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The discovery of crime should be approached very carefully, so as to impact positively on the criminals, in case they are young. It is important to therefore weigh the available options very carefully before deciding whether or not to report the crime of merely advice the perpetrators. The effects of both options should be carefully weighed. In some cases, where violence is involved, it would be imperative to report the matter to the police as soon as possible. Elliott and Quinn (2008) describe that certain criminology theories may help to describe the best cause of action that would be possible in this scenario. He further explains that the action taken would very much rely on the behavior of the criminal at the time of discovery of the crime.
In this scenario we are dealing with case where by a parent of 16 years old boy arrives at his home at unusual time and finds the doors of his house open. When he enters in the house and to his surprise he finds his son's friend in the kitchen drawer. The boy explained he was looking for a paper and a pencil to so that he can leave a note to his friend (the son of house owner). Contrary, on the counter next to suspected boy there was a lock - pick, Jewelry and the smell of marijuana was all over. The owner of the house told the boy to leave immediately which he does. This paper therefore gives the best cause of action that I as a parent would take in order to ensure justice is done and that the vice is negated or curbed.
When faced with certain circumstances involving criminal intent, I would have many options to think about. The most imperative thing to do is to act decisively towards resolving the impending problem. In this case, my son's friend gained access unlawfully into my house and smells of marijuana, a common drug abused by the youth. This indeed raises alarm over the next cause of action that I should take in this case. The boy is also a thief by definition having stolen some of my jewelry and is almost making out of the door with them, before I walked in. I would have to take a decision that is good for him and for others.
Marijuana is a drug that has a wide societal effect. Therefore, what this means is that the boy should be made to stop smoking the drug. In fact, it is the drug that may have caused him to act the way he did and break into my house. The best way to make the boy stop smoking marijuana would not be to report him to the authorities so that he may be rehabilitated to stop smoking the drug which has negative or adverse effects on the boy. I would immediately call my son to the scene so that he becomes the witness to his friend's behavior. This would help my son to reflect on the kind of company that he keeps. On the other hand, the young boy would be embarrassed and perhaps decide to change his behavior immediately. However, this would not preempt the fact that his parents would not have to be informed. The most important step after the young boy has accepted his mistakes would be to inform his parents so that they may be part of the process in changing their son's behavior to a more positive outlook, hence curbing his criminal activities.
Moreover, I would have to ask him a couple of questions regarding his state of mind and why he is indulging in drug abuse as well as theft and house breakage. If he seems to be cooperative, I would prefer to sit him down with his parents and talk him over the problems. However, if he seems adamant, he would have to be reported to the police who would take the case over and reprimand him according to the prescription of the law. At such a tender age, the young boy should be able to be subjected to advice by his parents.
Informing his parents would be perhaps the first step towards ensuring that the boy does not continue with his bad manners unabated. His parents would be pivotal towards advising their son. At such an age, it should be easy to punish the boy and subject him to sanctions which would include grounding him for a couple of months, taking him to perform a drug test, as well as getting him to be busy. According to Elliott and Quinn (2008), idleness often contributes to the commission of crime. Most of the youth indulge in crime as a pastime. This is first begun by the youth indulging in drug abuse, then they would lack finances to purchase their drug supplies. What would be next would be perhaps devastating for the youth's future, as they would seek other means of obtaining finances that are most likely not legally backed, such as theft.
The intervention of the boy's parents should be instrumental towards ensuring that the parents curb this bad behavior before it escalates to legal matters. A theory by Jefferson (2007) insinuates that crime perpetrated by the youth should be tacked by first informing the parents, then if this does not work, the police or security forces should be summoned to intervene. Therefore, in this case, it would be imperative to first consult with the boy's parents who would be expected to intervene and sit down their boy, advising him to stop this behavior. Fostering positive behavior should be the intent of criminology. This would lead to a decline in crimes, hence impacting positively on the market in general and bolstering good behavior among the youth.
On the other hand, I would summon my son and advise him to cease the company of his drug laden friend. I would first start by addressing the effects of marijuana on the youth and how it derails a bright future. Then, I would delve into the effects of keeping the company of peers who indulge in such behavior. This would create a sense of fear in my son. However, I would not conclude this process without carrying out a drug test on my son to ascertain whether he is also in the group. This would enable me to make a decision to take him to a rehab if he is so affected. The rehab would help him to end his behavior and affinity towards marijuana and hence lead a normal life.
Hence, the option that I would take would be very much determined by the reaction of the boy towards my discovery of his behavior. If he remains cool, calm and collected, I would refer the matter to the parents to take over from there. This would be if and only if the young boy surrenders my jewelry and other stolen items that he took from my house. The parents would have to be briefed of the entire circumstances and therefore advice their son accordingly. At this point, I would end the relationship shared between my son and the best friend, for the good of my son.
On the contrary, if the young boy acts adamant and unruly, then I would immediately summon the security authorities to apprehend him since he would be a threat to my life. The police would be best at dealing with such a case according to the law. Therefore, to avoid all these, the young boy would have to act and behave well and admit his mistakes. This would land him before his parents who would be best poised towards curbing such behavior in the boy.
It is imperative to note that the behavior of criminal is influenced by the environment which the criminals grow up in. This is according to the strain theory which states that crime is as a result of the environment or societal influence. I would first seek to stop the habit that the young boy has taken into by asking him to surrender my belongings. The strain theory supports this argument that stopping the behavior of the criminal is the most important step towards ensuring that there is positive behavior change.
A major assumption that I would make which would guide my cause of action is that the young boy is under the age of 18 years. Therefore, any action by him would be changed by the parents' intervention. This assumption would also help me to judge the behavior of the young boy and seek to advice him at the scene of crime, before deciding which cause of action would be best for the young boy.
I would not punish my son if he had no knowledge of the visitor's movements around the house. This is because; punishing him would only harden his stance towards keeping his friend's company. I would however, only punish my son if he had knowledge of his friend's behavior and did nothing to stop him or even call me up to intervene.
I took such a decision because, according to Jefferson (2007) there many ways of fostering social cohesion and behaviors. Jefferson went ahead to explain that certain material conditions as important to the social cohesion of one's well being. These include the person's health, income as well as housing and education. Hence, my son's best friend would be lacking certain essentials in his life, which causes a vacuum in his life thus making him revert to taking marijuana. Consequently, the boy's life may be marred with neglect from his parents. This would be revealed at the time of questioning him closely following his activities at the site. Hence, it shall be important that his parents are informed of the boy's behavior so that they may intervene and find better ways of bolstering behavior change in their son for the common good of the entire society.
In addition, by letting my boy know what his friend did, will assist to help him know that, when he has visitors he should always monitor them and direct them through since he is there to represent his parent when he is not there, that he should be careful when choosing and monitoring what they do, This incidence will also allow me know whether my child take drugs too (whether it is a habit they have been doing together as friends), and indeed, I will let them (my boy and his friend) that stealing is bad and drugs are harmful. By doing these, the children will change their behavior and my boy will also know once someone makes a mistake there is a punishment. By informing my son's friend parents about their children, this would be seen as a positive act and thus good social cohesion may grow and this children may feel afraid of misbehaving since they will understand they been observed by the society (parents from two sides probably). In addition, since the boy didn't know that his friend will break into their house he will apologize and likewise these is expected from the parents of the victim boy these shows that neither the boy nor the family of the boy found in the house still advocated for vices like stealing and indeed for drugs.