Drug Addiction And Teenage Pregnancy Criminology

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Social policy dictates the manner in which a job is viewed and the method used to pull off it. Indeed, it can besides act upon whether or non we see a societal job as a job at all. Are jobs truly jobs ; are they a signifier of aberrant behavior ; can they be classified as mental unwellness? Do policies bespeak the authorities ‘s point of view, and does this, along with the power of the media find how society views a ‘problem ‘ . This essay will try to depict these points of position utilizing the two exemplifying illustrations – drug dependence and teenage gestation.

First, it must be explained what is meant by a ‘social job ‘ . Fuller and Myers ( 1941:321 ) define it as “ what people think they are and if conditions are non defined as societal jobs by the people involved in them, they are non jobs to those people, although they may be jobs to foreigners ” . This definition is interesting ; does anyone who ‘s involved in a societal job sort it as such? Would a teenage female parent or a drug nut place their place as a job or a lifestyle pick? This would propose that something can non be definitively identified as a job, because people ‘s positions and attitudes are subjective, and what is a job to one individual may non be to another – they are socially constructed. Harmonizing to Best ( 1995:6 ) they are “ a merchandise, something that has been produced or constructed through societal activities ” . That is, all societal jobs are comparative to their cultural and historical context, and for that ground that cosmopolitan societal jobs can non be. This is non to state that general consensus ‘ are non reached about what can be classed as a societal job.

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The media play a cardinal function in the labelling of societal jobs. The pages of newspapers are filled with headlines about teenage female parents, youth civilization and unemployment. By pulling attending to these issues, the populace ‘s perceptual experience begins to alter, and the narratives become jobs. This can take to policy execution in an effort to undertake these jobs, but that is non to state that it will go on. The sensationalising of these jobs by the media can sometimes happen as a consequence of policy execution, as the authorities themselves draw attending to these issues.

As values and norms have changed through history, so excessively have authoritiess ‘ attacks to jobs. In the first half of the twentieth century, adolescent gestation was seen as aberrant behavior, but non needfully a societal job. Today, teenage female parents are frequently portrayed as the lower class of society and the authorities has launched schemes and policies to try to battle it.

In 1999, the authorities introduced schemes to take down the figure of adolescent gestations in the UK. The papers Teenage Pregnancy inside informations over 8 chapters why teenage gestation is a job. Some of the statements involve legitimate wellness concerns for these female parents and their kids, but the papers besides refers to the female parents as a job. One of the grounds the papers proposes that the UK has such high rates of adolescent gestation is that “ there are more immature people who see no chance of a occupation and fright they will stop up on benefit one manner or the other. Put merely, they see no ground non to acquire pregnant ” ( DoH, 1999:7 ) . In visible radiation of this, it could be argued that teenage gestation is a consequence of other societal jobs such as the failure of the instruction system and the instability of the occupation market. Possibly if these jobs were addressed, so adolescent gestation would diminish excessively.

Wilson and Huntington ( 2005 ) depict how adolescent female parents are labelled as pervert because they do non follow the way that is expected of adult females as the female function has changed. While adult females are still seen as responsible for childrearing, there is besides an outlook that they will achieve higher instruction and a occupation. Because teenage female parents do non needfully carry through this function of the modern adult female, they are seen as a job, and as Wilson and Huntington ( 2005:59 ) write “ have become the marks of marginalization and stigmatization. ” Policy has failed to turn to this job.

Policy and schemes presently in topographic point are based on the stance that adolescent gestation is a job. The scheme involves increasing the quality and sum of sex instruction that adolescents receive, with the position that this increased cognition will take to abstaining from sex for longer, and holding a better apprehension of the effects. The 2nd major strand of the scheme is to increase the handiness and handiness of contraceptive method for adolescents, so that if they choose to hold sex, they will be able to make so safely ( DCSF, 2010 ) . This policy attack is all about forestalling the job. Several paperss refering adolescent gestation such as the 1999 Teenage Pregnancy Strategy discusses the economic and societal cost of teenage gestation to the UK and former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote “ As a state, we ca n’t afford to go on to disregard this shameful record ” ( DOH, 1999 ) . Why is adolescent gestation regarded as such a job?

While the scheme already discussed purposes to eliminate the job of teenage gestation, other policy attacks could be accused of trying to conceal the job instead than work out it. Teenage female parents are frequently housed by the council in hapless quality but low-cost adjustment. The female parents live in these houses with their kid, but hope of go toing farther instruction or employment is quashed by the monetary value of child care which is good beyond the range of a individual female parent who is reliant on benefits. As a consequence, the adolescent becomes a stay at place female parent with no occupation, or at best a lower limit pay occupation. Some would reason that this is an effort to brush the job under the rug, off from the position of the populace. However, this is the stereotype that is portrayed by the media, and some would reason that this acts as a hindrance for other adolescents and to forestall the behavior from repeating.

