Youth Crime and Violence3
YOUTHCRIME AND VIOLENCE
YouthCrime and Violence
Asnoted by Macmillan Hubner (2005), criminal and anti-social behaviorshave risen in the current times and they are linked with the youths.The amplifying level of youth crime and violence is prevalent in manynations including the United Kingdom (UK). As put forth by Anderson(1999) the UK is characterized by “gang, knife, and gun crimeculture. The youths have been evidenced to be a danger to stabilityas well as security in many parts of the world. The rising populationof the young people together with increased urbanization,unemployment rates, amongst other factors is attributed to the risingviolence and crimes among the youths (France 2007). There existsstatistical evidence related to the soaring youth populations andamplified levels of crimes. In spite of this, some nations are moreat risk of such violent crimes and thus are offering ways of makingpriorities where governments together with other involved partiesmust take steps in order to alleviate such concerns Graham &Bowling (1995). This entails taking preventive actions and measuresdeemed appropriate in preventing these crimes.
Withthe aim of coping with the rising issue of youth crime and violence,practitioners together with policy makers have designed a number ofcriminal justice and community programs (Curt & Bartol 2009).They are aimed at dealing with the anti-social behavior amongst theyouths by lessening their levels of offences whilst encouragingdesistence from unlawful behaviors. The current paper focuses on thequestion of whether the emergence of new technologies has facilitatedyouth crime and violence or whether it offers space for the creationof new type of offences. In order to tackle the question, the paperhas focused on several issues. They encompass the identification ofkey criminological theories on youth engagement in violent crimes,construction of arguments that apply theoretical concepts of violentcrimes to social issues, as well as appraising the ways in whichyouth, crime, and violence have been dealt with in the media and /orcriminal justice policy, with reference to the current scholarshipbased in the United Kingdom.
KeyCriminological Theories on Youth Engagement in Violent Crime
Thereare a number of criminology theories related to youth engagement inviolent crimes. For this paper, a number of theories that arediscussed encompass social control theory, strain theory,differential theory, and labeling theory (Agnew 1995).
Socialcontrol theory was put forth by Travis Hirschi. According to Hirschi,the spirit of social control is found on individuals’ expectationof the repercussions of their criminal behavior (Cauffman& Kimonis 2007).He goes further and points out that every person finds a kind ofdeviance to be alluring. Nevertheless, to some people, the indulgentin such deviances is prevented due to fear of condemnation by familymembers, whilst other do not care about what could happen once theyengage in such acts. As put forward by Hirschi, compliance stems froma number of controls encompassing strong social attachment,opportunity for success, involvement in rightful activities such asschooling and pursing hobbies, and respect for leaders and belief inmorality (Agnew1995).
Accordingto the social control theory, making the most use of social learningand the socialization procedure generates self control thus,lessening the tendency of involving oneself in behavior that isdistinguished as antisocial (Farrington2002). There are various kinds of controls put forth by the socialcontrol theory and are significant in preventing youth crime andviolence. They encompass direct, internal, and indirect control.Direct controls entail using punishment to punish those youths whotake part in antisocial behavior and giving rewards to those who actin accordance with the set rules (Zigleret al. 1992).Internal controls entail refraining from criminal behavior throughsuperego. Indirect controls involve refraining from criminal acts inorder to avoid causing pain to persons who are closely related(Zigleret al. 1992).Delinquent behaviors can also be controlled by meeting individualneeds and desires. This is termed as controlling criminal activitiesvia need satisfaction. Failure to have a chance in society makes theyouth to involve themselves in criminal acts (Brown1998). Accordingto studies, youths usually stop indulging in antisocial behaviorsafter settling down and establishing social bonds such asrelationships or work (Eadie& Morley 2003).
Straintheory is linked with Robert Merton’s work (Brown 1998). Accordingto the theory, people who engage in criminal activities are the poorand the destitute who aim at attaining socially valued goals based onthe reason that the same cannot be attained through lawful ways(Collins 2008). For example, individuals with poor attainment ofeducation find it hand to attain affluence and status by obtaining awell paying job. As a result, they employ criminal ways to achievesuch goals. There are various adaptations put forth by Merton to thisimpasse encompassing innovation, retreatism, ritualism, conformity,and rebellion (Davies 2007).
