Why education, not punishment, is the solution to reducing crime

John Lonergan

  • 6 April 2018
  • Posted by: Nicolas Devia
  • Number of views: 2049
Why education, not punishment, is the solution to reducing crime
When deciding on how to use the public resources in regards to the control of criminality, often politicians engage in reactive policies. Hard-line strategies of policing and incarceration are used as a way to please the electorate and keep popularity high as well. But in reality, keeping the approach to criminality on a reactive stance is only going to increase the costs of the penitentiary system and will tear apart and segregate communities that struggle to make a decent living. In his service at the Irish penitentiary system, John Lonergan discovered the particular characteristics of the imprisoned. Often left behind by the public social services, the delinquents were uneducated and illiterate people who left school at very young age. Without guidance and/or support from somebody else, those young dropouts ended up being caught in the hands of delinquency. Preventive policies, even when they may not be as popular as the reactive ones, have a remarkable impact on vulnerable communities and on crime. Providing education and opportunities for youth at risk proves then again to be the best investment a government can do to improve the conditions of its society.