jak wrote:"the issue should be "let's prevent people becoming criminals in the first place".
I agree completely,but it's delusional to think we could ever achieve that.We can trace criminal behavior all the way back to the beginning of time.The world is full of bad people and it always has been.If anyhting it's only getting worse everywhere.Basic civility isnt as common as it once was.
Then perhaps we should ask why
it's getting worse. Where do the criminals come from? What parts of town? What can be done to improve the issues that there clearly must be in that part of town to cause people to turn to criminality in the first place? My guess would be that the majority of burglars are not
people who live in million-dollar mansions. If that isn't the case, then there must be something in the lives of those who are less
-affluent that cause them to turn to crime. Or are the the people who are less-affluent simply thugs? Of course that isn't the case, so somewhere there needs to be intervention in order to stop the vicious circle. In The Ghetto may be forty-odd years old, but it's message still stands in many cases: "this guy needs a helping hand, or he's gonna be an angry young man some day
". If you don't give that helping hand, then the inevitable happens.
Check out what happened in the UK last year in the poor parts of London. The money that was given to youngsters in order to help them forward themselves and attend sixth form or college was taken away. Likewise, university fees tripled. Youth centres and clubs were closed or had money restricted. Unemployment was at its highest rate for years. And benefits were cut or restricted. The PM tells us that those in the poor areas of London and other big cities should help themselves and strive for a better life, and yet takes away all means for them to do so. And then there were riots
. This isn't rocket science. If people have got no hope or no voice, then they turn to less traditional means, in this case crime. Is that the right thing to do? No, of course not. But you do sometimes wonder what other option they might have.
Am I from that part of town? Luckily, no. But I do know what it's like to hide behind the curtains and pretend we were not in every week when the rent-man or milk-man called because we couldn't pay them. And I do know what it's like to be exploited by banks for being desperate. And I do know what it's like to be hugely in debt with no-one willing to give you a hand to get out of that debt. I was lucky; I had creative outlets with which to express myself, and I was savvy enough to finally get myself out of that situation. And I was damned lucky once the debts were cleared (via bankruptcy I might add) to find someone who believed in me enough to accept me at university with virtually no relevant qualifications - and I haven't looked back. But it doesn't mean that everyone is that lucky.
Having said all of that, the case of the shootings last week was more seemingly related to mental health than the reasons given above. But this thread has seemingly gone beyond that particular case now.