Essay on Crime Prevention
Number of words: 1299
Crime is a global problem affecting each and every country. Every country suffers from increased crime rates which result to insecurities and a negative impact on the economy. This increased crime rate is fueled by poverty, parental negligence, low self-esteem, alcohol, and drug abuse, resulting from the lack of proper moral values (Topalli & Wright, 2014). Moral values are responsible for determining what is right and wrong and also establish what is socially acceptable. They are ideas considered by society as important and contribute to one’s general personality, and thus, without them, an individual is lost. It is significant to prevent crimes to raise the quality of life of all citizens. Preventing crimes also results to long-term benefits as it reduces social cost resulting from crimes and the costs involved with the formal criminal justice system. In order to prevent these crimes, there is the need to develop evidence-based and comprehensive approaches addressing several factors impacting crimes, including moral values on growing children.
Crimes result from negative moral values, and thus there is a need to promote positive youth development and wellbeing. Horace Mann believes that this prevalence of crime in society could be reduced by moral instruction in schools (Spring, 2019). He argues that for the crime rate to reduce, the moral value of the general public needs to be shaped accordingly. According to him, the most accurate method of doing this is by incorporating moral instruction in the education system. He referred to this method as putting a police officer in every child’s heart. This would enable the child to be conscious of the evil in society and be aware of good and bad. This would guide them as they grow up and prevent them from engaging or committing any crime.
The American Education book portrays crime as a global nuisance, and the more accurate and effective method to prevent it is through education. Mann suggests in this book that the number of police required by society would significantly be reduced by schooling. Thus, education is portrayed as a source of knowledge and a significant tool that would help reduce crime rates remarkably. It is supposed to do this by allowing students to acquire more educational attainment that leads to high paying jobs and thus higher earnings, which increases the opportunity cost of crime and consequently reducing crime. Mann also believes that education would reduce the crime rate by affecting individuals’ personality traits associated with crime. This is done by making students become patient, disciplined and moral. Despite this being a more suitable method of preventing crimes in society, it is not as effective as Mann and other researchers rate it.
Mann theory of preventing crime through schooling is a considerate method, but it is not enough to do so. There is no causal relationship between crime rates and school attendance (Lochner, 2020). It is assumed that schooling and crime rates are related, and thus if school attendance is increased, a consequent crime reduction would be noticed. However, this is wrong, and Mann theory has not proved a reality. According to Joel et al. (2021), the percentage of 5-to 17-years-old students increased from 82.2 in 1959-1960 to 91.9 percent in 2004-2005. The average days of attendance also increased from 160.2 in 1959-1960 to 169.2 in 1999-2000. There was also a rapid increase in violent crimes in 1960-2000 from 160.9 to 506.5 per 100,000 residence (Spring, 2019). As the number of students attending school and the attendance days increased from 1960 to 2004, so did the crime rate. This is proof that the crime rate is irrespective of the number of students going to school and the average days of attendance, and thus Mann theory is ineffective.
Moral value instruction is a vital tool to prevent crimes but implementing it only through schooling, such as Mann suggested, is not only a failing strategy but a waste of time and resources. Moral values in children need to be implemented in many different ways to ensure that they stick as they develop into adults (Damon, 2008). Implementing these moral values would ensure that they grow into morally upright adults, thus reducing crime rates. Implementing moral value through schooling is advised, but it would work with a combination of many other methods including through religion and good parenting. Religion helps in the spiritual growth of a person and emphasizes moral codes aimed to develop values such as social competence and self-control, which are major virtues in crime hating people. According to the study done by Brown and Taylor (2007) on how religion impacts child development, it was found that social competence and the psychological adjustment of third-graders were positive influenced with several religious factors. This shows that religion helps in developing children to become adults with a positive and better judgement that would keep them from engaging in any crime and thus would contribute to crime rate reduction.
Parents are responsible for their children, and they are required to guard and guide them as they contribute to their personality. According to Penn (2015), how a child turns out as an adult depends on how their parents brought them up. As a result of this, it is crucial for parents to be careful of how they handle their children. It is the responsibility of every citizen of a county to help fight and prevent crimes, and thus it is the responsibility of parents to reduce the crime rate by training their children to be better people in future. They should be consistent with rules and monitor their children behaviour to ensure that they instil good moral value in them, equipping them with the knowledge of good and evil. If a child is raised in a way that makes them hate crime, then they would not engage in any, and this would contribute to the general reduction of crime in the society.
In conclusion, the main way of preventing crime is by instilling positive moral values on growing children to ensure that they develop into morally upright adults who would not engage in criminal activities. It is assumed that to instil this moral values in children and prevent crimes in future, the best way is through schooling. But this is not the case as there is no causal relationship between crime rates and schooling, and thus schooling will not necessarily result to a reduced crime rate. In order to ensure that moral values are successfully instilled in children, schooling would have to be combined with other methods, some of which include religion and good parenting, resulting in adults who are conscious of good and evil. Increased crime rate is a problem experienced by all countries globally, and the only way to fight it is by shaping the personality of the future generation by instilling positive moral values as their driving force.
Topalli, V., & Wright, R. (2014). Affect and the dynamic foreground of predatory street crime (1st ed.).
Spring, J. (2019). American Education. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429274138
Lochner, L. (2020). Education and crime. The Economics Of Education, 109-117. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-815391-8.00009-4
Joel, M., Bill, H., Jijun, Z., Xiaolei, W., Ke, W., & Sarah, H. et al. (2021). National Center for Education Statistics: The Condition of Education 2019. NCES 2019-144. ERIC. Retrieved 5 July 2021, from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED594978.
Damon, W. (2008). Moral child: Nurturing children’s natural moral growth (3rd ed.). FREE Press.
Brown, S., & Taylor, K. (2007). Religion and education: Evidence from the National Child Development Study. Journal Of Economic Behavior & Organization, 63(3), 439-460. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2005.08.003
Penn, H. (2015). Understanding early childhood (3rd ed.). Open University Press.