Criminal Law Theory Paper
Criminal Law Theory Paper
Criminal Law Theory Paper
Crime occurs due to various factors including the environment. According to the social disorganization theory, the major predictor of crime is the environment. People learn how to commit crimes from the existing attitudes of crime and drugs in society (Kubrin & Wo, 2016). The government can take various measures to ensure they eliminate or suppress factors promoting criminal activities related to drugs.
Drug Criminal Activities
The selected criminal activity is drug crime. One of the reasons for selecting the crime is that it forms the basis for various types of crime. For example, drug gangs try to control the market of drugs by fighting other gangs (Contreras & Hipp, 2020). Statistics indicate that over 20 percent of inmates confess they were arrested as they were stealing or robbing money to buy more drugs (Contreras & Hipp, 2020). Drug trafficking is also rampant in various neighborhoods since the demand is high. Statistics in the United States indicate that every 25 seconds a person is arrested for drug criminal activity (Contreras & Hipp, 2020). The high amount of drugs coming from countries such as Mexico also increases the rate of drug-related criminal activities. For instance, 10 percent of crime is related to the influence of violent activities (Rıos & Ferguson, 2019). Drug crime affects society by increasing imprisonment rates, instability and lack of social fabric. It is thus a criminal activity that should be analyzed using the social disorganization theory.
Social Disorganization Theory
Social disorganization theory was coined by Chicago school with an attempt to describe that environmental conditions affect involvement in criminal activities. One of the core principles of the theory is that location matters (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). Studies demonstrate that people from areas with high rates of crime and drug trafficking are also likely to engage in crime. Criminal justice system statistics indicate that one of the aspects that predict involvement in crime is the residential location (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). For example, the theory asserts that young people living in poor areas where alcohol and drug trafficking is rampant, they are likely to engage in delinquent behavior by acquiring criminality from the neighborhood. Researchers indicate that unfavorable conditions are the greatest predictors of criminal activities (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). The unfavorable conditions are also linked to high school dropouts, unemployment, poor structures, and single parenting.
Social disorganization theory applies to all types of crime including drug criminal activities. It explains the association between crime and social relations with other people or the environment (Ladegaard, 2019). For example, people engage in criminal or violent activities when the social bond with the community is weak. People cannot kill or harm other people if they value them or are committed to the welfare of society. Crime is a result of selfish desires to satisfy self without considering the interest of other people. According to the theory, young people from broken families vent the anger on the community by committing brutal crimes (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). Therefore, the family unit plays a huge role in the stability and safety of a community. Parents should thus realize the great role they can play in ensuring their children do not end up engaging in crime.
Criminal attitudes emerge in various ways from the family unit. For example, the criminal justice system shows that fathers who are engaging in crime put their sons and daughters at risk of such behaviors in the future. The reason is that the children that it is acceptable to commit a crime or sell drugs (Ladegaard, 2019). Additionally, parents who take various drugs such as alcohol, marijuana or cocaine, put their children at risk of criminal activities in the future. Children realize that it is acceptable to take drugs and avoid the consequences of the law (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). For example, children who start taking various forms of drugs at home will later join gangs who will introduce them to other drugs. The pattern continues until a teenager starts selling drugs and engaging in other criminal activities.
Drug Crime and Theory
Drug crime is high in some parts of every city or state for many years. Most of the areas that experience high criminal activities are economically and socially-deprived regions. The theory of social disorganization explains that such areas have weak social institutions such as family, school, churches, and voluntary community organizations (Ladegaard, 2019). The weak systems are unable to regulate criminal activities such as trafficking or abuse of drugs. For example, economically and socially-deprived societies experience family disintegration leading to high cases of single parenting (Ladegaard, 2019). The disorganization also leads to school dropouts which facilitate crime. The reason is that school dropouts are an easy target of criminal gangs since they are idle and ignorant. However, in high-end estates and regions, parents make all attempts to keep their children in school (Beittel, 2019). Keeping the children in school is a great attempt to keep them out of trouble or behavior such as trafficking drugs.
