Crime and society You need to know about the causes and impact of criminal behaviour. For example, people may commit crime for several reasons; • Peer pressure • Criminals have not been taught the difference between ‘right and wrong.’ This argument is closely associated with the New Right • Mental illness. The majority of prisoners have mental health problems • A failure to rehabilitate ex-offenders back into society • The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman argues that criminals steal status items in order to appear ‘normal’ within such a materialistic society The peak age of criminal activity is during the years 16-25. This may be due to the following factors; • Boys often have to ‘prove’ their masculinity which can, at times, result in criminal activity • The likelihood of a young person belonging to a subculture is high, and some subcultures engage in criminal behaviour • Young people may have few legitimate means available of acquiring material goods •
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