The definition of crime is: an action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law. Crime has been increasing over the years and although crime occurs for many reasons, there exists ways it can be prevented. But what are these random factors that influence criminal conduct?
The real root of causes of crime and reasons people commit crimes is usually because of their background for example if they grew up in poverty, in a gang, have a mental illness, or have been through a traumatic event in their lives. ‘Real root cause of criminal behavior’ is ‘the absence of marriage and the failure to form and maintain intact families” (Fagan). Unstable families create stress and the absence of affection. Bad influences then come from this such as abuse. “They become hostile, anxious, and hyperactive; they then become difficult to manage and is frequently labelled as a ‘behavior problem’ (Fagan). Poverty can also have an effect on unstable families because finances can cause bullying, parents fighting, and much more. Sometimes this can lead to joining a gang since they then go looking for attention or money. Gangs are bad influences because they force you to steal, do drugs, kill, rape, and to leave your families completely and become unemployed. This is the start of a criminal. On the other hand, mental illnesses if not treated correctly, have a big impact on criminal behavior as well because they are not all there in the head and will do things that are not right.
These crime factors have an effect on everyone including victims, society, family, and even themselves. The physical effects such as injury through a violent crime can cause broken bones, hospitalization, which can then lead to getting sued from the victim. Also direct costs of inconvenience like time off of work. Not only that, but it can cause psychological effects such as anger, depression, fear, and feelings of anxiety. “The effects of a crime can be felt not only by the individual who the criminal justice system treats as the direct victim, but also by their family and those close to them; the knowledge of victimization and its shock can spread out through a neighborhood creating a ripple effect” (University of Sheffield). That gives a bad reputation of the person committing the crime and their family. In the Table of Percentage of victims that received victim support of those that indicated that they needed it, 1996-2005 International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS) and 2005 European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS), showed as many as 4 out of 5 victims in participating countries do not receive the support they feel they need.
Some ways of getting to know a criminal, is studying their behavior and knowing the social, psychological and criminological science behind it. “Looking into the background of just about any criminal you will find at least one, and in many cases, all of the following causal factors: acute parental inadequacy; childhood trauma; interrupted schooling; functional illiteracy; intermittent employment; substance abuse and/or addiction and mental illness” (Dominion Post). Criminals are usually isolated and/or feel isolated and can’t control their exercises; ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which leads to bad decisions. Some have a helpless cork tossed about on a wild torrent of a malign environment. Others act violent or aggressive and have issues such as anger. Unfortunately, the number of people incarcerated in our jails, will simply not do with just placing more criminals in prison. But that doesn’t mean those who choose evil should be allowed to escape the consequences. And the sad part is that if people can do good on their own, they can do evil on their own, and that’s the path they choose.
Crime cannot be stopped completely, but there are ways to prevent it from happening at home. Some crime prevention tips and ideas that can be exercised for safety throughout the community are quite simple. Neighborhood watch is one of the oldest and best-known concepts for crime prevention in the US. This can be an option for neighborhood protection. Also, having a light or radio on when leaving the house, along with locking the doors, is an easy and safe step to prevent someone from breaking in. Paying attention to surroundings and recognizing what goes on in the community, such as drugs, is so important. Sgt. Greg Allen from the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force talked about how to recognize drug houses. He said “drug houses usually attract unusual people traffic. The smell of ether and ammonia also may be indications of illegal substances being present – or manufactured inside a home.” Reporting a suspicious “crime” promotes a healthy and safer community. These tips offer an enriched community which is actually vital because it would build stronger communities and prevent crime all over.
Looking at the bigger picture, this is one way of preventing crime however, crime needs even bigger ways to be prevented. Creating programs that focus on hotspots where more violence is present could reduce crime (bigger cities and males between the age of 10-29). Everyone would need to get involved to come up with a treatment plan though. The real focus needs to be preventing criminal behavior and the conditions that draw people out to be violent. Getting people actively involved in skills such as education can demonstrate positive results. “While justice and police have an important role to play, repression only is counter-productive if not combined with development interventions that look at the drivers of violence, and tackle things like skills and education of youth, socio-economic inequalities, and access to communal services” (Larsson). Getting people to get involved in activities that make them happy, maybe meeting a new friend, or learning new things shows a significance in behavior. Prisons are already over-populated, crime is high, and violence is a culture, so instead of having this strict system that treats people in conduct and order, it’s time to put people on the road to happiness. By doing this, mental institutions can simply take criminals and the people struggling in life and take these individuals on supervised activities frequently, such as horseback riding in the mountains, etc. Just to get them out in the open air and let them have a little freedom because believe it or not, the reason for crime comes from unhappiness. Happiness is key to preventing crime. Sometimes all someone needs is just a friend.
What preventing crime will do is of course cause the entire law enforcement apparatus to become obsolete and eventually the skills to enforce the law would be gone. But that’s okay because there wouldn’t be any crime. Millions of people would lose their job if all crime stopped. Police officers, judges, would all become out of work. Without crime, there would have to be new laws set in place.