Theories of Crime
When you read about an abusive spouse, killing sprees, or a robbery you often ask yourself why? What made that individual commit a crime knowing there’s a high chance they would get caught, was it due to a mental illness, do they feel superior over others? While we ask ourselves these questions criminologist study and evaluate the nature of many different types of crime and the criminals responsible, trying to understand what causes people to commit illegal acts as well as what can be done to prevent and capture criminals. Criminologist have four main job responsibilities in order to gather an understanding as to why crimes are committed. The first being conducting thorough research, next they cultivate theories, investigate the crime scene and finally compose reports. Through the research they provide us with the theories as to why crimes are committed, the top theories being rational choice, deterrence, strain, broken window and finally social disorganization theory. Each one stems from a different perspective as to why an individual may commit a crime but all serve the same purpose to try and find the cause as to why they commit it and what we can do to deter the future generation from following the footsteps of others.
Criminologist play the most important part of creating theories as to why people commit crime with each of their four important roles they’re able to provide us with the theories. Starting with conducting the research, “They focus on family life, behavior, mental state, social status, education and environmental factors about the criminal’s lives. They also focus on data about crimes, arrests and convictions to determine related traits which can be seen among different individuals,...
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...mmitting a crime due to punishment. Though there is two types of deterrence associated with this theory the first being general deterrence which states “crime can be thwarted by the threat of punishment, if one fears that they will be arrested they won’t commit the criminal act, an example of this is capital punishment. Also sometimes a criminal would be made an example for the rest such as a more severe punishment given to one so that others now fear they will receive the same punishment if they commit the crime. The second deterrence is specific which believes that the penalty for criminal acts should be sufficiently severe that convicted criminals will never repeat the acts, so much so it’s usually specific to the individual” (Lyman and Potter p63-64). Though it’s believed that disapproval from family and friends is a more severe deterrent then legal sanctions.
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