Establishing the source of criminal behaviors among people in the society has continued to trigger a debate over time. In most cases, criminal activities have been associated with two main factors: nature and nurture. The argument behind this notion is whether an individual’s genetic composition or physical environment makes him/her to engage in criminal activities. According to Pollock (23), crimes are actions that are prohibited by the law. Criminal activities have short-term and long-term effects on the society and affect everyone. This essay discusses the causes of crime and its effects on society.
Causes of Crime
Several explanations are provided as causes of crime, for instance, hereditary abnormalities, personal-psychological differences, or differences in patterns of socialization that can influence a person to commit crimes (Schiller et al. 289). Historically, many criminological theories try to explain causes of crimes among people. They include:
Under the biological theories of crime, the relationshipbetween criminal activities and individuals isconstructed throughhereditary or biological features of individuals. According to this theory, the basic contributing factor of human conduct, for instance, criminal activities, is inherently grounded and all human conductsare inherited from one generation to another.Nevertheless, the theory does not prove that a parent who is a thief is likely to give birth to child who might become a thief. The hereditary criminal characteristics and behaviors are passed on from parents to their children, which are connected to the brain activity. For instance, criminals have been found to experience less brain response to precarious circumstances than other people. Under such a brain function, it is apparent that they can easily take risks in life and engage in criminal activities. Criminals do not also fear the punishment and other repercussions that come along with criminal activities.
According to Rawlins, psychological theories relate causation of crime to the early developments of an individual. This entails defects in the early formative years of character among people that make them commit crimes. In this theory, crime is instigated by a disparity of the character and conscience caused by an incorrect balance during the early years of development. This implies that a person committing a crime is not directly liable for his/her conduct. The blame is on the non-compatiblecharacterqualities,for instance,antagonism, instinct, and conflict. A case example is where children grow up experiencing exploitation or disorderly behaviors in their home. Such children are likely to be mistreated by their own parents andend up following the same pattern.
Many children who are mistreated or abused will most probably commit crimes later in their lives. In the same manner, when children are sexually abused during their childhood, they often become sexual predators when they grow up. According to this theory, many inmates on death row have histories of some kind of such abuse. Therefore, the neglect and abuse of children advances through numerous generations. Criminal behavior can,therefore, be said to be a psychological conditionand not necessarily adeliberate action.
The sociological theorystates that an individual’shabitationor place in the society designates whether he/she will engage in criminal activities (Siegel). The theory asserts that factors, such as lack of equal opportunities, area disarray, and bad social environment are responsible for making individuals to engage in criminal activities. Other sociological factors that are associated with causation of crime include peer pressure, drug and substance use, and easy access of crime tools, such as hand guns. Certain social aspectsinfluence a person’s ability to make a decision. For example, in an environment where children are not able to attend school due to financial constraints, they become idle and are likely to be influenced by their peers into drugs and alcohol abuse. As they remain in the society without hope, they develop an urge to commit crime in order to support a given course. This is stimulated by drugs and alcohol since they impair normal judgment and reduce self-consciousness,thus, increasing cases of crimes.
Effects of Crime on Society
The consequences of crime on society include feelings of panic and fright that interrupt the normal society’s sense of unity, thus, cessation of societal associations as a result of habitual evasion of certain places. Furthermore, the distress of crime in a community is damaging, as it emotionally affects individuals who live in fear and feel vulnerable. This also causes many people in the society to avoid going to certain places due to fear of spoiling the image of the society as a result of crime actions. The view of a society or community being disposed to criminals can discourage others from investing in it. The migration of residents to other areashas a negative effect on the economy of the society.
Criminal activities are caused by several factors, which in most cases are not deliberate. The society needs to come up with effective measures that will assist not only in punishing offenders but also helping them to shape up and create an environment that does not breed crimes. Families and law enforcing officers should be actively involved in ensuring that criminal activities are curbed in a society.
Pollock, Joycelyn M. Crime and Justice in America: An introduction to criminal justice.
Rawlins, VonFrederick, and C. M. Lionel. “Theories of Crime and Causations.” (2005).
Schiller, Johann, William Black, and Patrick V. Murphy. “CRIME AND CRIMINALITY.” (2010): 284-290.
Siegel, Larry J., and Christopher Ray McCormick. Criminology in Canada: Theories, patterns, and typologies. Nelson Education, 2010.