Poverty And Crime In America Essay

3686 words - 15 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

Crime in this country is an everyday thing. Some people believe that crime is unnecessary. That people do it out of ignorance and that it really can be prevented. Honestly, since we live in a country where there is poverty, people living in the streets, or with people barely getting by, there will always be crime. Whether the crime is robbing food, money, or even hurting the people you love, your family. You will soon read about how being a criminal starts or even stops, where it begins, with whom it begins with and why crime seems to be the only way out sometimes for the poor.
The exact amount of poverty that exits in the United States are difficult to ascertain, since the manner in which poverty is measured determines the amount of poverty reported. The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported that there were about 33,100,00 persons classified as officially below the poverty level in 1985. Small children that live in low-income households, are vulnerable to a wide variety of problems, including poor nutrition, inadequate housing, substandard medical attention, lack of proper nutrition, and physical or emotional abuse. Adolescents from these backgrounds become part of cycle of low-income or unemployment. Black and Hispanic teenagers have particularly acute problems obtaining employment. The President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice recognized the role of poverty in producing delinquency and noted that the most serious forms of juvenile delinquencies are more prevalent between youths at the lowest socioeconomic levels.
The fact that poverty is self-perpetuating is a documented fact. Criminal and delinquent activity may also be an accepted part of the total picture for deprived kids. It's hard to emerge from such surroundings unscarred. Delinquents in high-delinquency populations may indeed be the inadequate children of indolent parents, as their critics would have us believe. Their inadequacies are, however, themselves reflections of economic and related social circumstances that determine opportunities, influence motives, help shape attitudes, and fix the daily prospects for health and well-being.
A person may experience internal conflict in trying to decide which set of values, attitudes, and codes of behavior to accept and internalize. For example, to a kid living in a neighborhood that has many criminal types, these people may be symbols of economic and social success because they have money, expensive clothes, fancy cars, and other material possessions that inspire respect and jealousy. The kids may draw to the criminal life-style of these people because they want the same symbols of success for themselves. At the same time, several youths in the neighborhood may have good relationships with parents or other adults who are noncriminal in their life-styles and who try to instill non-delinquent values in them. A young person exposed to both types of influences must balance out their merits and...

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