The roots of crime - Southeast Missouri State University

Report
The roots of crime
Social systems
Theories
Biological
Psychological
Sociological
Economic
Cultural
Anthropological
Biological
Genetic (twins, adoptees, parental
criminality; XYY)
Gender
Age
ANS research
Nutrition, diet
Head injuries (EEG, motor skills)
Problems at birth
Psychological factors
Aggressive
Impulsive
Hyperactive
Sensation-seeking
Difficult children
Many difficult children do not become
criminal, but most offenders were
difficult
Psychological factors
Problem behavior syndrome
Poor verbal intelligence (predictive
factor in high risk children)
Learning disabilities
ADD and ADHD
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Mental Illness
Moral reasoning
Families
Parental attachment/rejection
Consistent/inconsistent discipline
Supervision/monitoring
Neglect
Abuse
“Broken” home (never married or
divorced)
Families
Large family size
Family variables affected by age of
the parent(s), educational level,
financial status, and availability of
social supports (social capital)
Extended family
Current policy: welfare (cash
assistance) system
Families
Textbook suggests discouraging
unwed pregnancy
Seeking out and taxing fathers
???
Peers
Generally delinquents/criminals have
delinquent/criminal peers
Criminality learned from others
through associations
“hanging around with the wrong
crowd”
Problem for aftercare, parole
Schools
Offenders have poor academic
achievement
Fail grades, truant, drop out
Do not participate in school activities
Successful schools: consistent
discipline, nurturing, critical mass of
motivated students
Tracking?
Schools
Current policies require compulsory
school attendance, and schools are
pressed to keep attendance up
Some unintended consequences:
internal dropouts, “dumbing down” of
curricular options, forcing adolescents
to stay in school who formerly would
have dropped out and gone to work
Schools
Weakening of school/teacher
authority
Breakdown of informal controls
Book suggests lowering the age of
compulsory attendance, with work
options and options for re-entering the
school system
Having adult learners return to high
school with adolescents
Schools
Cognitive-behavioral methods for
changing problem behavior have
some effect
Examples: PASS (Plan a Safe
Strategy), Responding in Peaceful
and Positive Ways, Interpersonal
Cognitive Problem Solving (ICPS)
Anger Control Training—identifying
antecedents, self-monitoring, self-
Schools
Self-instructions, reinterpretation of
situations, self-evaluation, sequence
of problem-solving steps to take
during difficult situations
Schools
Programs that better establish
expected norms and behaviors
somewhat effective
Program to reduce bullying
Mixed effects for mentoring/tutoring
DARE and counseling strategies
appeared to have little effect
Suspensions/expulsions negative
effects
Social control
Attachment, commitment,
involvement
Labelling effects
Primary and secondary deviance
Implications: diversion, due process,
deinstitutionalization
Neighborhoods and communities
Social ecological model
Juvenile Delinquency & Urban Areas
by Shaw & McKay
Poverty, heterogeneity and residential
instability (mobility) lead to community
level social disorganization
Effect of poverty may be conditional
on mobility (rapid population turnover)
Neighborhoods
Negative relationship between
residential stability and violent crimes
Physical structure and density of the
population may have effects
% of units in multi-unit housing
structures a strong predictor of violent
crime
Leads to anonymity
Neighborhoods
Family disruption
Neighborhood concentrations of
stable families may be protective of
children in unstable situations
Large % of female based households
predictive of violent crime
Social disorganization
Approach views community as a
system of families, friends and
acquaintances in a network
Socially organized: inhibit crime
i.e., monitoring youths
Set of obligations, expectations,
social networks
Social capital
Communities
Social capital may be reflected in
assumption of responsibility for other
youth, rate of participation local
organizations and voluntary
associations
Social disorganization: inability of a
community recognize common values
and maintain social controls
Communities
% who felt responsible for
neighborhood and who belonged
to/participated in organizations
predictive of lower levels of crime
“neighboring” activities predictive of
lower rates
Social cohesion surveys predictive
(collective efficacy)
Communities
Factors that increase this process:
Withdrawal
Decline in organizations
Deteriorating businesses
Population changes, loss of stable
residents
Increases in delinquency
Crime undermines economic and social
aspects of a neighborhood
Implications
Changing neighborhoods
Identifying hot spots
Reducing social disorder, i.e.,
cleaning up litter, organization of
walking groups for adults in public
areas, protesting/picketing disorder
crimes
Implications
Building informal controls, such as
organized supervision of youths,
watching street corner groups, adultyouth mentoring
Housing based neighborhood
stabilization: resident management,
code enforcement
Reduce population flight, anonymity
Scattered housing
Some evidence that dispersing public
housing, relocating mothers to
suburbs improves social outcomes of
mothers and children
Community based interventions to
improve prenatal care, support
programs for families (child-rearing
skills
Implications
Increasing community empowerment,
local involvement, voting, etc.
Economics
Overall economy not particularly
correlated to the crime rate
Competing hypotheses: need,
affluence, relative deprivation
Labor markets not clearly correlated
to crime
However, may be related to crime in
high crime areas
Economics
Must distinguish between transitory
economic downturns and job loss
from the more permanent changes in
the labor market, i.e., permanent loss
of manufacturing jobs
Income distribution may also be a
factor
Wealthiest 20% in U.S. have 49% of
income
Economics
Poorest 60% have 28%
Wealthiest 1% have 40% of the
wealth, and their net wealth has
increased over 20% in the last 20
years
Bottom 40% decreased in wealth by
80%
Economics
Consistent trend: More wealth being
accumulated by a small percentage
Bottom 50% not benefiting , and are
Probably relatively worse off
Economics
Ethnographic studies of offenders find
that:
Many have both legal jobs and illegal
activities
Income earned is low, but they can
make more per hour from crimes,
especially drug selling, and they
perceive this
Economics
Gangs might have grown because the
opportunities available to make
money may have had more appeal
than the low wage jobs otherwise
available
Because of neighborhood declines,
such youth often have little
connection to the world of work, or
few “ins” to this world
Current programs
Enterprise zones, community
development block grants
Weed & Seed
Mobility and dispersion programs:
relatively small number take
advantage of them, positive
outcomes, politically unattractive
Commuting programs
Current programs
Summer employment, Job training
Partnership Act (JTPA)
Job Corps has shown employment
and educational gains and reductions
in arrests
Manpower JTPA for adult offenders,
no overall effects except for offenders
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