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Biological, psychological, and sociological causes of crime

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Details: One of the other new hires IM'd you with a request. "I promised Dr. Junger I'd take the intake interview with Jim Moratis the new prisoner that just transferred here from Chicago. I forgot that I made a prior commitment with Dr. Roberts to assist him with his research. Do you think you could take this interview for me? I'd owe you one."

You IM your colleague and agree.

You meet with Jim Moratis. Jim is 6'6" tall and 350 pounds; he has many tattoos, a severe overbite, and is a three-strike car thief. You ask Jim why he stole cars.

Jim explains, "The first couple times it was fun and it was easy money. Even though I got caught, I just couldn't stop. Why do you think I did that, Doc?"

make sure to Discuss the major biological, psychological, and sociological explanations of crime and to Compare the relevance of sociology and criminology for each other

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Solution Summary

Various theories are briefly discussed as an introduction to the major theories of the causes of crime. The deductive theory suggests that certain traits can be measured (e.g. height, weight, gender, etc.) and deductions made as to whether or not these traits are found in criminals. One of the deductive theory's, the deterrence theory, presumes that the criminal is rational and that the criminal measures the risk and punishment against the value gained by committing the crime.

The three major approaches suggested are biological, psychological, and sociological. The social approach would consider the criminal's community characteristics, their culture, mores, and norms; the biological approach would consider whether or not the neurological system of the person is functioning properly; and the psychological approach would consider the emotions and mental processes of the criminal.

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Based on the "deductive theory," according to Mitchell Chamlin, PhD, University of Cincinnati, in his discussion of "Methodological Issues" there are variables that can be measured (e.g. age, criminal behavior, weight, race and income) when you begin to attempt to arrive at a theory from the bottom up. The classic example is the Deterrence Theory which assumes that
1) people are rational and
2) a person "considers a variety of behaviors before selecting a particular course of action" (Chamlin, M. 2006).
An example would be that one would weigh the costs against the benefits of stealing, i.e. Is the money worth the risk of punishment

Would you want to "test" Mr. Moratis to see if he has an extra "Y" chromosome? Some have theorized that this chromosome is associated with violent crime. Or could it be a chemical reaction? This would be a biological approach to explaining crime "The vast majority of modern bio-criminologists explore the influence of one of the following: genetic predispositions (heredity and crime), biochemical correlates, and neural diseases and defects on the criminal behavior of individuals. In the ...

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