There are many factors that contribute to criminal activity. Major influences are a lack of opportunity and a lack of resources. A more complicated issue is environmental/cultural. Yet another issue concerns Americans with criminal records. The PAP addresses all of these issues.
There are three major social theories are address crime and are closely related to each other. The first comes from social structure theory. This theory recognizes that pathological conditions exist when people live within a socially disorganized community, and/or suffer from strain, usually financial in nature. There is also a facet of this theory that addresses cultural conflict. It maintains that some crime occurs because of a clash of values between cultures about what is acceptable. Another facet is differential opportunity, which looks at the lack of opportunities available to certain segments of society.
The second of these major social theories has to do with social process theories. These theories discuss how being surrounded by criminal activities and criminals, especially when young, influences our behavior.
A third social theory has to do with social conflict. These are theories that discuss how wealth and power control law and policy and allow those with power to control those who do not have it.
When it comes to Americans with criminal records the data is clear. Once someone has a criminal record, trying to lead a law-abiding life becomes even more difficult because getting a decent job is incredibly difficult. As you might suspect, when you have mouths to feed and legitimate opportunity is not available, it is easy to turn to crime.
As stated in Tenet #2, the Pro American Party endorses the idea that having a working population is in the best interests of our country. This tenet provides jobs for those who cannot find jobs in the private sector. This means that we will no longer have any segments of our society that suffer from no opportunity. It also means that over time, subcultures will naturally move towards the majority culture. This tenet does not provide a ceiling, but it does provide a floor. No American will have to go to a government agency and ask or beg for money or resources, because each person will be able to support themselves. This is also true for Americans with criminal records. They too will have a job, allowing them to become productive members of our society. Felons that represent some type of threat will also have jobs, but depending on the type of threat they represent some jobs may not be available to them.
Tenet #2 supports equal opportunity, the development of positive social bonds and minimizes the effects of negative social labels. It also supports gender equality and works to minimize tensions between the haves and the have nots.
All of these efforts will serve to reduce crime. If I Had The Power believes this tenet will allow us to close many prisons and get rid of the vast majority of welfare programs currently active. Perhaps most importantly, it will change the feeling of hopelessness that so many of our citizens feel.
A future post will deal with teenage crime and solutions for that problem.