Finally, there have been multiple studies that indicate the unfair practice of prejudice against ex-convicts seeking jobs. One such study conducted by Devah Pager from the University of Wisconsin. According to her findings, employers were only half as likely to contact and consider applicants with felony convictions in comparison to equally qualified men without prison convictions. For example in the United States, there are over 2 million individuals in prison today.
What does this mean for people who have served their debt to society and have gone through the rigors of “rehabilitation” with the hopes of being functional members of society upon release? Such unfair conditions seem to perpetuate a cycle of joblessness that is almost certain to push ex-convicts back to a life of crime again. It is commonly believed that the “solution” to crime is prison with the purpose of rehabilitating prisoners for a new life. The goal is to see legal activities and gainful employment take the place of crime.
If that is true, how can the governments in western society hope to stem the tide of crime when ex-cons can’t find work? This is clearly a case where “societies do not provide the institutional means necessary to secure socially acceptable goals”. In fact, they have failed miserably in this particular area. As long as there are a high number of imprisoned people being released every year, no society should expect anything but the persistence of crime.
In conclusion, it is quite clear that when resources are scarce, families are fractured, consumerism and unfair hiring practices are the order of the day, there will continue to be many who are unable to escape these scourges on western societies. I totally agree with the statement that “crime occurs when societies do not provide the institutional means necessary to secure socially desirable goals”. Crime is increasing so obviously institutions are not working effectively.
On a positive note particularly in England contributory factors towards crime seems to be a recognised problem. The government has attempted to aid these issues for example by implementing policies such as the E. O. P (equal opportunity policy) which supposedly promotes equality in the workplace and by introducing the “new deal” to help create employment opportunities for the unemployed. Clearly this isn’t enough.
In order to curb the problem of crime, western institutions need to create enough outlets to help criminals return to the straight and narrow. Perhaps money wasted on futile wars could be used in this instance. America has adopted a “0 tolerance” policy and Mayor Gulliani of New York started a stop and search campaign, this, in hope of reducing gun crime. The manifestation of cultural change in western society is ever growing. As it grows it is only inevitable that crime on the whole will continue to increase if preventative measures are not addressed.