DIVING INTO THE ROOTS OF CRIME CAUSATION
Crime is defined as “an act punishable by law as forbidden by statute/ injurious to public welfare.” It is a very wide definition in the sense that anything which is injurious to society comes under this arena. In Modern complex society, many things may be against the public welfare that is selling of contaminated food, molestation of young children /women in railway trains and misleading advertisements may be all said to be injurious to public welfare. The basis of criminal is that there are certain standards of behaviour of moral principles which society requires to be observed; and the breach of them is an offence not merely against the person who is injured but against society as a whole. Theoretically, a crime is a threat to every member of society , even though it may be , in reality an offence against only one person.
Generally, Crime deals with the Maxim ‘actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea’ which means Crime Consist of Mens rea and Actus rea. This general rule is utmost important for the protection of liberty of the subject that a court should always bear in mind that unless a statute either clearly /by necessary implication rules out Mens rea as a constituent part of a crime, the court should find a man guilty of an offence against the criminal law unless he has a guilty mind. Actus reas is another constituent of crime which proceeds with that of the developed guilty mind / the Mens rea. In furtherance of these two constituent, any crime comes in existence and I.P.C. penalizes the offender on this behalf. Crime is classified as per the act committed and is penalized as per the quantum of act.
CAUSES OF CRIME
As discussed before, crime is injurious to public welfare as well as violation of law as established under the statute. According to prof. Frank Tannebaum, Crime is eternal and it cannot be abolished except in a non-existent utopia. According to Giorgin Florita, Crime is normal in the society just like sin and laws made by man are abnormal.
The Traditional approach to the causations of crime has been socio-economic. But there are many more factors which contribute considerably to crime causation such as Mental retardation, Economical factor, Lack of Parental control etc. Some Crimes are influenced from the community such as Press, Motion picture, the Comics, Radio and T.V., Emotional disturbances etc. There are different theories propounded as sociological theories, geographical theories etc. As per sociological theory, man is an organic creature and therefore, behaves according to the general laws of the organic world.
Some sociologist says that criminal is a deviant who has been unable to adjust himself to the conventional sanctions imposed by the society due to inadequate and unfortunate interactions with parents and primary group contacts, this theory fails to explain all sorts of criminal behavior specially random individual delinquency of crime, which is based largely on personal disorganization. As per geographical theory, geographers maintain that climate and topography exercise considerable influence on behavior. It is said that crime rates are higher in cities than rural areas. The value and respectability of work, of family stability, the land as indicator of status are all parts of rural pattern. Their effect on individual provides conformity and acceptance of laws.
Hooton and Sheldon are called as pioneers of this school. The contribution of positive school of criminology was to transfer the emphasis from the crime to criminal. According to them heredity of an individual motivates him to commit crime. Criminality in twins has been advanced as proof that heredity is of the utmost importance in explaining antisocial behavior.
HOOTON has tried to show that crime and other forms of antisocial behavior are exclusively due to Physical factor such as climate, the relative length of day and night, season etc. as well as the other racial factors. Only by sterilizing these defective types and breeding a better race it is possible to check the growth of criminality. It is the biological inferior, the organically inadaptable, the medically and physically stunted are warped, and the sociologically warped, who are responsible for the majority of crimes committed. According to SHELDON, ‘Behaviour’ is a function of body structure, and interpretation, fairly accurate predictions concerning the individual’s behavior can be made. Admittedly, the individual interacts socially as a biological organism and his unique organic structure bears a direct causal relation to the manner in which he plays his role within the social group.
As we know poverty is called as one of the causes of crime. But poverty alone is hardly a cause of crime. This is evidenced by the courage, fortitude, honesty and moral stamina of thousands of poor parents, who would rather starve than do wrong. In areas where Poverty and wretched housing conditions prevail, crime in the majority of residents is non-existent and most of the children grow up to be reasonably good citizens. The main cause is that criminals are not satisfied with their meager income from lawful pursuits. The differential treatment by law enforcement agencies to the detriment of minority groups and to the poor is almost universal but it is most marked in urban areas. Administrative process is more favorable to the rich than to the poor.
Poverty stricken homes cannot inspire socially acceptable behaviour, especially when children from such homes come in contact with poor frustrated individuals living in the same neighborhood who resent any display of wealth/comfort on the part of rich people. It is submitted that poverty alone does not force a person to commit a crime, but it does produce the conditions most conducive to crime both socially and personally. It is ambition and envy rather than hunger /cold that stimulates many petty crimes. It is not lack of clothing but lack of expensive clothing.
As we are in the era of globalization there are different sources to influence a community such as school, church, pictures, television, radio, press and other character building agencies.
Generally, it is meant that press is a source of publicity as well as to awaken people to the relevance, constancy and importance of crime. The constant repetition of crime stories by the press affects the reader in two ways; it may affects some person to commit similar crime, or it may create an indifference to law and order through the constant exaggeration of the details of the crime. The press should instead of propagating criticism, enlist the services of correctional experts to run a column in their newspaper orienting the public on the whole process of criminal and correctional procedure.
Radio & T.V.
