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Bernard Lefkowitz wrote his findings about the criminal actions of the middle class athletes from a small suburb in the New York. Lefkowitz (1998), talks about the brutal gang group, who were engaged in raping a mentally handicapped and defenseless girl. Glen Ridge town is not different form the other suburban towns in America. Boys in Glen Ridge town have been brought up in society that teach them about the importance of having strong bonds in group settings, where they can be able to do anything they wish as a group. The boys join the commonly known ‘jocks clique’ group of athletes from a very early age in the elementary level.
They engage in atrocities including raping the young girls in the community, they often engage in acts of voyeurism, resort to delinquency and often cause destruction. The Glen Ridge Sub Culture The sub-culture of the Glen Ridge town has been greatly blamed for the atrocities and criminal activities conducted by the ‘jocks. ‘ The society has always been involved in covering up the atrocities of the gang. The ‘jock clique’ gang was formed by the boys at a very early age. The gang of boys went on taking everything within the Glen Ridge town, from games, education, and other activities.
The boys were protected by the attitude of the society which believed that, boys were just boys and that, this was their nature. The elders in the community including the teachers and the parents believe that young boys cannot be controlled. The boys were quickly passed through the elementally level, where they disturbed their teachers and were moved to high school where the same happened. These boys were taught by their parents that groups were so important and that they must pay respect to the group, and should not compromise the unity of the groups with anything else.
This in turn was a leading factor that encouraged the boys to join the gangs and engage in criminal activities. As a gang, the boys would always get what they wanted, whether it meant being violent or using threats. The women at Glen Ridge town were treated as lesser beings, whose duty was to bear children and to please the men. With this in mind, the gang would use the girls who were referred to as young mothers as sex objects. The ‘jocks’ often engaged in acts of voyeurism where they would do abuse of sex with other members of the gang. The young girls were not supposed to complain, if they did, they were dismissed by people in society.
When the ‘jock’s of Glen Ridge were accused of any crime in the court of law, their parents and the rest of the town protected them. Money would easily be given out to buy the freedom of the boys from the hands of the law without the involvement of the media. The Criminal Justice System The criminal justice system in Glen Ridge town is described as corrupt and ineffective in controlling the delinquency behavior of the ‘jocks’. The boys come from rich backgrounds, money often exchange hands when the boys resort to delinquency or cause destruction.
This would ensure that, neither the law nor the media would expose the atrocities done by the members of the ‘jocks. ‘ The Lesile Faber’s case is a landmark case that exposed the sub culture of the Glen Ridge community, and the atrocities of the ‘jocks. ‘ The Faber rape took place on the 1st of March 1989 in Scherzer’s basementon. During the process of trial, the attorneys representing the defense side did all they could, to convince the court that it is indeed the girl who had enticed the boys and that, Faber had actually enjoyed the sexual act.
The attorneys tried to manipulate Lesile by asking her contradicting questions such that, by the end of the trial Faber had given contradicting stories that could not be relied on by the jury to decide the case. The jury failed to put the character of the defendant to scrutiny, or even to consider the previous records of lewd conduct and sexual deviance. There was also a problem of lack of evidence as the whole community looked like they preferred protecting the group of gang rapists, instead of the poor girl. The court also noted that, the incident had taken place three weeks before it was reported.
The manipulation of the defense attorney in this case surprisingly added weight to the prosecution case, where the prosecutor showed how pleasing the girl’s character was in a way that, she tried to please anyone that asked the questions. This assisted the jury in detecting the real personality of the girl. The jury was able to come to a conclusion that the personality of the girl made her unable to resist the sexual advances from the accused. The prosecutor in this case is recommended for the good work he did. This was a landmark case that exposed the atrocities of the “jocks” and the sub culture of the Glen Ridge town.
It is the same case that drew the attention of Lefkowitz, who did a thorough research in finding the root of the problem, among the group of high school tightly knit athletes in the tightly knit Glen Ridge town. Crime Theories Associated With the “Jocks” Gang. From the findings of Lefkowitz, he explained that the character of the boys was an outcome of their surrounding environment. He further stated that, from the sociology perspective, human beings are likely to engage in acts that are protected by the mentality of a team.
Lefkowitz attained his objective of warning the Glen Ridge community and the other societies about the dangers of allowing various groups, especially the athletes from engaging in any acts they wished to. From the Lefkowitz findings, it is clear that the factors shaping the criminal actions of the Glen Ridge boys can be explained in various crime theories. To begin with, the Chicago crime theory focuses on the behavior of human beings as determined by the physical environment and social structures, as opposed to personal characteristics and genetic factors.
This school of thought has a strong belief that the character of human beings is shaped by the natural environment in which a person lives, and that a city can play a big part in shaping the behavior of a person. This theory can better explain how the ‘jocks’ have been influenced by the perceptions of the Glen Ridge community, and the sub culture of the town. The strain theory on the other hand states that, a society’s social structure may discourage or encourage people to commit crimes. The structural aspect makes an individual behave in a certain manner in the effort to satisfy their needs.
Where there is no proper regulation of the social structure, and limited social facilities, an individual may engage in criminal acts in an attempt to satisfy their needs. An individual may also incur pain and friction experiences, as they fight to satisfy their basic needs. Some of the behaviors adopted by the gang member may be explained in this context, the boys join the groups with the belief that, they will be able to achieve their needs as a group, as opposed to an individual who may not be in a position to achieve a lot.
The social control theory explains that proper utilization of social learning and socialization helps an individual to develop self control such that, one can be able to restrain from doing various criminal acts. Scholars have described four methods of control including the direct control, where people are threated and punished when they do wrong, and those who do right things are rewarded.
The internal control demands that a youth should be taught to use their conscience to refrain from doing crimes, the indirect control states that, those who influence others to do crimes should be taken care of, and lastly, there is an approach which states that, when the needs of an individual are met, such a person is not likely to commit a crime. This theory can work very well if adopted by the Glen Ridge society in solving the problem of the ‘jocks. ‘ Conclusion From the above foregoing, the crimes committed by the “jocks” in the Glen Ridge town have largely been contributed by the sub culture of the society.
The authority figures in the society such as the parents, teachers and even the law enforcement personnel have protected he activities of the gang, enhancing the process of crimes. The criminal justice system has also not been effective, as it is often influenced by the rich parents when the boys engage in criminal acts. There is need to put in place proper machineries to ensure that the culture of the society is reformed, the criminal justice system should be reformed to ensure that the criminal activities of the ‘jocks’ have been brought to an end.