Poverty – 2 main causes of crime and religious responses!

image 4

Two of the main causes of crime, is poverty and upbringing.

Poverty- cause 1.

Financial Issues- won’t be able to afford things, feeling excluded, in debt. Craving for a male role model which could mean they could get into relationships younger, and they won’t know or understand what healthy relationships look like so are more likely to fall into an abusive and toxic relationship, which makes some become victims of abuse or maybe even an abuser.

More likely to turn to substance abuse or make money through it.
More likely to move out sooner to get away from troubles but as they may not have a huge, stable, income they could end up in scarier neighbourhoods which can land them in more trouble. This also can have an impact on education.

Many children have no boundaries at home so it can impact their education and limit their opportunities as they could get into trouble at school like suspensions and/or exclusions. Also, Mental health issues- poverty could lead to stress/anxiety which could lead to depression and so on.

How is Poverty a Cause of Crime?

Poverty its self is not a cause of crime but it’s the problems/situations that
rise from it.

Don’t have money so need to commit crime to meet basic needs e.g., theft, drug
dealing Leads to bad housing, poor conditions and people are living in an environment which is surrounded by crime
This also to social deprivation, broken family unit and unemployment which can lead to low self-esteem, stress etc.
Poverty restricts the options and opportunities available to people and limits their access to things that are mostly taken for granted by society. Poverty at any stage can lead to later negative of life consequences.

A person is considered to be living in poverty if their income falls below some minimum level necessary to meet basic needs. This minimum level is called the ‘poverty line’.
People living in poverty lack the resources to access the same type of diet, activities, living conditions and facilities that are normal in the societies to which they belong.

More than 1 in 5 of our population (22%) are in poverty in our country –
14.5 million people. Of these, 8.1 million are working-age adults, 4.3 million are children and 2.1 million are pensioners. Child poverty continues to rise. Almost 1 in 3 children in the UK are living in poverty (31%). Nearly half of children in lone-parent families live in poverty, compared with 1 in 4 of those in couple families. Of the working-age adults, lone parents are by far the most likely of any family type to be struggling with poverty. The poverty rate for single pensioners is double that of couple pensioners and almost 1 in 5 pensioners overall are living in poverty.

impact of poverty on individuals.

Some people may be so in poverty need to commit crime to get money to be able to afford basic essentials. Being poor to live a poor to live a comfortable lifestyle may affect your mental health and may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the suffering you have.
If you become addicted to drugs you need to find a way to feed your habits.

Money worries contribute to low-income adults and their children being much more likely than wealthier adults and children to suffer from depression or anxiety and other health issues. It also affects the prospects of children, who may fail to reach the same level of educational attainment as those from wealthier families. Can make escape from poverty even harder when they become adults as they are continuing the cycle.

Religious responses.


Poverty as a cause of crime goes against the Christian view that everyone is equal in the eyes of God so a Christian’s duty is to help people who are suffering. There are many Christian groups/organisations that help those in poverty e.g. foodbanks, salvation army etc.

Christians would help people regardless of their background or circumstances as
they are stewards of the earth so they are supposed to look after God’s
creations (HUMANS). This is their duty.

-For the Old Testament Christians would say that the peace of society is more important than the reform of the sinner so they would not consider the causes of crime if the impact on society has been bad.


Most Buddhists believe that criminals should be punished for their actions, but Buddhists have strong views about punishment in this world:

punishing an offender with excessive cruelty is damaging to both the criminal
and the person administering the punishment it is impossible to administer severe punishment with compassion, and Buddhists should be compassionate about people’s circumstances

It should have reform at the heart of it, it should be focused on rehabilitation so that the person can move away from the three root poisons and be more skilful in their actions so they can change their lives. Many Buddhists are concerned with the welfare of people. They may campaign for prison reform, visit prisoners, or vote for a political party that reflects their views on justice and treating people equally.

Buddhists are also taught to show compassion and forgiveness to others, and they will aim to demonstrate loving-kindness to all human beings, including those who have committed a crime.

Buddhists believe we should not have actions fuelled by the 3RPs. Buddhists follow the five precepts which are a set of ethics that Buddhists should follow for example ‘I abstain from harming any living thing’ and ‘I abstain
from taking what is not freely given’

Buddhists also believe that any actions they have should be Skilful ones and they should avoid any unskilful actions as the Kamma that any actions generate will affect their rebirth and their ability to reach Nibbana.

inhumane treatment of an offender does not solve their behaviour or those of humanity in general – the best approach is to reform them.

punishment should only be enough for the offender to make amends, and his rehabilitation into society should be a priority.

For more on poverty and religion, click here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top