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Short Essay on How Society Can Contribute in Making Criminals

Updated on October 12, 2014

Society is directly responsible for the formation of a criminal through a lack of opportunities both educationally and occupationally, and by negative stereotypes that are reinforced socially. While individuals have free will and are responsible god their own actions, so too should society be responsible for a lack of opportunities one is afforded to better themselves. Without a proper education and job, an individual is more likely to resort to crime through necessity.

When an individual is young and impressionable, their environment is imperative to the development of who they will be as an adult. If an individual has a parent or sibling that is incarcerated the chances of the person being incarcerated increase significantly.

Even more detrimental there is a lack of a formation of a family structure, the individual is going to use the authoritative people in their lives as surrogates in lieu of their family dynamics. If the individuals who surround them are in to illegal behavior, that behavior will be considered less taboo.

Even when a biological parent is not in the lives of a criminal, their biological make-up can be just as damaging. Individuals who suffer from a mental illness are four times more likely to become incarcerated than their emotionally healthy counterparts. Mental illness has been shown to be passed on through genetics, especially from father to son.

In summary, society is equally as responsible for the formation of the criminal. Genetics and environment play a large role in the development of a person becoming a criminal. By affording individuals who are high-risk with opportunities both educationally and occupationally, we as a society are fulfilling the responsibility we have to lessen the chance of crime.


Phillips, M. L. (2008). Crime Scene Genetics: Transforming Forensic Science through Molecular Technologies. Bioscience, 58 (6), 484. Do: 10.1641/B580604

Scott, J. (1995). Excerpts. Trends in Organized Crime, 1 (2), 48-59. Do: 10.1007/BF02696176

Weinstein, L. (2008). Mumbai's Development Mafias: Globalization, Organized Crime, and Land Development. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32 (1), 22-39. Do: 10.1111/j. 1468-2427.2008.00766.x


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    • Theresa Jonathan profile image

      Theresa Jonathan 3 years ago from Maseru, Lesotho

      Good essay! I would like to contribute one factor which equally contribute to societal ills - poor parenting. Informal education is foundational and occurs from birth to eight years. This is a period of significant value and is exclusively within family circle. Look around see how modernization has impacted parenting function! Children literally have lower learning capability because they have little supervisory monitoring to equip themselves to be socially and spiritually intelligent! Too much TV is a disaster! They watch harmful 'children witchcraft' programs; the list is really very long! Yes; other social institutions do play a part too!

    • Dan Samuel profile image

      Gunaprakash 3 years ago from Singapore

      Society and the environment plays a big part as when people do not have a job,they turn the other side of the law.They are also humans and need to support their family.