Social disorganization theory is linked to drug crime as depicted in the film Boyz N The Hood by John Singleton. The 1991 movie depicts that children living in South Central, a poor neighborhood are exposed to gang activities (Beittel, 2019). Finally, their character is breached and they become part of the gangs leading to deaths of innocent people. The theory explains the relationship between the crime and environment by showing that even the people living in South Central were pro-delinquent behaviors (Kubrin & Wo, 2016). Areas that experience high crime rates have pro-delinquent attitudes that do not condemn any criminal activity. For example, areas such as South Central parents are engaged in irresponsible abuse of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. The children thus learn that such acts are acceptable. Therefore, when they take alcohol or marijuana they will feel justified (Kubrin & Wo, 2016). Taking the drugs is one of the steps of engaging in other criminal activities to sustain the availability or supply.
Drug trafficking, distribution, sale, and consumption is one of the easiest sources of funds for communities in poor neighborhoods. For example, due to high unemployment rates, young people are less productive. They are easily recruited into such groups to sell drugs to earn an income (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). Additionally, selling drugs and membership in a gang provides the pride and identity that young people are desperately looking for. Consequently, they engage in criminal activities such as selling drugs. Sadly, a person cannot easily quit being a gang member since it is deemed as a way of betraying the loyalty of the group (Ravalin & Tevis, 2017). In some cases, young people have been killed for attempting to quit gang and drug business. The culture hooks people into such crimes almost in their lifetime. Members of gangs also pass the culture to their siblings which makes some areas hotbeds of drug crimes for generations (Contreras & Hipp. 2020). People with delinquent behaviors also migrate to areas that already have marketed for drugs. The aspect makes a drug crime a major social and economic issue for decades in specific regions. Drug trafficking is thus one of the habits that are triggered and sustained by the social disorganization theory.
Policy to Control Drug Crime
Countries experiencing high drug criminal activities and increasing imprisonment of juveniles require policies to help change the situation. One of the policies is to strengthening the social structures that can boost social control. For example, schools, churches and community organizations should be enhanced. The government should ensure that schools receive the necessary support to keep the children in school and reduce the rates of dropouts (Contreras & Hipp. 2020). Churches and other religious activities are critical in reducing the rate of a drug crime. For example, churches or religious groups teach on adhering to a specific code of practice which is against drug trafficking or abuse. Community organizations also are needed to engage the community and criminal gangs at a close range. The engagement will cut the transfer of attitudes to the next generation.
The government should provide support to young people to find alternative sources of income and creative ways of spending their time. When young people are free they are drawn into criminal activities. However, if they are engaged in a productive activity that generates income they are less likely to commit a crime (Wickes & Hipp, 2018). For example, selling drugs is an opportunity to make an income while such are embroiled in the business to protect themselves or uphold their identity. For instance, the government can sponsor football clubs and other sports that will draw young people away from gangs. Engaging a community of young people increases the chances of lowering crime. In the film Boyz N The Hood, the young people are not engaged and thus they keep holding parties where they learn negative behaviors.
The criminal justice system should exercise strict control to ensure they communicate a message that no one can get away with the crime. The reason is that young people engage in drug crime since they believe they cannot be held accountable by the law. Social disorganization explains crime by showing that people decide to disobey the law if they know they cannot be arrested (Beittel, 2019). However, if they knew the government was firm on prosecuting drug traffickers, they would refrain from the behavior. Areas with high rates of poverty experience various criminal activities including deaths of young people. Most of the deaths do not end in the successful prosecution of the responsible people (Beittel, 2019). The trend fuels more people to sell or abuse drugs and commit other activities since they know they can walk away with their illegal activities.
Researchers have labored diligently to show a relationship between social disorganization theory and drug crime. According to the theory, economically and socially deprived areas can witness high rates of crime. Statistics indicate that every 25 seconds a person is arrested with drugs-relates crimes. The government can take various measures to curb the crisis such as empowering local organizations and promoting talents. The response shows that the theory is a great eye-opener to the criminal justice system, parents, and stakeholders in drug trafficking.
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Kubrin, C. E., & Wo, J. C. (2016). Social disorganization theory’s greatest challenge: Linking structural characteristics to crime in socially disorganized communities. The Handbook of Criminological Theory, 4, 121-136.
Ladegaard, I. (2019). Crime displacement in digital drug markets. International Journal of Drug Policy, 63, 113-121.
Ravalin, T., & Tevis, T. (2017). Social disorganization theory and crime rates on California community college campuses. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 41(1), 27-41.
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