Social breakdown is the connection involving young people and crime. In today’s society there are many young people committing crimes. There are high schools made up of gangs and young people fighting for no reason. Larry Smith categories the contributing factors into three categories: enforcement, justice and socialization. If we repair the problems involved in these factors then social breakdown will fail to exist. Larry Smith argues that enforcement is the way in which society’s rules are applied or not applied.
In most cases some citizens do not acknowledge these laws and do as they please. The reason for this according to the article is that if we see our leaders ignoring the laws, why then should we ordinary citizens observe the law? This makes the way clear for us ordinary citizens to also break the rules and think it is right. Larry states our leaders need to set examples and make examples of those who breach the rules of behavior. By doing so us citizen would think of the consequences of our actions before we decide to break another rule.
Larry also thinks that we need foreign police officers to bring some level of impartiality and motivation to our law enforcement agencies. I don’t see the need for foreign police officers, is there something wrong with Bahamians that they are incapable of impartial enforcement and justice? There is nothing wrong with getting advice from foreigners as he uses an example of British experts training police in Trinidad to counter criminal gangs that are terrorizing local communities. But to place foreign workers in positions that Bahamians can handle is not needed.
This only helps inflate the employment rate even more. Firstly employment is one of the factors of social breakdown, doing so will only limit jobs to younger people interested in pursuing this field. According to Larry Smith, justice refers to the way we process those who break the rules. He states that a single budget exercise could resolve most of the bottlenecks in our courtrooms and prisons within a year. This is true that problems in the court and prison system could be fixed but within a year is not the case. This takes time and probably years to correct.
If this statement Larry stated was correct then everything today would be running smoothly in the court and prison system. Larry also argues that we either need bigger prison or new jails and more prison officers to keep criminals locked up. There should be more than two prisons built to hold these criminals but in some instances the size of prisons has nothing to do with criminals being free. It goes beyond that dealing with the justice system where bail is allow to someone that has not been convicted of the crime even if they are guilty.
So this allows a killer or any other person who has committed a crime to be free. Larry presents a plan to how we can afford all these things by creating a special crime tax or sell Bahamasair. None of this is needed, other ideas can be implemented. Lastly Larry argues that socialization covers all things that produce new entrants to our society- the family, home life, schooling, moral codes and work. These are all factors that affect a child’s behavior and what they may be like in the future. Larry states that this requires long-term investment in education, family counseling and social health programmes.
This is very true because from we enter the world our parents try to discipline us and teach us what is right and wrong. We then progress into education which is also another long process which has three or four stages: preschool, primary school, high school and lastly college. We are never officially done with education, we learn throughout life. Larry states that one thing is clear about young people in the Bahamas today – they are growing up in a culture of violence that did not exist in our day. Yes this is a fact, times are different.
He then goes on to say all that is needed is the leadership to move the nation in the right direction and implement the required solutions. Leadership is not all that is needed to move the nation, it can solve some of the problems but not all. Firstly problems arise in the homes with young people and how they were discipline. For example some teens grow up without father figures in their life or abusive parents which affect their behavior. If you research the background of youths committing these crimes they have either experienced educational failure or family breakdown.
So the leadership should not only be considered, parents play a big role in the outcome of the upcoming generation. If we fix the problems that arises in the homes then there would be lesser young criminals, instead they would be focus on their goals determined to choose the right path. If we do not fix the problems occurring in the areas of socialization, enforcement and justice our younger generation will become extinct. They will either be dead or behind bars if we do not come up solutions to end social breakdown.