Jeff Henderson’s book throws light on the factors that might have contributed his criminal activities. Much attention should be paid to his family environment. In particular, one can speak about a combination of various circumstances such as acceptance of deviant behavior and inability of parents to shield him against the harmful influences of peer pressure. This is the main thesis that should be examined more closely.
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First of all, one should mention that Jeff Henderson’s father left the family, when the author was only an infant (Henderson 13). It was his grandfather who shaped Henderson’s values and attitudes. The main problem is that he taught him stealing (Henderson 15). More important, Jeff Henderson’s grandfather perceived theft as something acceptable.
From his view point, it was acceptable for a black person to steal money from whites (Henderson 15). Overall, by setting such examples, he made Jeff more tolerant to criminal activities. This is one of the details that should be considered.
Apart from that, it is important to mention that his parents failed to safeguard Jeff against risks that one could face in the neighborhood. For instance, the author’s recollections suggest that he was accustomed to seeing people selling drugs (Henderson 28). Moreover, people, who were engaged in these activities, did not think that their action were unethical or illegal.
It should be noted that many teenagers living in such communities encounter similar problems (Solomon 10). One can say that Jeff Henderson could not resist the influence of these people because his family did not pay much attention to his development. It is possible say that during childhood and adolescence, Jeff Henderson was left to his own devices. Therefore, he was more likely to behave in a deviant manner.
This discussion suggests that the family environment of Jeff Henderson could have been one of the forces that prompted him to be involved in crime. It is critical to focus on the lack of parental care and acceptance of deviant behavior. This are the main aspects that can be identified.
Henderson, Jeff. Cooked: My Journey from the Streets to the Stove, New York: Harper Collins, 2007. Print.
Solomon, Lewis. Cycles of Poverty and Crime in America’s Inner Cities, New York: Transaction Publishers, 2012. Print.