Values and Crime

The poverty of values has a great deal to do with the spike in crime in recent years. Values guide our behaviors and our decisions. Therefore, a good solid value system is crucial and to deviate from that is detrimental not only to the individual but to the rest of the society as well.

Values are deeply held beliefs that reside in our subconscious and are integrated into everyday living. We develop a beginning value-set in childhood. Later on, as we age, we discard some values and add others due to the development of critical thinking. The values that have the greatest influence upon our choices, decisions and behaviors are the values acquired in our early years. These values operate subconsciously.

We live our lives in accordance with our values and they influence our actions and reactions. We get values from parents, teachers, from reading, television, and of course life experience. Our values also tend to change to reflect the places in which we live.

This being said, it is easy to understand why a lack of values can lead a person into a life of crime. One study showed, that the recent decline in church attendance among youth coincided with the raise in youth crime. Church is a place that fosters good morals and values. Other studies show that the increased rate of violence on television could play a part in crime, because subconsciously the mind can pick up values from television shows. There are of course, other factors to consider.

Good values can include a belief in hard work, self-reliance, respect for ownership, and concern for others. It can also include honesty and integrity. All of these values are moral and respectable and should be shared among individuals in society. A respect for ownership would make even the slightest neglect of property intolerable and therefore would help in deterring that individual from making the choice to vandalize another person’s property. A genuine concern for others helps prevent physical and mental abuse. A belief in hard work could help deter a person from crimes involving fraud and robbery. The list goes on and on.

Due to the fact that a community often shares a value system. Poverty and a poor economy can have an effect on our values as a society. This can cause our values to decrease. However, poverty and a poor economy in most cases are temporary, and our values can change to reflect different periods of our lives. A solid value system should be taught early in life so that future generations will have more respect not only for themselves but for others as well thus promoting a decrease in crime related activity.