated. Parents, who support and love their children, instill a sense of confidence and they easily adjust to the social environment very fast and are less likely to commit crime. In this case an individual has been forced to crime by their parent’s failures in life
as they seek to look for ways to get ride and heal the psychological pain in their lives. Individuals with low education end up in low wage jobs which can be terminated any time by the employers. The employee’s income cannot meet all their basic needs and they are left to choose between keeping the low-income job and the profitable crime. While gaining more education can provide the chance for a better job that can help them overcome poverty, the classes can be very expensive and they may have no time to concentrate in their studies hence they opt to commit crime.
Social circumstances are the main contributors of crime because the society does not provide equal chances and opportunities yet they all have similar needs to meet. Peer influence, influences a person’s decision to commit crime. If the youth cannot fit into the expected standards in the society or in school they mainly turn to taking drugs which gives them the courage to commit crime. If the society had not put pressure on the such youth then chances are they may not have turned to crime and may discover other areas in their lives through which they could have excelled and assisted the society.
Drugs and alcohol abuse strongly influence a person’s ability to make choices and impair judgment giving them courage to commit crime that can land them to jail terms. Substance abusers results to crime in an attempt to finance the drugs because they may have no other sources of money to constantly buy the expensive drugs. Individuals are lead to drug and alcohol taking by failure to meet certain demands in the society which frustrates them and through substance abuse they attempt to overcome such disappointments.
Such forms of crime are not an individuals choice but the society in which the person lives in forces them get involved in such crime because they cannot live up to the standards and expectations of the society. If the society had no much pressure on individuals then frustration levels will be low, leading to reduced substance abuse and its associated crime. Easy access to firearms provides a simple means to commit crime. Most of the firearms used to commit crimes are usually purchased in the “black market”.
The arms gives the criminals confidence to commit crime without fear. If their access was limited the number of criminals can decrease drastically because they lack the courage to commit crime. The increased free Internet information makes it easy to commit crime since the wed provides instructions on how to make home made-bombs, buy poisons and even make transactions. Theories as well try to explain why crime is a result of social circumstances. The developmental theory of crime points out that the youth can move in and out of crime depending on the circumstances around them.
During ones development, individuals experience victimization and offending characteristics of some level either at home, the community and even school which cause them to engage in crime as they seek to join groups that do not victimize them. The social set up in this case leads to increased crime which if avoided could reduce crime and aggressiveness a great deal and encourage the youth to turn away from crime. According to the developmental theory, the best way of reducing crime is through early intervention of problem in children through cognitive-behavioral therapy is very important in reducing crime levels among the youth.
Crime prevention according to the developmental theory encourages effective parenting practices and school success; these interventions should not only be limited to early childhood but should extend into the adulthood. The neutralization theory suggest that people do not fully embrace criminal lifestyle but keep drifting between delinquent and non-delinquent states. Delinquents tend to assume that criminal behavior is fine but this is contrary to the society expectations. The theory encourages crime by quelling feelings of quilt and shame associated with criminal activities an individual commits, thus justifying criminal behavior.
The neutralization theory help increase crime by justifying criminal behavior through denial of responsibility where individuals blame circumstances such as poverty, parents and substance abuse as the main causes of their criminal behavior. The individuals always blame other people’s fault for their actions thus crime in this sense is driven by social circumstances beyond ones personal control. Delinquents do not view their criminal’s activity as wrong since there is denial of injury or no one is hurt during their activities.
The youth may be involved in crime in retaliation for prior violence or assault they got from their fellow youth due to failed social systems which do not enforce strict rules and regulations within the society. If the legal systems are properly followed retaliatory violence and crime will be on the decline. Crime can increase if the legal authorities such as the police and politicians whom people look up to incase of are corrupt. For example, the youth can justify their activities such as excessive drinking that may result to crime because their adult accusers drink.
It is thus important for the adults to set good example for the youth to emulate thus this becomes a social contributor to crime which could otherwise have been avoided if the youth were well guided. Control theory tries to explain how social control and self-control help explain why people commit crime. The theory view criminology as inevitable in a society with an ineffective social control. The theory points out that individuals involved in social activities such as schooling and work have limited opportunities to engage in crime but incase social bonds weaken then the whole structure as well weakens.
for example if parents are too busy to spend time with their young ones, then they become less and less attached to their parents, they become less committed to social activities and may engage in crime. The Labeling theory states that deviance which result to crime is determined by the relationship between the labeler and the labeled. Teachers are the main people who are involved in labeling pupils within the school set up; the pupils are labeled depending on their academic abilities. It is therefore very important to examine with great care the reactions of the pupil being labeled since it may result to deviance and crime.
For example, when a pupil is labeled as “troublemaker”, they are more likely to accept this label within this school context which they can carry on with after school since some labels have long-term effects even after school. The social circumstance surrounding labeling determines to what extend the labeled becomes deviant. For instance, labeling that take place in front of large gatherings have more severe psychological effect than when the labeling takes place in a confined private place. Public labeling cause’s trauma and humiliation to the pupil’s self.
Labeling causes many problems as the labeled pupil tries to cope. This may result to the pupil committing more acts of deviance as they transform in an attempt to acquire their new status. As youth try to get their identity in society at different ages of their lives they may be influenced to engage in criminal activities. This form of crime is as a result of the negative view adults have over them. They usually refer to them as trouble-makers making them feel abused. This leads them engage in criminal activities as a means to fight back.
The media portrays the youth as a threat too social order making them act in a manner to justify their negative image. In conclusion the causes of crime are very diverse depending on individual’s exposure to stimulants that influence one towards crime. It is believed that individuals must have control over their own actions without blaming the social circumstances influencing them. This is because a large number of people are exposed to the same conditions, yet they do not turn to crime. It is for this reason, that there can never be a solid justification for their action.
Crime is mainly driven by ones choice and influenced by the social environment in which an individual interacts with on a daily basis. Individuals involved in crime are usually considered to have some personal weaknesses and that their actions are fully driven by their own conscience but not by some mysterious forces as some may try to explain. In order to fully eliminate crime within the society, it is important to ensure the youth who more vulnerable to crime are well guided by their parents who must be there for them most of the time.
The school system should ensure an environment with less labeling so as to produce sensible individuals at the end of the course but not hardened criminals. The community should as well ensure that all the factors that draw people to crime are dealt with and provide a good social environment free from crime. The common belief that individual are born criminals have no strong basis because if one is not exposed to social environments that influence the thought to commit crime then such individuals will never think of committing the crime thus in my own opinion the social circumstances play a major role in determine crime within the society
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