Why People Commit Crime By Charles Feer Department of Criminal Justice Bakersfield College Maybe it’s
2 What is a Crime Social definition: Behavior that violates the “norms” of society. “Antisocial Behavior” “Norm” is any standard regarding what human beings should or should not do, think or say.
3 Crime Defined There is no uniform code of morality accepted by all of society. Examples: Attitudes regarding gambling, prostitution, abortion, homosexual behavior.
4 Crime Defined cont. Legal definition: An act or failure to act when required to do so, that is a violation of the criminal law, committed without defense or excuse and penalized by the government.
5 What is a crime? Anti-social behavior that has been legislated as behavior that can be punished.
6 What is a Theory? Part of an explanation; of A statement about a relationship between two classes of phenomena; which Provides a better understanding.
7 A Criminal Theory Explains why or how certain things are related to criminal behavior. Some theories assume that crime is a part of human nature. Such theories explain how human nature is related to crime.
8 Types of Theories Classical Biological Psychological Social – Psychological Conflict Phenomenological We have no idea why
9 Classical / Free Will Crime is caused by the individual exercise of free will. Prevention is possible through swift and certain punishment. Punishment offsets the gain from the crime.
10 Lack of Punishment When the gains are greater than the punishment. Example: Community Service
11 Biological “Criminal Genes” “Chromosomes” “X” and “Y” Patterns Criminals are identified through physical characteristics or genetic composition. Treatment is thought to be ineffective, but aggression may be usefully redirected.
12 Psychological Crime is the result of negative early childhood experiences or the product of a desire to be caught. Treatment necessitates extensive therapy.
13 Social - Psychological Crime results from the failure of self- direction or inadequate social roles. Treatment requires strengthened “self” concepts.
14 Conflict Crime is a natural consequence of Social, Political and Economic inequities. The “Haves vs. Have Nots”
15 Differential Association Learning theory: The passing on of information and custom. A person becomes a criminal dependent upon “the company they keep.” Learning includes: Techniques of committing the crime. Specific direction of motives, drives, rationalization and attitudes.
16 Phenomenological The source of criminal behavior is unknown, but available through case studies and detailed description of deviant life-styles. Treatment requires a total reorientation of the offender.