Poverty is a direct cause of youth criminality – Essay


Poverty is a direct cause of youth criminality in India- Essay

Deprivations, particularly economic deprivation, breed criminality. Criminality rates among youths are closely correlated with low income. Nevertheless, the argument that poverty is a direct cause of youth criminality is not being put forth.

According to Landis (1956: 55), there are three important ways in which economic deprivation enters as a risk factor in youth criminality:


(a) When material success is highly prized, economic deprivation breeds demoralisation and apathy;

(b) Economic deprivation hampers integration into society. Those who are unemployed or who receive low wages have no secure place in the community of work and their ties to the larger society are extremely tenuous,

(c) Economic deprivation makes housing conditions for the young so intolerable that they feel encouraged to develop a ‘street society’.

This means that their lifestyle becomes street-centered. In the streets, the young people are exposed to influences from which law-abiding youths are often isolated.


In my study, it was found that 72 per cent respondents were gainfully employed, 16 per cent were engaged in cultivation, and 11 per cent were studying. Only one per cent was unemployed.

Further, it was found that the income of about two-fifths working respondents (38%) was below Rs. 1,000 per month, while about a half (52%) were earning between Rs. 1,000 and Rs.2 ,000 per month and one-tenth (10%) were earning over Rs.2,000 per month. About three-fourths (77%) respondents being unmarried had no marital liabilities.

In two-fifths (40%) cases, the income of youth’s families was less than Rs. 1,500 per month, in little less than three-fifths (55%) cases between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 2,500 and in five per cent cases above Rs. 2,500 per month. Thus, economic deprivation could be considered a significant factor in youth criminality.

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