Althoughstrain theory has helped in understanding why those in poverty engagein criminal behaviors, it has some setbacks. For instance, it failsto explicate the reason why youths from low income backgrounds do notattain good education. In addition, the majority of youth crimes havebeen evidenced to lack an economic motivation (Ferrell 2004). Thisperhaps implies that, youths engage in criminal behaviors andviolence for own satisfaction but not because they want to beaffluent thus have a status in the society. The theory also does notexplicate violent crime or the kinds of crimes committed by theyouths which have the most impact in the society (Collins, 2008).
Differentialassociation theory focuses on youths in a group environment (France2007). It evaluates how the subsistence of gangs as well as peer pressurecould make youths to indulge in criminal activities. The theory putsforth that the youths are motivated to participate in criminalbehaviors by offending peers and gain knowledge of immoral skillsfrom there (Goldson& Muncie 2006). Accordingto research, the youths who have relationships with offending friendshave a high probability of involving themselves in criminal acts(Hayden2007). Nevertheless, it has been shown that delinquent persons have ahigh likelihood of associating with each other, instead ofinfluencing non offenders. Although differentiation theory hasassisted in the understanding of youth involvement in crimes, it hasfailed to explain on how offender youths turned out to be offendersin the first place (Hayden2007).
ArgumentsWhich Apply Theoretical Concepts of Violent Crime to Social Issues
Fromthe viewpoint of the law enforcement agencies, the speedy growth intechnology has contributed greatly in the amplifying levels ofviolence and crimes (Muncie 2009). For instance, the use of Internet,which has grown tremendously in the current time, is evidenced to bea platform of many crimes such as fraudulent actions, theft,impersonation, electronic gambling amongst others. Fraudulentactivities that are performed online encompass deceptive advertising,carding, and securities fraud amongst others (Muncie 2009). Themajority of these activities are believed to be triggered by theInternet. This implies that the capability of new technologies asmediums for communication and publication are misused and used incommitting criminal behaviors (Gilligan 1996). For instance,individuals use computers to embezzle money transmitted throughelectronic means. This is usually evidenced in the bankinginstitutions and since the development of electronic fund transfer,such crimes have risen. In the current time, many banks operatewebsites through the Internet and this has made information systemsto be at risk as far a security is concerned. The Internet is alsodeemed to be a major platform for the distribution of pornographicmaterials besides allowing pedophiles to converse freely (Gilligan1996).
Underemploymentand unemployment are one of the social issues that make youths tocommit crimes (Eadie & Morley 2003). In many nations around theglobe, youths are people of age who are expected to earn their ownliving by securing employment. Nevertheless, studies have shown thatmost young persons lack the capability of accessing economicopportunities due to the reason that they suffer extensiveunemployment levels. As a result, these persons lack the means oflivelihood opportunities and they aim at achieving the same throughoffences. With the current growth in new technologies, such crimesare committed through the Internet as it is deemed as the safestmeans of doing so (Zigleret al. 1992). Research from Youth Employment Network has shown thatapproximately 66 million youths globally aged between 15 and 24 yearsare not employed (Gabarino 1999). Besides, the level of unemploymentamongst the youths has risen three times as compared to that of theadults. Failure of accessing employment opportunities implies thatthe youths cannot be bale to provide for their own needs such ashouses, food, among others. This results in embarrassment,frustration, as well as separation from the society.
Anotherfactor is individual risk factors (Hubner 2005). There are variousbehavioral or psychological factors which make youths to have a highlikelihood of offending. They encompass impulsiveness, lowintelligence, aggression, restlessness, upsetting behaviors, andfailure to control ones emotions and anger (Regoli & Hewitt2006). It has been shown that youth who have low intelligence have ahigh likelihood of performing poorly in school (Hubner 2005). Inreturn, their opportunity of doing wrongful behaviors increases basedon the reason that low education achievement, low school attachment,as well as low ambition to education are some of the risk factors forcommitting crimes. Impulsiveness is a major characteristic of aperson’s personality which envisages offending. Nevertheless,whether these factors are caused social factors, parental influences,or brain malfunction is not clear (Siegel 2002). Research pertainingto teenage development has shown that as compared to adults, theyouths have a high likelihood of taking risks and this explicates thehigh unequal level of offending amongst the youths.
