Comparison of Value System among a Group of Military Prisoners with Controls in Tehran

Article excerpt

Objective: Religious values were investigated in a group of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Tehran .

Methods: The sample consisted of official duty troops and conscripts who were in prison due to a crime. One hundred thirty seven individuals cooperated with us in the project (37 Official personnel and 100 conscripts). The instruments used included a demographic questionnaire containing personal data and the Allport, Vernon and Lindzey's Study of Values Test. Most statistical methods used descriptive statistical methods such as frequency, mean, tables and t-test.

Results: The results showed that religious value was lower in the criminal group than the control group (p<.001).

Discussion: This study showed lower religious value scores in the criminals group, suggesting the possibility that lower religious value increases the probability of committing crimes .

Key words: Crime, Military personnel, Prisoners, Religion

Iran J Psychiatry 2011; 6:121-124

Crime is considered as the most serious social problem in every community; and overall crime rate in all countries, both industrial and non industrial, has grown tremendously. Of course, the increase in crime rate has been observed more in developed countries (1). From 1979 to 1980 the U.S. crime rate within one year increased by 42 percent (1). America is in the midst of the largest decline in violent crime rates in more than half a century. According to Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics, from 1991 to 1999, homicide rates in the United States fell by 41 percent and robbery rates by 44 percent (2).

According to FBI statistics, in the U.S., a capital crime is committed every one second, a robbery every two seconds and a rape every eight seconds, and a murder every 27 minutes (1), and this is while only less than 20 percent (1) to 25 percent (3) of criminals are arrested in the U.S .

Crime: the only common factor in all crimes is that criminal procedure has been banned. This characteristic is what Emile Durkheim has mentioned in his definition of crime. He defined crime as any action that its punishment has been determined in law (4). All attempts to act contrary to rules, regulations, and values of each community, will be considered delinquency or crime by the community and those committing such acts are called offender or offenders (5).In view of the fact that the authority and integrity of a country requires power and maintaining discipline in its armed forces, investigating crime and its related fields in military organizations is very important (6).

Usually in every community there are rules and regulations accepted by the majority. Military organizations, like other organizations have rules and regulations, which must be respected. Why an individual commits a crime? What causes a person to commit a crime? How can crimes be prevented? These are the questions that occupied the mind of researchers, and encouraged them to conduct this study. However, sometimes in many societies, including the military organizations, rules are not obeyed. Although the number of offenders may be small, their actions must be investigated , especially if they were committed in the military organizations. The armed forces are in fact the keeper of discipline and security in their countries. Fulfillment rules and regulations in these organizations cause more efficacy of the armed forces ; and irregularities, resisting principles and rules in the armed forces cause inefficiency. Therefore, to prevent crimes and offenses, leaders should educate people. Some important measures that may be taken to prevent crimes and offenses are to investigate and to gain knowledge about situations that may lead to crimes, as well as identifying risk factors of crimes in the armed forces.

In addition, like the official forces, the conscripts have an important role in implementation of the armed forces. That is why this study has tried to investigate both groups . …

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