The article posted in Kaieteur News, titled “Orphaned Teen Robber Sentenced to Community Service,” reports that an adolescent orphan robber was apprehended and put before the court in Georgetown (“Orphaned teen robber,” 2018). The youth had an accomplice, and the two managed to extort 2 BLU cellphones from a victim while using the threat of violence. In court, the juvenile criminal stated that the reason for his criminal behavior was that he never knew his parents, was a school dropout, and ended up being a part of a “bad company” (“Orphaned teen robber,” 2018).
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This situation is best described by Agnew’s general theory of crime, which states that some of the primary variables in criminal behavior are personality traits of low constraint, poor parenting practices, negative school experiences, peer delinquency, and unemployment (Cullen, Agnew, & Wilcox, 2017). The criminal from the article exhibits all five, meaning that the likelihood of him committing the crime was high. This conclusion is supported by racial and cultural theories, which claim that in the absence of stable income, parental supervision, and education, survival becomes the primary purpose in a child’s life, with violence and delinquency as acceptable means of achieving personal goals (Cullen et al., 2017).
A potential policy to mitigate such developments should be focused on providing social support to orphans and children from dysfunctional backgrounds. In the absence of a parental figure, these children should be placed into orphanages rather than being left out on the street and get exposed to the whole array of factors described in the general theory of crime (Onkari & Itagi, 2018). The “street culture,” in the absence of an alternative, becomes a credible replacement that ensures survival. Therefore, the crimes such as the one presented above are not the personal character failure of the teenager in question, but a failure of society to address the matter.
Cullen, F. T., Agnew, R., & Wilcox, P. (2017). Criminological theory: Past to present: Essential readings (6th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Orphaned teen robber sentenced to community service. (2018). Kaieteur News. Web.
Onkari, D., & Itagi, S. (2018). Socio-emotional behaviour of orphans: A pilot study. Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, 9(6), 892-894.