Duty: a moral or legal obligation
Responsibility: a duty to care for a having control over someone or something
Conscience: the inner feeling you are doing right or wrong
There are all sorts of reasons why people commit crimes. These reasons need to be understood in order to help us deal with crime. Locking someone up for several years and then releasing them will not help prevent further crime if the reason why that person turns to crime is a lack of education or opportunity. In order to prevent that person committing further crime we need to tackle the lack of education and opportunity so that he can have a chance at a non-criminal life when he leaves prison.
Most importantly a society needs to teach people the difference between right and wrong so that their own CONSCIENCE can help them to avid criminal behaviour. This means giving people a sense of DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY so that they understand how they fit into their society, how being part of that society benefits them and how they can give back to that society.
What Causes Crime?
- According to evidence from surveys most YOUNG OFFENDERS turn to crime when society has nothing to offer them. They may have dropped out of school and lack education and qualifications, so they can’t get a job. They might be left with crime as the only way of making money.
- Added to this, a MATERIALIST society that judges people by what they wear or own will encourage people to steal things they can’t afford.
- UPBRINGING is also a major factor. Parents who do not work, have poor educations or are violent, abusive or neglectful of their children teach these children to behave in the same ways.
- In some places BOREDOM is also an issue. If society offers nothing for young people to do then they may seek out criminal activities purely for excitement.
- DRUGS and GAMBLING can also be causes of crime. People who get themselves into debt may see crime as a way of settling that debt. Drug addicts may need money and, if their drug habits will not allow them to keep a job, they may need to steal in order to get that money.
- Living in a society where there is high UNEMPLOYMENT seems to correlate with high crime rates. People have little money and time on their hands. They thus turn to crime to make money and to add excitement.
- GANG CULTURE and peer pressure can create crime. Often this escalates when gangs or groups need to ‘go further’ than the next gang or group in order to achieve status.
- INADEQUATE HOUSING and OVERCROWDING seems also to correlate with high crime. It is possible that living in environments which are not looked after does not encourage people to behave responsibly.
- According to studies a majority of people in prison have some sort of psychological pro
blem or disorder.
- Some people say that human beings are naturally selfish and greedy. We are built to obtain wealth and power at any cost, so we are driven to break the law.
- T.V., film, music and the internet have been blamed. People are either copying violence or behaviour they have seen in the media or become desensitised to it and see criminal behaviour as ‘normal’.
All of these things matter in tacking crime. If, for instance, it is true that violent video games do lead to crime then the way to reduce crime is not just to imprison the people who commit crimes but to have better regulation of the video games market that is driving them to crime in the first place. If this is not the case (that video games do not cause crime) such a move would be pointless. If we are going to help people live non-criminal lives we must understand why they turn to crime in the first place.