There is a long-standing debate on whether or not education reduces crime. Proponents of the idea that education reduces crime argue that it makes people more aware of the consequences of their actions and helps them to make better decisions. Critics of this argument say that there is no evidence to support the claim that education reduces crime. That notwithstanding, education has a significant impact on criminality, though it may not be as direct as some would like to believe.
Ways in Which Education Reduces Crime Rate
Improve Employment Prospects
A higher level of education often means better employment prospects, which can lead to a reduction in crime. People who are employed are less likely to commit war crimes, as they have more to lose by doing so. Crime rates are lower in countries with a higher literacy rate. Literate people are more likely to be employed and are more likely to make informed decisions.
The school dropout rates are low among industrialized and developed countries. This is usually attributed to more opportunities for young people in these societies. They are less likely to resort to crime as a means of survival.
In underdeveloped and developing countries, the school dropout rate is high. This often leads to increased crime rates. Young people without an education are more likely to resort to criminal activity to make a living.
Reduced Arrest Rates
People with a higher level of education are less likely to be arrested for criminal offenses. They are more aware of the law and are less likely to commit crimes. Studies done across various US states show a 6% reduction in arrests among young men. This is because those who have a higher level of education are more likely to get good jobs and are less likely to resort to criminal activities for financial reasons.
Improved Economic Development
Education is a critical factor in economic development. A well-educated population is more likely to be prosperous and less likely to resort to criminal activity. Countries with a high level of education tend to have lower crime rates. This is because people in these countries are more likely to find good jobs and are less likely to resort to crime to make a living.
Education is not a magic bullet that will automatically reduce crime rates. However, it can have a significant impact on criminality. By improving employment prospects and reducing arrest rates, education can help to create a safer society.