Essay: Crime and Its Costs
The costs of crime are huge and do not only affect the culprit’s family but also the society at large. These costs are either incurred directly or indirectly and are widely discussed below.
The social burden of crime goes beyond the breakdown of social cohesion. Cohen (2005) explains that overelliance on incarceration creates an addiction condition (p.68). Financial resources are therefore used to feed the incarceration habits, which further drains the life out of many individuals, families and communities. The society is affected in that the funds required for prison maintenance such paying prison staff, food and health provisions for criminals and the maintenance of public utility services such as water are covered by the society.
Stigmatization is a social cost that affects the offender’s family and the offender. These individuals are secluded by the society and are unable to interact freely despite the change in behavior of an offender after serving their term in correctional centers.
Environmental factors such as changes in meteorological conditions, location of individuals to polluted areas, the occurrence of natural calamities such as floods and drought are known to cause and increase in one way or another the prevalence of victims to criminal acts. The seasonal occurrence of such conditions results in fear of crime among individuals located in such areas. In lengthy fraud trials, the costs can be very large, countries provide for defendants to be given public support for their legal costs. These are in form of either subsidies being paid for private defense services or direct provision of services in the guise of a public defender (pp.71-73).