Taknesha Jones October 6, 2023 SOC-R345 Critical analysis theory one An act or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and punishable by law is considered a crime. Crime is committed daily and happens more often in urban areas.Due to this, there are people who study crimes. They like to review why they are committed, the patterns, and those who are committing the crimes. These actions lead us to the theories that help explain crime. These theories include Rational Choice Theory, Trait Theories, and Developmental Theories. Developed by an Italian social thinker, Cesare Beccaria, Rational choice theory was based on thoughts of how the justice system is ran.Rational theory choice is often defined as the view that crime is a function of a decision-making process in which the potential offender weighs the potential costs and benefits of an illegal act.Basically, the person thinks of the outcomes before committing the crime. Beccaria believed that crime and punishment should be balanced if not could cause people to commit more vicious crimes. "In order for punishment not to be in every instance, an act of violence of one or many against a private citizen, it must be essentially public, prompt, necessary, the least possible in the given circumstances proportionate to the crimes and dictated by the laws." Is the famous quote, by Beccaria that inspired other social thinkers to agree that people have the choice to commit crimes. He wanted to make sure when incarcerating criminals, the structure of the sentences fit the crimes committed.
This theory, Punishment was considered to have four main objectives. One was to prevent all criminal offenses. The second is when the crime cannot be prevented, convincing the offender to commit a less serious crime. The third is to ensure that criminal uses no more than force is necessary. The last one is to prevent crime as cheaply as possible. These rules were created in hopes of scaling back on criminal activity. Also, it was suggested that it is considered that people choose their behavior, regardless of if it's negative or criminal. They also decide if they want to experience pleasure or pain before committing a crime. The criminal choices can be controlled by the fear of punishment. The more severe, certain, and swift the punishment, the greater its ability to control criminal behavior. In other words, the time should fit the crime. Although rational choice theory is based on the thought process of the person who is going to commit the crime. Many disagree with Beccaria's theory that people will choose to participate in a crime if the circumstances are right. Many criticize the theory as the theory does not consider the decisions made based on learned behavior. People may commit a crime because that is the only thing they know or what they were previously taught. Also, it does not explain what irrational people do in situations. Meaning for those who do not have time to consider the outcomes of their crimes. Yet the question is whether crime rationale is hard to determine. As it depends on the situation and the need. Many would stop and think about the consequences after committing a crime. Yet some live in the moment and do not have the opportunity to think of what happens after. For example, a person who is hungry steals from a local grocery store. They are hungry and see the store as an opportunity to satisfy their need.
The second theory is the trait theory, which is the view that criminality is a product of abnormal biological and/or psychological traits. This is recognized as crime-producing interactions involving both personal traits and environmental factors.Such as people who live in poverty produced neighborhoods are more likely to commit crimes due to their surroundings. During the discovery of the evolution of man, by Charles Darwin, encouraged many to study human behavior and further explained that human behavior could be explained by scientific principles. Embracing the use of the scientific method of natural science and further suggesting that human behavior is a product of social, biological, psychological, or even economic forces. Trait theory could be determined by four determinants of personality, which include physical environment, heredity, experiences, and culture. Physical environments are defined by lifestyle abilities, culture, perception, and attitude. Thus, better explained as a person's surroundings, lifestyle, and possibly their perception of the world could be a determinant of why they would consider committing a crime. Trait theory can be best described within two theories, which include biological-based and psychological trait theories. The biological-based theory is a person's behavior is controlled by the conditions of their birth. Some of those conditions could include hormone levels, diets, neurological makeup, and environmental influences such as neighborhood and family conditions. The psychological traits theory is the idea that people differ from one another based on the strength and intensity of basic dimensions. Meaning that people with disorders or disabilities are more likely to commit crimes. However, there are a few criticisms of trait theory. This theory is often criticized due to having no real evidence showing that criminal behavior is caused by traits. It is believed that it
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