Crime is one of the challenges that have been facing our society over the years. Increase in crime has led to the need to develop ways of preventing crime. But in order to curb crime, it is essential to understand why incidences of crime have increased in the society over the years. Research has shown that most people that engage themselves in criminal activities either have a poor educational background or are involved in activities that are related to drug and substance abuse. A good education is essential for a bright future in our current society. Most of the top paying jobs, if not all of them, require a good transcript and good papers in general. As result individuals with a poor educational background are less likely to get into well-paying jobs. The need to cater for the basic necessities and those of others that are under their care usually drives them into choosing a life crime as it provides them with an easy way to get easy cash. Drugs have also been a contributing factor to increase in crime rates. Drug abuse is a major cause of poor judgment and as a result, most of individuals that abuse drugs and substance have a high potential of ending up in a life of crime. With the knowledge of the cause of the increased crime rates, it has become easy to develop methods that can be used to control crime rates. This paper addresses some of these solutions such as learning programs, community policing, drugs prevention programs, specific deterrence and rehabilitation and their impact on the future of crime programs.
Educational and drug prevention programs
Drug prevention programs date as far back as 1969 when the charitable organization known as Metropolitan Atlanta Council on Alcohol and drugs was formed. Over time, the council developed into a traditional alcohol and other drugs agency especially in the 1970s. This council offered services that included prevention education, dissemination of information and advocating and referring for alcohol and other drugs treatment (Solutions, 2015).
Over the years educational and drug prevention programs have been done at a school-based level as most of the young individuals are affected by the issue of drug abuse (Machin, Marie & Vujic, 2011). Peer influences drive most youngsters into a life of drug abuse that eventually leads a life of crime. These programs therefore aim at helping young individuals overcome peer pressure. For those that are addicted, the programs offer rehabilitation services to help them withdraw from the use of drugs. The programs have a high rate of success and are one of the ways of the most effective way of solving crime at the grass root level (Livedrugfree.org, 2015)
Deterrence is a mechanism of preventing crime that is based on the belief that people choose to either obey or violet the law on the basis of the possible gains and consequences what they want to do (Quackenbush, 2011). The theory of deterrence punishment has its roots in early classical works of philosophers such as Thomas Hade, Cesare Beccaria and Jeremey Bethany. These philosophers disagreed with the theory of that crime could be explained on the basis of spirituality. They also disapprove the legal policies that had spread all over Europe. The philosophers laid the foundation of modern deterrence.
There are two types of deterrence; general and specific deterrence. General deterrence is aimed at preventing crime in the general population. This method uses offenders as an example to others who have not or might want to commit the crime. It does this through inflicting pain on the offenders while the rest of society watches. This makes the society aware of the terror of official sanction and hence they are likely not to perform the crime (Justice.govt.nz, 2015).
Specific deterrence focuses on the sanctioning of the individual offender so that he or she does not commit the crime again in the future. The prospects of specific deterrence believe that punishing the offender with severity would prevent them from engaging in such activities in the future. The law actually imposes a sense of displeasure about the committing the crime so that the offender would not like to experience the same thing once again. For instance, a culprit that is caught while drinking and driving can be prevented from repeating the crime by making sure that the experience of being arrested while driving under the influence of alcohol is quite unpleasant.
In the current generation, deterrence is still be used to punish offenders. For instance punishment such as the death penalty are forms of general deterrence that are aimed at showing the public the consequences of such a crime and hence put them off from committing the crime. Technology developments have made the use of deterrence much more effective. Discovery of the electric chair or the gas chamber are examples of technological invention that have made the execution of general deterrence much easier. Mass media has also enabled the ability of airing such incidences so that the public can witness offenders being punished.
Deterrence can be viewed as beneficial due to fact that it prevents the public form getting involved in criminal activities by showing them the likely consequences of going against the law. However, deterrence has the tendency of crossing the law and violating human rights.
Community policing is a system that transcends a police department, in which the main goal is working together with the public and organizations to identify and some up with solutions to issues which affects how people live in a certain neighborhood, area or city. This systems involves three major components in its structure; developing partnership within the community, engaging in developing solution for problems faced by the community and implementation of community policing organizational features (Discoverpolicing.org, 2015).
Community partnership is where the law enforcement agencies and the citizens they serve are encouraged to interact with each other so as to find solutions to problems facing the society and also improve the trust of the citizens in the law enforcement agencies. When forming partnerships, it is essential to consider forming the partnerships with the following parties; other government agencies, community members and groups, private businesses, media and nonprofit and service providers. Solutions to problems facing the society such as crimes are developed through a series of steps. First of all, there is need to carry out scanning to identify the problem, then analysis of the problem and finally developing and implementation of strategies to address the problem. Assessment of strategies can then be carried out to find out whether the strategies were successful. Organization of the different department involved in community policing is essential in reflecting the successfulness of the system in solving community problems (Discoverpolicing.org, 2015).
The strategies that have been developed through community policing have had a great impact on decreasing the rates of crime. Due to the fact that it improves the trust between the law enforcement agencies and the public, the public is even willing to shun offenders that tend to hide within. It is one of the best crime prevention systems that can be adopted by a community (Lincoln.ne.gov, 2015).
Crime programs can be solved in many different ways. Most of these programs play a key role in reducing the crime rates and hence create hope for a future that is crime free. Some of the programs such as drug prevention programs can be implemented fully as a solution to solve crime; however, other systems such as deterrence need to be evaluated first before using them. Other programs such as community policing also require proper understanding by law enforcement agencies, the public and other partners in order to be effective in providing a solution for crime in society.
Discoverpolicing.org,. (2015). Learn More About Community Policing - Discover Policing. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://discoverpolicing.org/whats_like/community-policing/?fa=learn-more#problemsolving
Justice.govt.nz,. (2015). 3. The Rationales and Goals of Sentencing (1/2) a Ministry of Justice, New Zealand. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/publications-archived/1997/sentencing-policy-and-guidance-a-discussion-paper/3.-the-rationales-and-goals-of-sentencing
Lincoln.ne.gov,. (2015). Community Based Policing. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/city/police/cbp.htm
Livedrugfree.org,. (2015). The Council on Alcohol and Drugs: History. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from http://www.livedrugfree.org/History.13.0.html
Machin, S., Marie, O., & VujiA, S. (2011). The Crime Reducing Effect of Education*. The Economic Journal, 121(552), 463-484. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2011.02430.x
Quackenbush, S. (2011). Understanding general deterrence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Solutions, L. (2015). History | Prevention First, Inc. | Preventing Teen Drug and Substance Abuse Before It Starts. Prevention.org. Retrieved 7 December 2015, from https://www.prevention.org/About/History.aspx
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