I do not think that genetics that are inherited at birth have anything to do with a person committing crimes. Research has shown that a person might have a pre-determined trait for dependency for things like drugs and alcohol, things that are physical but not criminal. Just because a person’s father goes to prison doesn’t mean that children will end up there too.
Criminal activity biggest factor is the type of environment that the offender grows up in. If a child grows up in a home were the parents have no respect for the law. And they don’t teach their children values, then you can expect that child will grow up to commit crimes. The biggest part of what shapes us is the environment in which we come from.
There are some exceptions to this, when a child sees that he or she wants a change in their lives. When the child has someone makes a positive impact in their lives and shows them that there is a better life out there other than the one they currently have. Examples on how successful the Boys and Girls clubs of America have been with at risk children. There is even a title for children who are growing up in homes of criminals and bad neighborhoods. We call them at risk youth and we try to influence them at that early age to show them the right and wrong.
I feel criminal behavior is a combination of both genetics and environment but I think genetic disorders makes up a very small portion of the mixture. I would tend to think genetics would make up less than 5% of criminal activity. To me, a person’s home environment at an early age is the biggest impact on a person’s desire to commit crimes. A person that is raised in an environment where all they see is crime, will see it as a way of life and find it more acceptable. Most of the time in this situation, a strong, positive male role model is absent in the home, so the child will find that leadership in gang involvement just to have a sense of security and belonging. The government is only fostering this behavior with slaps on the wrist or lite sentencing because of overcrowding in jails. The government is also aiding the situation with all of the handout programs that encourage low income people to stay unemployed because they can make more money off of the government than what they would if they held down a job. By encouraging unemployment, this leaves too much idle time on their hands and so instead of being constructive at a job, they become destructive by stealing, dealing drugs, and other criminal activities. As it is now, this is a perpetual problem that will never improve until there is more family influence than government influence. I would go one step further and say that what would help this problem more than anything is to bring God back into the school systems and start teaching off of “Biblical principles” instead of “anything goes so no one is offended”, but that is just a personal belief.
As for the small percentage for genetic disorders mentioned in the beginning, I do feel that there are those that are born with “crossed wires” so to speak and don’t process reality the same as others. I have a family member that has a learning deficiency and is very susceptible to outside influences and doesn’t see the long term impact of his actions, but only the immediate reward. So I do agree that there are those that commit crimes because of genetic issues and I also agree that those issues should be weighed during prosecution but I would never not hold someone accountable for their actions but the punishments may need to be modified accordingly.
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