Race and Place Newspapers

The Reflector

Newspaper Information
Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
Date of Publication: December 09, 1933 (Wednesday)
Frequency: weekly
Article Transcripts

Page 1

Column 03
The Influence of the Community on Crime

Transcript of Article

The community affects greatly the standards of human conduct. In the extreme complexity of human nature, men can never be divided sharply into "sheep" and goats for none attain absolute virture, any more than any descend into unmitigated villainy. For the sake of discourse, I shall group my influences under three main heads; namely, public disapproval, the refusal of the community to accept a "jailbird" or offender back in its midst, the influence of the community by provision of recreation.

Public disapproval of crime can be fostered by the press, but instead, the average daily or weekly paper tends to incite a sentimental interest in crime which is very unhealthy and in some cases positively crime-breeding. Our newspapers should reveal the social crimes with a view to securing their outlawry.

The community fosters crime in another indirect but powerful way. By its refusal to accept an offender back into its midst, with forgetfulness for his past and encouragement for his future. society may make a confirmed wrong doer out of a man who, through momentary weakness made a misstep. There have been many who find themselves socially disgraced and unable to keep a job because of the past error. It is human nature to want to be and do what people expect you to do and be. If the public expects a man to reform, it must help him.

Through recreation, the community may aid in the checking of crime. "Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do". That which is talked and thought about in leisure hours becomes the basis for future action. Every community that is seeking to reduce crime should furnish its young people with playgrounds, public libraries and musical and literary entertainments. There should be also careful supervision of private amusements to insure wholesomeness and high idealism. It is good to note in our community how the various organizations like the Welfare Organization and Mother's Club are doing their part.

Summary of Article
Asserts that the community has a hand in choosing not to foster crime.

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