Who are the children who end up in jail?

Summary of a report  by the Prison Reform Trust (2010) –  Punishing Disadvantage: a profile of children in custody –

The research asked a straightforward question: “Who are the 2,000 to 3,000 children and young people serving sentences or on remand in Britain at any one time?”

A more complex, and extremely significant, question the study also asked was: “How do these young people come to end up in custody?”

In answer to the first question, research revealed the widespread disadvantage and unstable lives endured by children and young people serving time. It found that

  • 75% had absent fathers
  • 50% came from deprived backgrounds and a similar proportion had run away from home at some point.
  • 33% had absent mothers
  • 25% had been in care,
  • 20% had self-harmed,
  • 11% had attempted suicide, and
  • 12% had been bereaved, losing either a parent or sibling. It also found that around three-quarters had absent fathers, while a third had experienced their mother’s absence.

If you want to find out answers to the second question – click on the link

Quick Crime and Deviance Questions

I Quite like translating the A2 Sociology specification into ‘easy pop questions’ about a topic – here are a few for crime and deviance… Roughly in line with the order in which we teach. They’re short enough questions to tweet, too.

These are the kind of questions students can just be let lose on to find out info about…. preferably with a few sources as guidance.

OK in fairness some of them aren’t actually ‘pop questions’ but sometimes the spec. is hard to simplify.

  1. How much Crime is there in England and Wales?
  2. Why did recorded crime rise so rapidly in the 1980s? 
  3. Why has crime in the UK been going down every year since 1995?
  4. What are the lowest and highest crime rate areas in the UK?
  5. What are the highest and lowest crime countries in the world?
  6. Why are there spikes in violent street crime at weekends in city centres in the early hours of the morning?
  7. Why does the media exaggerate the extent of violent crime?
  8. To what extent does the media shape our perceptions of crime?
  9. Is crime necessary?
  10. Is ‘bad-parenting’ to blame for crime?
  11. What types of people are the most likely to end up in jail?
  12. To what extent are ‘blocked opportunities’ to blame for crime?
  13. How much crime is gang-related?
  14. Which social class commits the most crime?
  15. Are the crimes of the elite more costly than street crime?
  16. Are the poor more likely to be punished than the rich?
  17. Does Capitalism ‘breed crime’?
  18. Is there such a thing as an inherently deviant act?
  19. Do agents of social control ’cause’ crime to increase?
  20. (Philosophical) – If no one catches you commiting a crime, are you actually a criminal?
  21. Are the police racist, sexist, ageist, classist – are they more likely to negatively label some groups compared to others?
  22. Are criminals actually the sensible ones?
  23. Are criminals heroic?
  24. Does the government deliberately exaggerate moral panics to divert attention away from its own immoral activities?
  25. What is the most effective way to control and reduce crime?
  26. How important is the role of the community in reducing and controlling crime?
  27. What is the role of the police in modern society? What should it be?
  28. Does zero tolerance policing work?
  29. Does prison work?
  30.  Why do men commit more crime than women?
  31. Why is the female crime rate increasing?
  32. Is the criminal justice system biased against women? (Rape/ domestic violence/ prostitution)
  33. How does crime vary by ethnicity? 
  34. Are the police racist?
  35. Who are the victims of crime – why are some people more likely to be victims than others
  36. How has globalisation changed crime and crime control?
  37. What is state crime? How do we explain it?
  38. What is environmental crime? How do we explain it?
  39. Why do people commit suicide?

As a seperate research strands you could also research the following types of crime

  • Violent street crime
  • Burglary
  • Gangs and gang related crime (not all gangs commit crime)
  • Drug dealing
  • Rape and Domestic abuse
  • Hate crime (including race crime)
  • Corporate Crime, especially fraud.