Law enforcement expert and former Martinsburg, West Virginia, police chief Maury Richards said the root cause of crime in society is fatherless families.
Richards, who served as the Martinsburg police chief from 2015 to 2020 and worked as an officer and lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department for 24 years prior, said that children growing up without a father in the family is not only the cause of crime, but also poor education outcomes and poverty.
“The crisis of fatherless families is really the root cause of crime, but it’s really much more than that. We’re looking at poverty, lack of educational achievement, drug and alcohol abuse, much of that can be traced back to a lack of fathers and family,” said Richards, who holds a doctorate in adult education from Northern Illinois University.
The statistics are staggering.
“41% of all families now are fatherless. 70% in the African-American community, 50% Hispanic, 28% White. This is a national crisis,” Richards said.
Why are fatherless families so prevalent? Richards cites the loss of traditional values and changes in policies like welfare as contributing factors.
“To solve this, we have to look at it all across the board. Having government policies that promote solid families is an important first step,” Richards told Baltimore Fox News affiliate WBFF. “We want people in charge who put that as a priority, because otherwise we’re just going to have this continuous cycle of devastation in all our communities.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy think tank based in Washington, D.C., released a report with findings in agreement with Richards’ assertions.
“The empirical evidence shows that too many young men and women from broken families tend to have a much weaker sense of connection with their neighborhood and are prone to exploit its members to satisfy their unmet needs or desires. This contributes to a loss of a sense of community and to the disintegration of neighborhoods into social chaos and violent crime,” the report stated.
The report later goes on to call for government hearings on the issue, recognition of the cause of crime and a reform of the welfare system.