Rebels With Cause: Why Criminals Are Made, Not Born

Essay by DuDEwith@GuNHigh School, 11th gradeB, May 2006

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We witness crime and violence everywhere-from the media, to our own towns and cities, yet what do we really know about the people responsible for these crimes? Are these people destined to be outcasts, or are they created by the very society that they take advantage of? People have always wondered about the link between the root causes of crime and a person's upbringing. The relationship between the two is broad and includes economic causes, social causes and drug abuse. This leads to the ongoing debate, are criminals born or made? To answer this question: criminals are not born, but develop as such through their life experiences.

The majority of crime can be linked to economic causes. First, poverty is a growing concern in our country. "Children aged 4 to 11 years, in poor families, were in worse health, more hyperactive, had poorer vocabulary and math scores, participated in few sports, and had more friends who got in trouble" (City of Toronto, 2005:1).

These factors, in turn, lead to school drop outs wich may lead to criminal behaviour. Secondly, cuts to community resources is a problem that needs to be stopped. A recent survey by Toronto's Task Force on Community Safety identified cuts to community resources as one of the underlying causes of crime in Toronto (T.T.F.C.S, 1998). Community resources keeps kids out of trouble, because of this cutting these resources may lead to an increase in criminal activity. Lastly, unemployment is a contributing cause to crime. Numerous studies find that an alarming number of youth and adults admitted to correctional facilities are unemployed (CS&CPC, 1996). Continual unemployment often leads to a sense of dispair, particularly amongst youth and can bring about outraged expression including theft, substance and alcohol abuse, as well as child and family violence.