Voices from the Community: Building Relationships with the Poor to Fight Crime | Community voice

In response to the recent article that highlighted the efforts of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to reduce crimes against people, I would like to point out that in 1994, researchers at the National Institute of Justice Policy Center in Washington, DC , defined vandalism as including “graffiti, dumping of garbage, breakage of light, removal / folding of signage or ornamentation, breakage of windows or other degradation of property”. (Scott, ML, LaVigne, NG and PALMER, T. (2007).

Additionally, research they conducted in the early 1990s supported the idea that the cause of vandalism is “often associated with other signs of social disorder such as disturbance of the peace and trespassing.”

With economic development being a primary focus within the government infrastructure of local municipalities in the United States, it is no surprise that deviant social and criminal behavior such as vandalism is distressing for businesses, but even more traumatic for the community. individual who suffers the offense.

In order to begin to determine an appropriate path towards the eventual elimination of the crime problem in the city of Bakersfield, one should first examine the origin of the problem and gain a better understanding of the offender’s motives for engaging in criminal activity. mentioned above. and socially deviant behavior. According to Peteet, deviant criminal behavior can be viewed fundamentally as a by-product of the youth subculture (1996).

However, studies have also shown that self-control and / or lack of self-control is also a factor that explains why people engage in deviant criminal behavior and should be carefully distinguished from criminality.

The studies of Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi explain in their book “A General Theory of Crime” (1990; 88) that crime does not require special abilities, needs or motivation; they are accessible to everyone. They further suggest that some people have a lasting propensity to ignore the long-term consequences of their behavior, and these people tend to be impulsive, reckless and self-centered.

Further, Young and Jefferson-Smith (2000), for example, argue that the cumulative effects of poverty, racism and sexism experienced by many black mothers will eventually become the experiences of their children, thus creating a new generation of young people at risk. Studies have shown that maternal incarceration is the best predictor of future criminal behavior and imprisonment in children.

According to Shaw and McKay, the ability of the community (family / social structure) to control dynamics at the group level is a key mechanism linking community characteristics to delinquency. In fact, their research concluded that most gangs developed from spontaneous, unsupervised playgroups (Shaw and McKay 1942).

Therefore, research and literature could gently suggest that Kern County law enforcement officials are focusing their efforts to reduce crime on intervening and building relationships with the many children, adolescents and families who have emerged from them. from disadvantaged backgrounds, as they are more likely to have social, educational and family relationships. experiences that not only affect their development, but can also encourage delinquent or criminal behavior (Cornell et al., 1999).

Edward Robinson is the owner of Edward S Robinson, LLC – The Social Servant, a social service consulting company in Bakersfield.


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