Another issue that the bulk of people would hold can be classified as a job is drug dependence. In 1998, authorities implemented a 10 twelvemonth enterprise aimed at cut downing drug usage and increasing degrees of recovery from dependance ( UKDPC, 2007 ) . However, despite these purposes being set out, a reappraisal of the scheme in 2007 found that “ Despite the increased investing in intervention, the bulk of authorities disbursement on reacting to illegal drugs is still devoted to implementing drug Torahs ” ( Reuter & A ; Stevens, 2007:2 ) . This would propose that the authorities positions drug dependence as a condemnable job instead than a wellness related one.

The criminalization of drug users sees consecutive wrongdoers sent to prison, where intervention and rehabilitation are scarce. In add-on, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction ( 2002 ) studies that illegal substances are readily available within prisons, which means that nuts are able to keep their dependence in prison. With this is mind, it would look that policy that criminalises drug nuts is uneffective. A reappraisal of the effectivity of drug intervention programmes within prisons by the Institute of Criminal Policy Research found that despite high degrees of disbursement on drug intervention programmes within prisons, they are non effectual and are non giving consequences. Harmonizing to Howard ( 2008:11 ) “ Without proper intervention and support we put the wellness and wellbeing of captives at hazard, and we should non be surprised if they revert to drug usage and piquing on release ” .

Many drug nuts besides suffer from mental unwellnesss such as depression. It is hard to specify which is the cause and which is the consequence as mental unwellness and drug maltreatment frequently present together. In April 2012 grounds was presented to the House of Commons in an effort to carry the authorities to see legalizing drug usage, and alternatively concentrate on assisting nuts to turn to their mental wellness and dependence issues. Harmonizing to the Home Affairs Committee ( 2002 ) the condemnable justness system is unable to understand the outlook of an nut and the underlying jobs such as depression are non addressed in order to assist them retrieve. It would look that there is a demand to turn to dependence as a wellness behavior instead than a condemnable 1.

In Portugal, policy shapers have taken this attack. It is now legal to utilize and be in ownership of illicit drugs, and there is focal point on recovery from a wellness point of position. Drug users are non sent to prison but are alternatively offered aid through intervention programmes. Harmonizing to Hughes & A ; Stevens ( 2010: 1014 ) “ The major sensed success of the Lusitanian reform has been its part to alterations in public wellness jobs… the figure of deceases in Portugal recorded as drug-related reduced signii¬?cantly between 1999 and 2002 ” . By taking the impression of deviant/illegal behaviors, drug nuts are looked at in a different manner. They are non seen as felons, but as people who need help to turn to their mental wellness issues.

When any policy or scheme is implemented, there is the inquiry of whether the job can be solved on behalf of the persons who are affected by the job, or for the benefit of society. Is it being done for the well-being of the persons involved, or is it done so that society can be rid of another problem/inconvenience. It could be argued that by making so in order to assist the person, society will profit excessively, but whether the same can be said if it is done for the benefit of society is questionable.

Due to the job of specifying what is a job or non, there will ever be viing positions on how to turn to it, frequently suggesting polar opposite point of views. These attacks to societal jobs result in different types of policy, and the type of policy implemented is declarative of how the job is viewed. This essay has attempted to explicate and exemplify this with the usage of two current societal jobs.


Best, J. , ( explosive detection systems. ) , 1995, Images of Issues. 2nd erectile dysfunction. New York: Walter de Gruyter.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002, Methadone Maintenance Treatment, Atlanta: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Department of Health, 1999, Teenage Pregnancy, London: Department of Health.

Department for Children, Schools and Families, Department of Health, 2010, Teenage Pregnancy Strategy: Beyond 2010, Nottingham: Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Fuller, R. , Myers, R. , 1941, ‘The Natural History of a Social Problem ‘ , American Sociological Review, 6, pp 320-329.

Home Affairs Committee, 2012, Drugs, London: Home Affairs Committee.

Howard, R. , 2008, ‘Bars to Progress ‘ , Drink and Drugs News, pp10-11.

Hughes, C. , Stevens, A. , 2010, ‘What can we Learn from the Lusitanian Decriminalization of Illicit Drugs, The British Journal of Criminology, 50, pp 999-1022.

Reuter, P. , Stevens, A. , 2007, An Analysis of UK Drug Policy, London: UKDPC

Wilson, H. , Huntington, A. , 2005, ‘Deviant ( M ) others: The Construction of Teenage Motherhood in Contemporary Discourse, Journal of Social Policy, 35 ( 1 ) , pp 59-76.

UKDPC, 2007, The Analysis of UK Drug Policy, London: UKDPC.

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