Share
Explore BrainMass

Theories of Crime

CRJS105-1201A-01 Theories of Crime Causation
Assignment Name: Unit 3 Individual Project
Deliverable Length: 4-6 pages
Details: Theories and practice in the field of criminal justice are difficult to tie together because of the lack of theory used to understand crime that will teach lessons for future criminal acts. Instead, the criminal justice field has focused on a result-driven model that prefers practical answers that provide results, which are arrests and convictions.

Please address the following statement in a 4-6-page paper. Be sure to provide support or evidence that will enhance and empirically prove your response. Academic criminal justice articles or real-life criminal justice findings that are found in journals or other academic sources must be used in supporting your answers. Please use APA format for all cited sources, including your reference page.

â?¢Describe the following sociological theories of crime listed, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses. Pick someone who has recently been convicted of a crime, and discuss which of these theories would have the most relevance in explaining the criminal actions of this offender. Provide examples and academic evidence to accentuate and support your answer on why it is most relevant. The sociological theories are as follows:
?social control theory
?strain theory
?differential association theory
?neutralization theory
Please submit your assignment.
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

Unit Materials

Points Possible: 125
Date Due: Sunday, Jan 22, 2012
Objective: â?¢Describe the various schools of criminology
â?¢Explain the various theories of crime causation
â?¢Recognize crime typologies, trends, and patterns of criminal behaviors as associated with specific criminal acts

Submitted Files: Submit Assignment
Score: N/A
Instructor Comments: No comments have been made

Over the past 100 years, two of the most important philosophies in criminology have been positivist and rational choice. Rational choice theory in criminal justice is the philosophy that every human is a rational actor who makes a decision between what is deviant and what is good. The choice is one made freely and with an understanding of the consequences.

Positivist philosophy in criminal justice brings up the issue of whether humans have an intrinsic evil inside their being that forces them toward decisions on criminal behavior.

Please post an answer to the following questions. Support your answers with academic or real life criminal justice examples to accentuate your point. The questions are as follows:

â?¢Which of the two philosophies (rational choice or positivism) do you believe explains criminal behavior in a much more complete manner? Why?
â?¢In your opinion, do you think that police departments prefer a certain philosophy between these two? Why?

In your own words, please post a response to the Discussion Board, and comment on two other postings. You will be graded on the quality of your postings.
For assistance with your assignment, please use your text, Web resources, and all course materials.

Unit Materials

Points Possible: 50
Date Due: Sunday, Jan 22, 2012
Objective: â?¢Explain the various theories of crime causation
â?¢Recognize crime typologies, trends, and patterns of criminal behaviors as associated with specific criminal acts

Solution Preview

The social control theory presupposes that the societal constraints that are imposed upon an individual's behavior, are due to the influence of social learning, which largely inhibits the individual from making the rational choice to engage in criminal behavior, which is antisocial in nature, and in direct opposition to the socialization that the individual has undergone within a given society. One of the primary strengths of this theory is that, psychologically, humans are influenced by what they are taught on a routine basis, as well as what they experience in their day-to-day activities. When individuals are socialized to believe that certain actions and activities are socially acceptable, and that other activities are to be frowned upon, then there is a high probability that those individuals will tend to engage in those activities that are socially acceptable. It is thought that by constantly reiterating societal norms that are viewed as positive within a given society, an individual will learn to associate those activities with positive results, such as success and prosperity within a given society, and to associate those antisocial behaviors with the detrimental effects of societal sanctions, including incarceration, etc.(Jacqueline B. Heffgolt, (2008). Criminal Justice Behavior:Theories,Topologies, and Criminal Justice. Sage Publishing.)

A weakness of social control theory, is that individuals do not learn in the same manner, and that the methodology by which one individual learns societal norms and positive behaviors, may not be the best methodology to use for another individual, and an individual that does not learn the necessary societal lessons in regards to their activities, will more often than not engage in antisocial behavior. In addition, the environment in which many individuals find themselves in, such as ...

$2.19