Crime in Psycho-Social Context

Crime is doing something that harms others or doing something that hurts others or that might hurt others if they ever become aware. If someone harms another, then the harmed is also hurt, so “hurt” is more general but “hurt” is not a measurable quantity. (Related – the principle of karma) 

Why do people commit crime? 

Personal gain and revenge.

Suppose A feels that B has not obeyed the orders of A in a particular instance and that has hurt A. If A punishes B, then that action might include both: personal gain (subordinates get scared and follow A) and revenge. Psychopaths are an exceptional breed. They take pleasure in hurting others. Same thing happens to those who are obsessed with all their life events in which they have been mistreated. People also transfer anger / revenge from one person to another, from one situation to another. We find angry people showing anger (being unable to show anger to superiors or equals) to subordinates, family members who can’t defend themselves from the wrath of the angry person. Revenge can lead to other revenges. (A hurting B or A feeling that B has hurt him, then B taking revenge, then A taking revenge in return.)

Unhappiness, mistreat makes us revengeful. The world is not perfect. Almost everyone is mistreated (or more correctly, almost everyone “feels” that he / she is mistreated) someway someday – no one gets what he / she deserves everyday. But you can still be happy – external conditions don’t make you unhappy, it’s how you interpret your external conditions, what you expectations are, that make you feel happy / unhappy. If you don’t brood how you were mistreated, but instead think of how much fortunate you are in comparison to others and count on God’s blessings you can be happy. Unhappy, revengeful people get more easily inclined towards crime. We need more happy, fulfilled people and less unhappy people. 

Children from broken families don’t get the guidance, love they need in the initial stage. If they are mistreated, or if they feel that they are mistreated, they become revengeful. We need more of loving stronger families, more of stable marriages. Children need the guidance, love and economic support, which gets bolstered by joined efforts of both the parents. 

Like all other affairs of life, committing crime can also become a habit. (Thinking patterns are habit too.) Concentrating on a particular aspect of life e.g., how much everyone around makes a person suffer can also become his / her habit. Punishing / torturing others for anything someone doesn’t like can also become a habit. (For behavior modification, finding out the “habits” that are the root cause of crime of a criminal could be one of the first steps.) So, if a child doesn’t get guidance from the family, feels that he / she is mistreated, becomes revengeful, commits crime and if not taken into account, makes it a habit. – An example of how things might go awfully wrong gradually if unchecked.

The law enforcement agencies should include psychologists / psychiatrists / sociologists to look for abnormal, obsessive behavior among people in all walks of life. Technological solutions e.g., data mining, sentiment analysis, emotion detection etc. might help us in this regard. Lots of research and investigation into psychology, psychiatry, sociology would shed more light. Abnormalities can be brought back to normal (by applying principles and practices from Psychology, Psychiatry, Religious Principles / Eastern philosophies) before things get worse. 

People want to feel good about themselves and they want others (especially people they care about) to feel good about themselves. It is so much more satisfying when you feel that you have earned something yourself. And if you love others deeply, help others earnestly, try to make others happier, you receive love, respect, help in return. This is the greatest reward a man / woman can have. (Look around you. People who are loved by others are usually very nice people, at least better than others that make them stand out.) Whenever you feel an irresistible urge to do something that might hurt others / do harm to others someway someday, remind yourself again and again that someday all your sins would be public, and imagine – feel the shame, hatred (in others’ minds), imagine – feel how people you care about would react / feel. It will help you resist the urge / temptation. (Have you ever had this experience? Feeling of shame, guilt etc.? Always keep it in mind. Has anyone praised you for doing something good (that made you feel really happy)? Keep it in mind too. Make the experiences and the associated feelings guide you. But don’t brood too much in the past. Just help it guide you. You can’t change your past, but you can “always” make the future beautiful.) Imagine-feel how life could have been if you didn’t have some of the things, some of the blessings you have. Now, feel happy and express gratitude. Sincerely believe that whatever you want in life can be achieved without hurting others / doing harm to others. You can even go one step further and begin to shape your desires so that the outcome is desirable to others. Then you can pull off together with others’ help, with greater force than if you were alone! Imagine a life full of mutual love and respect with people you care about! Find love! (It’s not just our romantic partners that we want to feel good about ourselves. We want our parents {Parents start off the process. During our childhood, when they say “Never do it”, we refrain from it and when they encourage us, we make it a habit.}, children, respected people, nice people, relatives and others to feel good about ourselves.) Your loved ones will inspire you!

In a society where people from all walks of life are treated equal and can pursue the life of their dreams, where law and order is strictly maintained, where everyone is held accountable for their deeds, people won’t hurt / harm others for personal gain and people would rely on law enforcement authority for judgment instead of taking revenge. Moreover, in a society where anyone can become anyone he / she wants to be, people are happier, more satisfied and more fulfilled and happier people are more empathetic, compassionate – people who care not only about themselves but also others.