September 14, 2007

On Criminology

Yesterday, I wrote this comment on a post in another blog. I liked it, so I posted it here:
People just keep wanting simplistic answers to life's complex problems.
Back in the 70's it was all nurture, nurture, nurture.
Now, it's all nature, nature, nature.

I've long been an advocate of complex reasons behind complex results though with something like crime I come down much more squarely on the nurture side.

Do you want to create a criminal? Simple: send the child to a school where the building is deteriorating, where the student/teacher ratio is 30+/1, where the teachers, themselves, are uneducated, where parents are not recruited to be involved in their children's education.

When school lets out, put the children out on streets with no adult supervision and where the only role models are pimps, prostitutes and drug pushers. Make sure the only people with any real influence and money who look like them are the basketball players they see on TV. And don't explain to the children what the odds of growing up to be a professional basketball player are.

Sit back and allow the mix to ferment for 16 years or so.

Oh, one more thing: while you're waiting, build more and bigger prisons. You're going to need them.


an average patriot said...

two crows
When I was growing up in the 60s we raised ourselves and most of us went awry. You can not do that especially today. You have to play an active role as a parent. I wanted to be with my sons 24, 7 and they turned out fantastic. Popular misconception is you can not be your childs best friend and do a good job. To me they go hand in hand.

two crows said...

hey, AC--
you're right--being an active parent is crucial.
I think the view that you can't be friend and parent is based on the idea that 'friends' are yes-people who never disagree with their friends.

in that case, you can't do both -- because parents DO have to set firm boundaries -- something friends simply cannot do. if your kids grew up and never, once, hated you-- you weren't doing your job.

since your kids grew up, great-- obviously there were times they hated your guts -- because you did impose boundaries. :)

TomCat said...

TC, not only are you correct, but also, that's what our country has done, just as you said, but prisons serve another purpose. massive (and often corrupt) prison expenditures grease campaign contribution wheels at the state and local level.

two crows said...

that's how we keep having money for prisons while our schools keep spiraling downhill and the fastest growing group below the poverty line is children.

talk about short-sighted!

Mary Ellen said...

I can tell you stories about the inner city schools in Chicago that would make your head spin. They don't want good teachers, they gave up on their kids and they don't want a good teacher coming around showing them that they can teach those kids to succeed. It makes them look bad when a good teacher shows up...I've seen it personally, it's so sad. It reminds me of Bush who continues his failed policy to prove that his failed policy isn't a failure. In the meantime, like the students-the soldiers are the one's who pay the heavy price.

two crows said...

hey, M E--
tell me about it.
I used to meet with a lot of my clients at their schools.
I was appalled at the conditions I saw there.
and, what does it feel like, going to school in a building that is falling apart, knowing that you matter so little to your own country that it will just let that happen?
so the kids just give up.
and we build more and better prisons.