Education and crime is an extensively studied topic. Scholars seem to disagree on some issues. However, they seem to agree on the social and economic benefits of education. By extension, knowledge can influence the need to engage in criminal activity.
This support does not always say how education helps. In this article, I will employ my years of experience, research, and reading to illuminate on five ways education reduces crime.
Education Takes Up Quality Time
Education takes up quality time. Before a person graduates high school, he or she is already an adult–17-18 years. Recent studies show that pre-Kindergarten schooling helps children too. In fact, the studies showed that a child is more likely to engage in crime if he or she did not attend school as early as three years. In retrospect, by the time a person graduates, he or she has spent 14-15 years of schooling. It requires patience to achieve this.
In this case, education promotes patience and aversion. The crime age increases among school goers too. Kids engage in many things while at school and their schedule is full. If they don’t have homework, they have projects. If they don’t have educational tours and symposiums, they have competitions. A child is unlikely to have time to idle around because he has things to do and unlikely to begin a life of crime.
Schools promote a culture of diligence, honesty, and tolerance. Without schools, kids rarely see the benefit of working hard. Instead, they have an urgent need to own things that require money. On the overall, education takes the idle time that a person would otherwise have and makes good use of it.
Education Improves Critical Thinking
Education has two definitions, an enlightening experience and a process of giving systematic instruction. Education shows you that the world is a system. Within it, one has to eke his life without causing a disturbance to the whole. Consequently, when a person goes through the education system, he or she learns to find his or her place in the society. It shows the person the life of others and how to work together to make the community better.
For example, a child learns the importance of peace in the society. With law and order, he or she can move freely. With unrests, he or she is not able to partake in his or her daily endeavors. In recent studies, the levels of education showed a significant correlation to the propensity for violent crimes.
An Educated group of demonstrators is unlikely to cause economic sabotage to parties other than those intended. They are likely to demonstrate peacefully alongside other people within the society. This is different when you have rowdy and uneducated people who are likely to engage in violent demos.
The educated person is likely to think through before he or she can partake in a criminal act. Instead of engaging in crime, he is expected to devise a way of achieving the same outcome using different means.
Education Provides Options
An educated person will most likely evaluate the opportunity cost of crime. A criminal act is likely to land him into serious jail term. Property-related crime, especially violent robberies, shoplifting, and peddling have low returns compared to education. If a person can make $50, 000 a year, why would he or she risk going to jail for ten years? This option comes only when you have an education.
Again, people are likely to engage in retaliatory crime if they don’t know other legal options of handling disputes. A good number of youths from minorities will participate in retaliatory gang activities only to end up incarcerated. With education, they can use non-violent means such as legal mechanisms to seek out their issues.
Schools are at the forefront of the promotion of talent and its consequent development. Major leagues rely on the development of the school systems to tap into talent. Some of the most popular sports franchises such as NBA, MLB, MLS, athletics, and others would be dead if the school system were not there.
Young people discover talent in schools. Kids realize they can sing, run, jump, and swim; play hockey, football, basketball, baseball, and many others. Without schools, that talent wild die. People pursuing talent have a value that they can’t throw away through crime.
Education Gives People Hope
Hopelessness is a significant cause of crime in the society. When you have poor parents, don’t have education, and have bills to attend to, your only hope is to get quick cash. In the process of getting it, you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. With education, there is always hope for a brighter future. Recent studies show that a minority youth is more likely to get a part-time job if he is in school compared to those not pursuing careers.
A store owner is likely to trust a student more to operate her store in her absence if she feels that the kid wants a better future for herself.
Education Improves Interaction
The best place for a teenager to meet people is in school. With more people in his or her life, there are more opportunities. Education can make someone feel that he or she belongs to the legitimate and mainstream society. She can learn many things; they can form groups, form bands, and many other possibilities. School-going kids interact with people of all lifestyles, immigrants, blacks, whites, Latinos, etc., which improves their cross-cultural competence and levels of tolerance. This can lead to the reduction of hate crimes.
A child today ought to pursue education to high school level or its equivalent, at the very least. That way, he or she will have more educated peers, improve interaction, improve her options and opportunities, and improve his or her critical thinking ability.
About The Author
Scott Groza is an educationist, entrepreneur, and author. He is the founder and CEO of Groza Learning Center, premier learning facility that offers excellent tutoring services for kids.