Personally, I think the answers to this question can be divided upon cultural and political lines. Here in the US, we're a fiercely individualistic culture; and while some folks might think that means large amounts of personal liberty, all that really means is people are held accountable for everything they do, unless someone's holding a physical gun to their head.
This stance is often adopted by many right-wing political positions, as well as certain elements of the left: If someone's insurance company rejects their claims for a new and potentially very expensive-to-treat condition, for example, it's "their own damn fault" for not getting a better policy. In that same vein, if someone steals, does drugs, yadda yadda yadda; it's still their own fault; they knew the laws, they just chose not to follow them.
As a center-leftist though, I can say that this is complete bogus. In truth, though personal initiative might play a big part, the majority of people's lives are determined by the material conditions they are born in. I was fortunate in that I've had a stable home for three quarters of my life, and that I could afford a cheap university (with scholarships), but some folks have a huge head start on life due to their affluent parents pushing them in the right direction. Conversely, many people aren't even as lucky as me; I've lived next to ghettos my entire life, and the things I saw were hardly savory. Time and time again, I got to talk to wonderful people - young people, met through a charity organization - who clearly had deep-seated mental health issues, but were too poor to afford professional diagnosis and treatment. Combine that with a turbulent home life, and you've pretty much got a crock-pot recipe for thugs, muggers, and even murderers.
The key issue here is mental health. If we could treat people's psychological maladies before they become unstable, crime rates would drop sharply.