Source: (2000) Relational Justice Bulletin. July (7): 6-7. Downloaded 15 May 2003.

The breakdown of relationships in the home is one of the most important factors in predicting future criminal behavior, according to psychotherapist Camila Batmanghelidjh. Nearly 90 percent of all vulnerable youths come from homes in which no father figure is living with the family. Many are exposed to poverty, drug use, prostitution, and other destructive behaviors and circumstances. As adults, these victims are often disassociated from society in general and begin to repeat the dangerous patterns they learned in earlier life. Theses patterns often involve crimes in which the offender does not recognize their own victim’s pain because their own has never been recognized. Prevention, through public school counseling and community programs, and practical and sustained relationships with positive and supportive adults can help children in stressful situations learn to empathize with others and begin to believe their own futures involve more than crime and eventual imprisonment.

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