1. Explain the criminological theories of â??routine activity perspectiveâ? and â??social learning theory.â? In what way do these criminological theories impact the issue of terrorism in the United States?
2. Summarize the tendency for criminal activity among right-wing terror groups in the U.S. according to the American Terrorism Study (ATS). Do the same for international terror groups.
3. Briefly summarize the policy implications of the ATS and the Hamm report.
1. Explain the criminological theories of routine activity perspective and social learning theory.
Routine Activities Theory states that for crime to be committed, three elements must be present: an available target, a motivated offender, and a lack of guardians. This is one of the Classical school theories of Criminology.
Key Concepts of the Classical Theories:
1. Classical criminology was designed to provide a rational, logical, and philosophical alternative
to what was often an abusive, cruel, inhumane, and arbitrary system of justice.
2. The operation of the current criminal justice system relies on the classical criminological
3. Classical school theories operate from a perspective of choice. The assumption is that
individuals have the ability to make a rational choice to either follow the law, or to violate it. A
system of punishments is necessary to deter individuals from committing criminal acts.
Committing criminal acts brings a certain amount of pleasure to the individual. To counteract this pleasure, punishments must be provided that carry with them enough pain to outweigh the
pleasure received by committing a deviant or criminal act.
4. A classical school approach is attractive to many because it is centered on choice. People
choose to commit criminal acts. Choice theory is attractive to politicians because it puts the blame for the crime problem squarely on the shoulders of the individual, and not on society as a whole. The theory implies that the criminal needs to take responsibility and to make better choices.
5. Various programs have been tried around the country using deterrence and choice as primary
elements. Programs such as Scared Straight have attempted to use fear and deterrence to keep
young offenders from committing additional crimes. Boot camps have attempted to use fear,
discipline, and brief incarceration to keep offenders from committing additional crimes. These
types of programs are controversial, and have yielded mixed results at best.
Social Learning Theory proposes that both criminal and conforming behavior are acquired, ...
A brief description of the Routine Activity Perspective and the Social learning Theories and their impact on the issue of terrorism in the US. A summary of the research findings of the American Terrorism Study (ATS) with regard their policy implications are also presented.