Why Informal Social Controls Are Important to Policing
Harmony must exist in any society for it to exist. Therefore, to maintain order, society requires rules and regulations to be followed. To ensure that these rules and order are observed, society requires implementing such rules. This is because it is accepted that the absence of effective crime controls mechanisms flourishes crime and disorders. Controls are considered to exist at individuals’ family, neighborhood, or state levels. Social controls are considered as the societal and political mechanisms that shape the behavior of a community or individuals so that their behavior conforms to a set of rules that are implemented by a social group, state, or society. Social controls should be aimed at the general well-being of a given society.
Different communities have different social values. These values are a result of informal social controls. They are exercised by a given society without the given society writing them down. They are usually expressed through norms or customs. There are three types of social controls which are: private, public, and parochial. The public controls are run by the state. They are composed of formal institutions such as social services, schools, and others. The primary public controls are taken to those bodies that are within the criminal justice systems.
They are institutions such as courts, police, and corrections centers. Private social controls are family members and friends that regulate the conduct of the inmates. Finally, the parochial social controls involve the consequences of all-day neighborly relations that the way voluntary organizations assist in crime prevention.
The importance of the community system is that it tries to work directly with the informal social control systems. Therefore, community justice concentrates on those people that are directly affected by the actions of the convicts. These are usually the family members and friends. The interaction of the victim and offenders helps to eliminate the hostility that is associated with the formal justice system. Similarly, this system also assists in enhancing parochial controls such that a neighborhood justice center runs a literacy program that can equip those residents that join it.
One of the most important aspects of community justice over the other form of justice is that any money spent on inmates cannot be invested in other sectors that generally uplift the general public such as schools or hospitals. Although an increase in criminal justice translates to instant public safety, the long-run effect is that it has been noted that investing in foregone facilities such as schools leads to attenuated consequences to safety than the former. For instance, in 1980 a decrease in investment in higher education translated to an increase in the expense of correction systems.
Concerning the private social controls, it has been established that family ties are greatly enhanced through the collaborative effort toward family behavior change. Community justice recognizes the fact that crime occurs in secluded localities. Therefore, it advocates for adequate financing of the affected areas to equip the affected community to address the challenges that trigger the crime.