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It can be argued that poverty is the root of crime; however, this theory is often contented. The root of crime cannot be entirely as a result of poverty although poverty plays a significant role in crime. In countries or regions with high levels of crime, the majority of people are poor. Poverty makes people to engage in crime in search for a better life. There are however, rich people who steal and engage in different crimes.
There are no specific reasons why people engage in crimes but poverty has been seen to be the root of crime. Poverty is not a condition of preference, it is the weight carried by people who live in lack. It is easy to hide wealth but poverty cannot be hidden. Fundamentally, I concur that poverty is the root cause of crime. Poverty brings about desperation thus, pushing people into crime. It is easier to engage in crime when one is poor; being in lack makes people do the impossible. Some people engage in crime because they fear being poor (George 1020, p. 27). The rich do not want to be poor and the poor do not want to remain poor and so due to the fear of poverty, people engage in crime. Basing on these, it can be argued that poverty is the root of crime.
History has confirmed that in reality, there is a direct connection between crime and poverty. Theories try to explain how people choose to commit a crime, their thoughts regarding the benefits and the dangers, why some commit crimes not considering the consequences, and why others never engage in crimes regardless of their desperate circumstances. This is referred to as criminology. All through history, scholars have attempted to elucidate what brings about a typical social behavior, as well as crime. Efforts to prevent bad deeds revert-to pre-historic Hammurabi Babylon's Code that took place 3,600 years ago. Later in the 17th century North America colonists believed crime and sin to be similar (George 2010, p. 36). They said evil spirits haunted people who did not comply with the social norms or obey the set rules. To uphold social order in the community, individuals who showed rebellious and disruptive behavior were dealt with swiftly and habitually unsympathetically.
By the 21st century, criminologists examined wider range of aspects explaining why people chose to commit crimes (Harris 2006, p. 7). These comprised of biological, mental, societal, and economic factors. Typically, an amalgamation of these factors is behind an individual committing a crime. There are other reasons why people commit crimes like greediness, antagonism, jealousy, vengeance, or conceit. Some individuals choose to commit a crime and cautiously plan their steps beforehand to increase benefits and lessen risks. When doing this, they are making choices regarding their conduct. Some people even prefer a life of crime than that of having a regular career, believing that crime takes home greater returns, approbation, and pleasure at-least until they are incarcerated.
The desire to acquire wealth like money or luxurious possessions causes property crimes like thefts, aggravated burglaries, professional crimes, and auto larceny. The desire to have control, vengeance, or command brings about brutal crimes like killings, physical attacks, and rapes. These aggressive crimes normally happen on impulse or spontaneously when emotions run wild. Property crimes are normally planned beforehand. Marxist criminological theory states that crime is the outcome of structural inequities that are intrinsically linked with capitalist economic schemes. Even though Marx wrote very little on the subject of crime, philosophers have depended on his economic theory to give a basis for a critical theory of criminal behavior (Ostrovsky 2005, p. 46).
Marx deemed that all through history, human civilizations have comprised of two classes of people; those who have the authority to make rules that ought to be followed by everyone, and those who do not have the possession or the political influence to say anything concerning the made rules. Marxist criminologists say that a society where people, because-of their position in the capitalist scheme, are capable of accumulating large amounts of riches and possessions, and some cannot, is building itself up for criminal conduct. There are so many theories explaining why people engage in different crimes. Many theorists have argued that poverty is the root cause of crime. In 2007, a study carried out by the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed that people living in regions where poverty is profuse had lesser choices in life (Henderson & kambon 2009, p. 107).
People living in indigent regions are more likely to have unfavorable health problems because of exorbitant health-care, dangerous behavior, and the lack of information. Those experiencing poverty are also more likely to undergo through healthy conditions because of being nearer to free ways and manufacturing buildings that are not normally accepted in high-income regions. There is also a note worthy chronological rise in property damage that matches the joblessness rate all through American history. The cruelty of poverty frequently goes hand-in-hand with the rate of committed crimes. Levels of crime are mostly in poverty-stricken regions. There are not the only regions with people committing crime but a significant number come from these areas. It is important to understand that all kinds of people commit crimes and not necessarily the poor but studies have shown that high levels of crimes are experienced in poverty-stricken regions.
Poverty brings in extreme anxiety and this anxiety leads people to crimes like robbery, rape, physical injuries, and murder. People murder for money and material possessions. Even though it can be argued that poverty is the root cause of crime, the society has a false impression concerning this theory. Crime is frequently committed by the poor but not all poor people commit crimes. Crime has been established in poor areas because people experiencing poverty want to live a better life just like anyone else. Poor people undergo many frustrations and they end up solving their problem with another problem. Some physically attack others for money and their possessions. Life is extremely hard for poor people and their desire to upgrade their life leads them to greater problems.
People are doing whatever they can to live an abundant life, that is why poverty is largely the root cause of crime. Poverty is living in lack and no one even the rich, wants to live in lack. The fear of poverty brings about greed and the desire to acquire more riches, this greed brings in crime (Otto Ford 2008, p. 78). Many people want an easy way out of their poverty life and they do not want to work. To them, stealing is an effortless thing and killing someone for their money is not a big deal. Many people living in poverty stricken areas do not have proper education and no knowledge on the consequences of their behavior. Many engage in behaviors without realizing what they are putting themselves through. Wiping out poverty should be an objective to many political leaders even though this problem cannot be resolved at once. Poverty is encouraging so many crimes thus, putting people’s lives at risk. Government should distribute wealth equally, come up with advanced economic policies and a great dedication to solve this problem and controlling crimes that goes with it.
Radical and Marxist criminology stresses on power disparity and structures particularly those associated with class, as major aspects of crime, fairness and law (Miguel 2009, p. 67). Poor people feel that they are being deprived of their rights and so they choose to fight back and engage in crimes. When the government distributes wealth unevenly, they create war on their ground. People tend to retaliate whenever they are treated unfairly. Some of these people commit crimes to get the attention of the government. Conflict theory states that the basic causes of crime are the socio-economic forces in today’s society. Poor people feel left out and so they fight for their rights through crime because justice and law are not in favor of them. The society has created social classes thus creating boundaries among people i.e. the poor and the rich.
These classes are fighting each other. The rich want to get richer and may involve stealing the little from the poor and the poor on the other hand, seek to have a better life. Control theories take a differing approach compared to other criminology theories (DeKeseredy 2003, p. 38). Instead-of asking what makes people engage in crime, they question why the majority of people do not commit crime. Generally, control theorists say that there is no problem clarifying why individuals commit crime because all people/humans go through inherent human flaws, which makes them incapable of resisting temptation. These theorists focus mainly on controlling aspects that are wrecked or absent in the criminals’ qualities and personalities. If these controlling aspects are thought to engage the society in any way, as-with the sociological ideas that customs are internalized, then this theory is believed to be a social-control theory, and is mainly a social-bond theory. The majority of control theories, nonetheless, are a merge of psychiatric, mental, and sociological notions.
In conclusion, poverty and crime go hand- in- hand but the society should not over generalize ideas. Some people think that all poor people are criminals and social climbers. Even though poverty is linked with crime, some poor people are descent and they live a straight forward life. Poverty makes people engage in crimes in search for a better life, many feel that they are being denied their rights and so they choose the easy way out. Therefore, Poverty can be argued as the root cause of crime because the poor want to live a better life while the rich fear being poor. These two groups of people engage in crimes so as to run away from poverty.