Integrated Theories of Criminal Justice

Powerful Essays
Integrated Theories of Criminal Justice


Two theorist and theories that have been recognized by many involved in the criminal justice field are Ross L. Matsueda's Theory of Differential Social Control, and, Charles R. Tittle's Control Balance Theory. Matsueda's theory, (1) identifies a broader range of individual-level mechanisms of social control, (2) specifying group and organizational processes for controlling delinquency, (3) conceptualizing classical criminological theories as special cases of a general interactionist framework, and (4) testing the interactionist model empirically against specific hypotheses drawn from competing theories. Tittle's theory believes deviance results from the convergence of four variables: (1) the predisposition toward deviant motivation; (2) the situational stimulation of that motivation, which is called provocation; (3) the opportunity to commit deviance, which is most important in explaining specific kinds of deviance rather that deviance in general, since the opportunity for some kind of deviance is almost always present; and (4) the likelihood that a particular deviant act will activate restraining responses by others, which is called constraint.

A central sociological problem concerns the process by which deviant or criminal behavior is controlled by the larger society. Although most would agree that social interaction is an important locus of control of crime and delinquency, criminological theory has not stressed the interactional mechanisms of social control. Instead, recent developments in criminological theory and research have focused on developing macrotheories of Marxist class categories and delinquency (Colvin and Pauley 1983; Hagan 1989), microtheories of stable i...

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