The Theory Of Crime Prevention

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Our modern society fosters many reasons for which people commit crimes. Psychological differences, personality disorders or even a predisposition to crime and violence can cause someone to commit a crime. No matter what the reasoning behind someone choosing to commit a crime, there is no one single cause. However, there are several theories about human behavior that can help us understand why certain people are drawn to committing crimes, and others are not. Classical Theory, which dominated common criminological thought in the time between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, summarized the advance in criminalogical studies as a vast improvement from the superstitious and often desperately formed theories of the previous era. Some classical theories of crime causation make certain assumptions about crime being caused by the individual exercise of free will, or the element of pleasure gained from criminal activities. Another assumption is that crime prevention is possible through swift and certain punishments in an attempt to deter further crimes. Rationality and Congition play a far greater role in the Neoclassical perspectives, taking far stride from the more dated theories of pleasure and pain as motivators for criminal acts. Many believe that these theories have advanced criminological studies by great amounts by summarizing that criminals only committed crimes because they believed the benefits for such an act outweighed the risks or costs. “Central to such perspectives is rational choice theory, which holds that criminality is largely the result of conscious choices that people make” (Schmalleger p 76). Many members of society whom do not routinely commit crimes tend to resonate most with this theory, beli... ... middle of paper ... ...s to all schools of thought criminology is a science and will always change and morph as we learn and grow as a society. It is for this reason I believe the Social Process theory to be the most effective for our society. The idea that societal structures dictate all learned behavior, good and bad, places the responsibility of fashioning a low-crime society on its residents and fosters the idea that inhabitants are directly responsible for contributing both on a personal and a social level towards what they desire. The struggles we face as a society currently certainly make this hard, as a large part of current popular culture can easily be considered nurturing to criminal mentality. Regardless of what theory one believes is best for a society, it ultimately falls to the people in said society to be the change they wish to see and to encourage others to do so as well.
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