Commentary: Causes of Crime

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By Bev Abbad

Root causes of crime are well documented and researched. Crime is primarily the outcome of multiple adverse social, economic, cultural and family conditions. To prevent crime, it is important to understand its roots.

Economic factors/poverty — Poverty manifests in a lack of education and opportunities, a lack of meaningful options, poor living conditions, lack of hope and a prejudice against those living in poverty.

Social environment — Inequality in power, lack of support to neglected families & communities, inaccessibility to services, low value on children and individual well-being, over exposure to TV as recreation, increases the potential for crime.

Family structures — Dysfunctional family structure, failing to raise healthy, responsible members of society contributes to delinquency and crime.

This includes: Parental inadequacy, parental conflict, parental criminality, abuse & neglect of children, family violence.

Crime can be closely linked to conditions of children in our communities. The offender of tomorrow is often the vulnerable child of today.

Risk factors, such as: poverty, racism, family violence, parental neglect, problems at school increase criminal probability. Birth to age 5 is the most crucial time for healthy, social & emotional development.

There is a direct link between childhood abuse and trauma and future criminality. Estimates of up to 80% of incarcerated males have experienced some form of abuse as a child.

Lack of parental supervision, parental rejection, or lack of parental involvement are consistent factors in delinquency leading to adult offending.

Broken homes, separation from a nurturing environment, violence (witnessing or victim of), constant stress during childhood, poor child-rearing methods, parental conflict, low income, cold-rejecting parents,  may predict criminal conduct.

Behaviors are learned. Learned behaviors of violence and aggression are learned in childhood.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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