Crime: An offence that is punishable by the law e.g. stealing
Over 30,000 crimes are committed in England and Wales although most are not reported to the police.
RELIGIOUS ATTITUDES TO CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
All the major religions recognise the importance of law and order in society. Without it, there would be disorder and chaos. People would live in fear and be constantly worried about being the victim of criminal activites. Citizens have a moral duty to behave in a law-abiding manner or they deserve the punishment of law.
Christians do not believe in karma but they have a similar teaching: 'A man reaps what he sows'. Most Christians teach that criminals need to be punished but also forgiven and given a second chance. They believe that it is important to work towards stopping the causes of crime. Christians are encouraged to be law-abiding citizens.
The idea of justice is clearly shown throughout the Jewish scriptures. The Torah emphasises the importance of law and includes the Ten Commandments, which is central to the Jewish religion.
CAUSE OF CRIME
Why does a person commit a crime?
- to get revenge
- to show power
- Lust e.g. ***********, prostitution
- to con someone
- psychological issues
- to impress someone
- political reasons
1. SOCIAL REASONS -> lack of education -> low self esteem * -> no qualifications -> no job * -> no hope
2. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES -> high unemployment -> no funding -> no infrastructure -> depression/low self esteem!
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES -> mental illnesses
Duty: a moral or legal obligation
Responsibility: a duty to care for or having control over something or someone
Conscience: the inner feeling you are doing right or wrong
TYPES OF CRIME
Civil Law: concerns dispute between private idividuals of groups for example, divorces. These are taken to a small claims court or High Court.
Criminal Law: relevant when the state law has been broken e.g. murder. Cases involve the police collecting evidence and then forwarding it to the Crown Prosecution Service. Less serious matters are dealt with at a magistrates' court. More serious cases are taken to Crown Court where a jury of 12 will listen and then the judge passes a sentence.
Crime against the person: wrongdoing that directly harms a person, e.g. murder, assault
Crime against property: damaging items that belong to somebody else e.g. vandalism
Crime against the state: an offence at damaging the government or a country e.g. treason
Religious Offence: an offence against religion e.g. blashphemy, sacrilege
THE AIMS OF PUNISHMENT
1. PROTECTION: keeping the public from being harmed, threatened or injured by criminals e.g. by murderes or paedophiles
2. RETRIBUTION: an aim of punishment - to get your own back: 'an eye for an eye' e.g. if he kills my son, i will kill his