Weakparticipation in politics as well as poor governance are otherfactors (Goldson & Muncie 2006). In most case, the youths arelowly included in the political system thus they lack a way ofexpressing their ideas, aspirations, needs, as well as grievances.The majority of nations have conservative, rigid power structures,intergenerational hierarchies, and patronage networks that in mostcases do not include the youths in decision making besides failing tomeet their requirements and needs (Collins 2008). As a result,violence offers a good platform for the youths to voice their needs.
Furthermore,there is peer influence and family background which is deemed tocontribute greatly in the involvement to criminal behaviors (Regoli &Hewitt 2006). Some of the family factors which make the youths toresult in offending encompass parental discipline, the degree ofparental supervision, parental abuse, criminal parents, conflictsbetween parents, as well as child-parent relationship (Eadie &Morley 2003). There are various risk factors that have been evidencedto result in youth crime and violence. They encompass background, useof drugs, personality, and state of mind. Youths are also influencedby their peers to indulge in criminal behaviors. The influence ofpeer groups to deviant acts has been firmly acknowledged.
Waysin Which Youth, Crime and Violence have been dealt with in the Mediaand/or Criminal Justice Policy with Reference to the CurrentScholarship Based in the United Kingdom
Themedia together with the criminal justice has played a major role asfar as youth, crime, and violence are concerned. The media acts as aplatform through which such deviant behaviors are broadcasted whilstthe criminal justice system plays the function of correcting suchbehaviors (Eadie & Morley 2003). Various policies have beenimplemented in the criminal justice system with the intention ofdealing with youth crime and violence (Eadie & Morley 2003). Thisencompasses the current scholarship based in the United Kingdom.Research shows that the criminal justice system incarcerates most ofits youth population through the juvenile courts as compared to theadult population. Considering that a number of youths are tried asadults as they have passed the age of being tried in juvenile courts,they are tried in adult criminal courts. In the United States forinstance, roughly 126, 000 youths were confined in youth detentionfacilities in the year 2002 (Goldson & Muncie 2006). Besides,every year, about 500,000 juveniles are taken to detention facilities(Goldson & Muncie 2006).
Themedia acts as a platform for representing youth crime and violence.These types of crimes encompass fraudulent activities, impersonation,and phonographic crimes most of which are committed through theInternet (Davies et al. 2007). The Press conference is an essentialaspect for media coverage and for police investigation of variouscrimes. The media provides more attention to some crimes,particularly the most violent and serious ones. Most people rely onthe media to obtain information pertaining to crime. It offers forumsfor significant dialogue amongst disparate groups. For instance, theissue of DNA testing to reveal crime offenders has been a significantissue in the media (Davies et al. 2007). The media has also paidclose attention to the failure of funding public defenses resultingin delays which are usually upsetting.
Youthcrime and violence has risen greatly in the current time and this hasbeen caused by various factors. The current paper has focused on thequestion of whether the emergence of new technologies has facilitatedyouth crime and violence or whether it offers space for the creationof new type of offences. Various criminology theories on youthengagement in crime have been discussed and they encompass socialcontrol theory, strain theory, differential theory, and labelingtheory. Furthermore, there are various social issues which result toyouth engagement in crime including underemployment and unemployment,weak participation in politics, peer influence, and individual riskfactors. The media as well as the criminal justice have dealt withthe issue of youth crime and violence with the aim of creatingawareness and correcting the offenders. For instance, the currentscholarship based in the United Kingdom has been established in orderto deal with the issue. The media acts as a platform for representingvarious crimes while the criminal justice serves as a medium ofcorrecting and punishing the criminals.
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