Essay on Why People Commit Crime?

Essay on Why People Commit Crime?

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The term criminal desistance refers to when offenders desist, or stop, committing crime. Desistance from crime exists when an individual has an absence of criminal behavior in their lives for a sustained period of time. By studying desistance, a better understanding of what causes individuals to commit crime is created; as well as, a better understanding as to why certain individuals discontinue their lives of crime. The criminal justice field often encompasses, serving justice by locking people up and keeping the “bad guys” away from the general public. Little thought was given as to what can be done in order to help prevent people from committing crime, until more recent years. Most criminological theories attempt to explain why people commit crime, only a few theories attempt to explain why people do not commit crime. By creating a better understanding of desistance the criminal justice system experiences benefits in the form of, lower crime rates, less crowding in detention centers, and most importantly more productive members of society.
The reasons as to why individuals desist from crime can range from genetic, environmental, social, or psychophysiological. One belief focuses on the idea that criminals desist from crime through pro-social development and a worthwhile career path. In a study conducted by Aresti, Eatough and Gordon (2010), five ex-offenders participated in interviews about their lives as offenders, and their new found lives as productive members of society. Results show that four major themes emerged from the five men. First “being stuck” in their offending ways, second “defining moments” or moments of self-change, third “life in transition” or moments in the self-change process, and fourth “a new world” whic...


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... as the strongest factor in determining desistance in adults. Sampson and Laub have conducted numerous studies in regards to marriage and desistance from crime. Laub (1998) discovered that while marriage is correlated with lower levels of crime, having a quality marriage is the key factor. As a marriage became stronger and held more positive qualities, desistance levels increased; opposed to, say a failing marriage, which may actually cause an individual to seek out criminal activity; such as, drugs to cope with stress or prostitution to alleviate sexual tension. Sampson and Laub (2001 and 2005) found that the effects of a strong marital bond outweigh any individual risk factors for crime such as, anti-social behavior, meaning that a strong marital bond helps an individual desist from crime despite any personality traits that may incline the person to do otherwise.

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