Essay on Criminal Biology

Essay on Criminal Biology

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In order to answer the above question, it must be understood what is meant by the term ‘the race-crime debate’. Bowling and Philips (2002) found the ‘race and crime’ debate has largely been detached from discussion of ethnic differences in the extent and nature of victimisation and how patterns of offending and victimisation interrelate. Bowling and Philips (2002) found that until recently the ‘race and crime’ debate had been preoccupied with other issues. The first being a question to whether people from ethnic minority groups are ‘more likely to commit criminal offences’, contrary to those from the majority of the white population. ‘This debate has turned on an analysis of ‘official’ crime statistics, especially arrest and prison data – that show marked variation for different ethnic groups’ (Bowling and Philips 2002, P76) Where elevated rates of official offending are identified. Bowling and Phillips (2002, P76) put forward that one of the most controversial questions in the field of criminology is ‘is this because the criminal justice system treats black people unfairly, or because black people are more likely to offend’. So looking at the race and crime debate and biological aspect put together a better understanding may follow as to why there may be good reason to dismiss biological approaches to criminalisation.
Hawkins (1995) showed that biological and biosocial studies are of a ‘biological organisation’ with four levels which he describes as the following, the structure of genetic and organic molecules, function of neurons, biochemistry of hormones neurotransmitters and the functioning of neurological organ systems (the brain) (Hawkins 1995). Ellis (1990) found that Biocriminal researchers assume among noncriminal...


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Herrnstein, R.J. and Murray, C. (1994) The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. New York: Free Press.
Gardner, H. (1993) Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence. London: Fontana Press.
Thurston, L.L. (1947) Multiple –Factor Analysis: A Development and Expansion of ‘The Vectors of the Mind’. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Volavka, J. (2002) Neurobiology of Violence: American Psychiatric Publishing,Inc. Washington DC.
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Miller, J.G. (1997) Search and Destroy: African-American Males in The Criminal Justice System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Pearson, G. (1983) Hooligan: A History of Respectable Fears. London: Macmillan.
Hirschi, T. and Hindelang, M.J. (1977) Intelligence and Delinquency: A revisionists Review. American Sociological Review.

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