Why People Commit Criminal Acts?

Topics: Violence, Domestic violence, Psychology Pages: 5 (1376 words) Published: November 16, 2010
People commit violent acts for numbers of reasons. Each types of violence do have their specific reasons, but most of them overlap. In the following, some main causes of violent acts would be introduced and explained.

One of the reasons is desire. Desire can be further divided into mental and physical ones. For mental desire, it is usually about care, respect or power. Hamilton (2009) argued that desires continues may lead to frustration and anger is accumulated and expressed to strangers. Homicide and sexual assault is likely caused by this reason. This kind of act usually happens in families. When a child desire for love and respect but frustrated by their families, they are likely to accumulate anger and displace violence against the others. And it happens quite often in low-income groups due to their strong desire in improving their lives. When it comes to physical desire, it is sometimes related to money. A strong desire in money would lead to unlawful acts. Kidnapping or abduction and demand for money are common results for this kind of desire.

Another reason for violence is negligence. It is also common especially for violence like death due to driving, and it is usually caused by young males (Hayes & Prenzler 2009). People sometimes are not willing to kill, but they do so due to culpable, dangerous or negligent driving. The underlying problem for this act is about peer pressure. Young males like to show off their skills, yet they are lack of experiences. Accidents therefore happen frequently.

Specific to the youth violence, assault is a common violent act. Reasons vary, but one interesting reason is because of witnessing violence. Youngsters are easily influenced by the others especially adults. When they witness fighting at home between parents or other neighbors adults, it is perceived that fighting is a reasonable act. As analyzed by Yonas et al. (2005), the participants in their survey expressed a feeling that witnessing such violence supported the attitude and modeling of such behavior was acceptable.

Alcohols and drugs are often the reasons of violence. There is a heat debate in the causality between drugs, alcohol and violence for long time. It is still unclear whether alcoholism and drugs abuse would lead to more commitment of violence. However, some researches show that victims’ alcoholism may indirectly lead to more domestic violence. For example, alcoholic women are labeled negatively by their spouse. Violence may then be perceived as more socially acceptable when directed at negatively labeled women and drinking probably reinforce such label (Miller 1990).

The last reason would be discussed is race, sex and social influence. Racial discrimination happens in almost every country. Sometimes, it would lead to serious violent acts, probably homicides and assaults. Researches show that the experience with racial discrimination is a strong risk factor for the African American young adult violent behavior (Caldwell et al. 2004). Some people may even continue to engage in violent act due to social influences that reinforce their antisocial behavior.

There are many ways to prevent violence. For each type of them, different methods have to be used. In general, it is similar to preventing crime, and there are at two ways to prevent violence. First, it is needed to make violence more difficult to commit, more risky and less rewarding. What the government can do is increases surveillance and allocates more resources to the police department. CCTV cameras or burglar alarms are known as formal surveillance to prevent violence. Laws can also be established to control the occurrence of such acts. For example, there are some streets in Sydney where alcohol consumption is prohibited. It is definitely useful in controlling the activity area of the drinkers, hence reducing annoying acts like stalking. Besides, setting up more lights in dark or isolated places and making the sites more physically...
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