Theories of Crime Causation Essay by Aloyce79

Theories of Crime Causation
A review of the main theories of crime causation.
# 154133 | 1,384 words | 5 sources | 2015
Published by on Mar 16, 2015


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From the Paper:

"In the second half of the 18th century, the classical theory of criminology (often called the free-will approach) emerged. This perspective in explaining and controlling crime premised on the idea that human beings do exercise free will and that their behavior is influenced by a rational calculation of rewards and costs, with regard to pleasure and pain. Thus, before somebody can commit a particular act, they determine whether the results of their actions will be pleasing or painful. As such, acts attached to painful consequences are bound to be avoided. To control crime, the society simply needs to design a punishment that outweighs the benefits of the for violators' illegal actions. This implies that penalties increase in severity as the seriousness of the offense increases. Classical theory explains how the threat of punishment becomes an effective deterrent to criminals who calculate the results of their actions in a rational manner.
"Under this, the rational choice theory states that crime, as a choice, is just but a response to upbringing or social pressures (NIJ, 2004). Under this view, criminals weigh the relative benefits and of behavior before choosing to commit crime. The criminals' choices do not have to be rational but they draw on pre-established beliefs about their opportunities to commit crime and the possibility of benefiting from it. This theory focuses on determining the effectiveness of certain interventions so as to decide on the best way of reducing the benefits of crime while increasing its cost. The deterrence theory hinges on the notion that punishment should be swift and certain for effective crime deterrence. The resultant deterrent effect of punishment may be general or specific in nature. Theorists suggest that when people become targets in prevention exercises for a certain crime, the deterrence is regarded to as specific. According to Siegel (2005), efforts to reduce crime through compulsory arrest policies illustrate specific deterrence. When non-criminals are affected by the punishment meted on to criminals thereby choosing not to risk apprehension, deterrence becomes general."

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