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People take care of those things in which they have a vested interest. If people feel that following laws is more beneficial to them than crime, then they will follow the laws. As a society, we need to make sure that people have enough possibility for success that they choose to follow the laws. Crimes are committed not by the poor, or the drug addicted, or the unemployed. Crimes are committed by people who feel that the crime will reward them more than what they could come by honestly.
According to social control theory, the best way to reduce the amount of crime in the US would be to do a better job of socializing people. Social control theorists would suggest that there me more teaching of values to children as they grow up. They would also argue that it is important to build and maintain connections between individuals and their society.
According to social control theory, people obey laws because they feel that they have a stake in their society. People obey laws if they have values that encourage them to do so and they obey laws if they feel connected to the other people in their society. Clearly, these two reasons for obeying laws need to be inculcated in different ways. Values can only be instilled through education, whether by parents or schools. Connections to society can be built various ways, such as through schools or through encouraging participation in things like churches or social organizations.
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