The Main Cause Of Teenage Crime

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Psychopaths make up 1% of the population but around 20% of prisoners are psychopaths. This statistic supports the view of people who believe that individuals are biologically predisposed to criminal behaviour. Some however still conclude that crime is a product of a socialisation process. In order to rationalize this controversial issue, it is imperative to consider the validity of theories such as psychological factors, biological factors, parenting, brain structures and labelling. Through the analysis of these theories, a conclusion will then be arrived at as to whether individual behaviour, rather than the socialization process, is the main cause of crime.

Biological theories concentrate on demonstrating the connection between the brain
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Sociologist Robert Merton believes that crime is caused by the lack of equality within society regarding the different social classes. Merton argues that the working classes tend to turn to crime in order to reduce these inequalities.
This theory is supported by the statistics from the UK riots in 2011 where Home Office research discovered that those appearing in court tended to be from more deprived circumstances than the wider population of England. 35% of adults were claiming out-of-work benefits and 42% of young people were receiving free school meals, which are only available to the secondary school pupils from the poorest backgrounds. This shows that those living in poverty may be more inclined to be involved in violent criminal behaviour. However, while more than one in five of people able to work and earn money did not have a job in 2013 and almost a third of 16- to 24-year olds lived in poverty, the reports offered no evidence to suggest that those who were unemployed and in poverty were committing more crimes. This runs contrary to the claims that poverty is linked to crime as not only does the report find no evidence of the link: it overlooks the dramatic decline in crime among young people. According to the Youth Justice Board, the number of those youths, aged up to 20-years-old, who were sentenced almost halved from over 90,000 to less than 50,000, over exactly
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This shows that although a low intelligence may have a small impact on criminal behaviour, is it whether that lack of intelligence is dealt with in the necessary way to allow children to develop into responsible, aware adults.

In conclusion, there is a great deal of evidence to support the theory that crime is a result of individual behaviour however, due to the huge number of criminals with different genes and characteristics, it would be invalid to say that crime can no longer be blamed on society, or parents or poverty but could only be traceable to a minority of individuals. Therefore, it is clear that crime is a product of the socialisation

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