The Crime Fighter: Using Education as a Tool for Building a More Peaceful Society

By: Engr. Kingsley Okafor. MNSE, MASCE

Chairman, Board of Trustees


One of the major metrics of determining a peaceful society is the violent crime rate. Causes of any form of crime is a function of desire; however, people’s desire can be influenced by the information they have. While educated folks are not excluded from being involved in crimes, violent crimes have been established to be higher among those with less education.  


Investment in education reduces crime rate or criminal behavior  through two basic explanations as identified in criminal justice research article, Education and Crime. The first argument was that education has the power to change people’s preferences and does present a larger spectrum of choices to any individual. Following the increased opportunity base, the act of going into crime due to being faced with no choice is grossly eliminated if not totally eradicated. 

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The second explanation was based on what they describe as education leading to a lower time preference for current consumption. Simply put, there is tendency for an educated person to postpone the consumption of goods that has an inherent risk.   With so doing, immediate gratification is replaced with working at the moment to earn in the future. This helps an educated individual to weigh the consequences of a crime-related activity which simply presents just immediate solution. They become more comfortable in accepting the postponement of certain consumption to the appropriate time. For instance, an educated person who believes that with time, he would earn enough to get a good car is less likely to go stealing a car: he/she knows that the consequences of stealing would leave him/her with a permanent negative impact. At the end of the Twentieth Century, educational attainment has become the principal determinant of occupational space and earnings.


There is no doubt that there are some quarters where it is believed that education does not absolutely lead to crime reduction in the society. They have their viewpoints: they believe that even being educated could lead to smarter criminals. But these are essentially on the areas of economic crimes like computer fraud, pyramid schemes, etc. and not on violent crimes. Even at that, the proportion of positive contribution of education to crime fighting far outweighs the smartness it may introduce to criminality in certain areas. Lance and Enrico in their Effect of Education on Crime concluded that schooling significantly reduces criminal activity.


While other forms of crime may affect humanity through loss of resources, properties, etc., violent crimes directly cause bodily damage or death to the victims. It has quicker pedestal to distort peace in the society and instill fear into the people. With increased education in the society, violent crimes are drastically reduced. While a victim of economic crime may be restored through justice systems, victims of violent crime might lose their life. There is no justice for a dead person beyond accountability.


Here in Infinite Respite Foundation, we are committed to basic education which is the foundation of all other levels of education. We believe that building a better and more peaceful society is a function of education.


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