Nowadays, television is available in each and every house as a source of entertainment consisting of both visible and audible facility and thus, it is difficult to gather proof of a direct causal relationship between the viewing of acts of crime and the actual acts performed.
As we know, children are catchy in nature, motion pictures /movies have its great influence on children. Pictures dealing with crime occasionally show that it is easy to live without working legitimately, that crime is exciting, that there are methods to enjoy life luxuriously. Movies are only a part of the conditioning process and are regarded as one of the factors in personality development and thus behavior of a person.
The comic books are obviously misnamed with few exceptions. They are definitely not humorous. Children and adolescents are very fond of comics. Children indulge in bad language. They react to violent and socially stimulating ‘picture language’ of the comics. Child is exposed to conflict. All these things present in a variety of temptation to modern youth that were relatively non- existent in the earlier days.
INFLUENCE OF HOME
As homes are deemed to be the place of nurturing oneself as well as ones nourishment and known as primary place for a baby. Lack of parental control and absence of parental insight provide the basis for the criminal behavior of their children. Poor housing is related to with crime but thousands of parents living in sub-standard homes manage to make their children to be useful citizen. Confused homes are not healthy places for children.
It is the primary task of home to fulfill its young :shelter and nourishment to infants, enable the child to be healthy, virility, to educate and meet them proper codes of behavior, love, fear and anger. Broken homes whether psychologically/physically provide a congenial soil for criminality to develop. Where there is constant bickering, little respect for the rights of each individual and where the child is ridiculed, the criminality has favorable climate to develop. There are two types of broken homes: first, where parents are missing, making home life a typical in carrying on its responsibility towards every member and second psychologically broken homes, where cross purpose are more conspicuous than harmony and contribute more to delinquency.
The conclusions which are extracted from the study are as follows:
- The central causal factor behind most child neglect and delinquency lies in family disorganization.
- Disorganization causes emotional instability in the parent;
- A disorganized family life sets in motion process harmful to children who may react to them by becoming delinquent /by developing traits that lead to breakdown later on.
- From disorganized family comes some other serious and costly social breakdown, such as mental disease, mental deficiency, crime etc.
The abnormalities are caused by both physical and psychological disturbances. The abnormal types of behavior are caused by disease, poisonous products, aging, and other abnormalities. From the psychological point of view, mental abnormalities are a marked inability to face reality with resulting mental conflicts. These may have created due to insecurity, frustration in childhood, harsh living condition, professional failure and other unfortunate experience. There are few persons who have complete satisfactory set of experiences from childhood onwards, or find life entirely to their liking in adulthood and all other similar situations. The problems of the childhood are the main cause of emotional maladjustment. The majority of children make necessary adjustments to the social environment. The dominating factors are the parents who accept the child and make them feel that it belongs to him.
August Aichorns pointed out that “it is important to know what child is thinking so as to divert his overt anti-social act into corrective channels rather than to repress them“. From the very childhood the human nature is aggressive and assertive. When a baby wants something and is denied, he protests by his cry until he gets the things wanted. Normally, some of the desires are fulfilled and some are denied .society obstructs to many of spontaneous expressions of the human nature. Children often fail to do what is hopefully expected of them. The punishment and reward must bear a relation to the behavior of the child. Only then it would give efficient results. The parents must recognize and understand the roles they must play in dealing with their offspring, especially in a family where there are more than one children because in such recognition. The child must be taught a lesson of life and a sense of responsibility by affectionate behaviour of the parents, because it is mostly the insecure and frustrated child that is spoiled. The parents must set flexible limits as guides in helping their children to make choice of behaviour. Mothers can play a very effective role in the maturation process of the child. Thus, it is clear that emotional disorganization is far more important as a factor in crime causations.
As we know Crime is the result of many causes which can be detected by means of careful study. Crime is assignable to no single source; it usually comes from multiple influences. No single cause can explain all crime patterns. It may be due to conflict /disorganization, either cultural /emotional. According to Enrico ferri, the factors of crime can be divided in individual, physical and social. As per individual factor, it consists of age, sex, civil status, profession, domicile, social rank, instruction, education, and the physic construction etc.
- The physical factors are as: race, climate, season, the fertility and decomposition of soil, temperature, the relative length of day and night etc.
- The social factors are as: emigration, density of population, public opinion, customs, religion, public order, economic and industrial conditions, agriculture, public administration, public instruction , public beneficence as well as legislation.
Crime must be recognized clearly as not being a unitary phenomena but as consisting of many kinds of behavior, occurring under different situations. A joint and co-oriented approach by different experts is desirable. Furthermore, some integration of theory and practice is surely needed. If we desire to grip the problem of crime in our society, understanding and tolerance must be nurtured and developed. What is more needed is the implementation of the theories through social actions
From the above discussion, I conclude that Crime is the violation of law which is injurious to the society and affects the society at large. It is very different from that of civil wrong.
The different causes of crime and different factors responsible for crime are enlisted in the project work. The views of different jurist and the different theories propounded on behalf of crime are also embedded in this project. So, it is clear that where there is existence of society, there will be crime and to get rid of crime, there will be abolishment of society. At the last but not at the least, it can say that the society can avoid crime but cannot prevent it.