Criminal Acts and Choice Theories

Criminal Acts and Choice Theories CJA/204 December 13, 2011 Bob Bennett The choice theory has a substantial part to perform when contemplating the argumentation proceeding to criminal vivacity. The choice theory has its intrinsic significance while composing a plan of action for managing or decreasing crime. It is essential to recognize the theory and in what way or manner it influences the potential of an individual engaging in lawlessness and in what manner would an effort to manage crime appear supporting the choice theory.

The choice theory has been brought to light from the compositions of antecedent theorists, Jeremy Bentham, and Cesare Beccaria. The affects of the choice theory determines how mankind discourages criminal activity (Schmallager, 2009). Within criminology the choice theory is also distinguished as the classical theory. The principle idea of the classical theory is that individuals cull behavior with the addition of criminal conduct.

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Individual powers of selection can be managed by multiple determinants such as the apprehension of castigation or the benefits achieved by committing a crime or illegal activities, which indicates that the more harsh, definite, and prompt the punishment, the better the chances to manage criminal conduct. The choice theory mentions that castigation should maintain four predominant ambitions. The first ambition is to use punishment to hamper criminal activity from occurring.

A secondary principle maintains that when a crime cannot be hindered, the punishment should impel the offender to perpetrate a minor crime instead. The third ambition is to make certain that the offender applies no more violence than needed during a crime. The final objective is to counter crime as economically feasible. Rational choice is the judgment to perform a distinct kind of lawlessness or illegal activity established on the careful consideration of accessible information, combined with the element of personal judgment. The ational choice theory contains an outlook of crime that continues to be both offense and offender explicit. Offense-explicit lawlessness relates to crimes, where perpetrators will respond to selective attributes of specific offenses. Offender-explicit offenses relate to the reality that perpetrators are not easily provoked individuals who obligate him or her selves to antisocial behavior. Rather, he or she deliberate about whether they retain the prerequisites required for performing a lawless act that include their needs, ingenuity, talents, and apprehension level before determining to act out a crime.

Choice theorists believe that criminal conduct is a personality characteristic and crime is a happening or event. Offenders recognize the freedom of mobility and privation of social restrictions. In contrast to other individuals, offender-explicit individuals have diminished self-control and seen unaffected by the intimidation of social controls. He or she is usually dealing with stress or is commonly confronted with severe personal complications or circumstances that drive them to adopt perilous behavior (Schmallager, 2009).

Choice theorists have also examined the choice to perform a lawless act, regardless of its element, is contrived by the choice of location. The determination will rely upon the features of the mark and the methods available to execute the plan. It has been determined that offenders choose the location by the accessibility and ease of committing a crime with thoughts about the possibility of getting caught. Offenders pick their targets by pondering the character of the crime.

A perfect example of this is how offenders will choose higher class households for burglaries or robberies, whereas he or she will select lower class households for the target of violent crimes such as in drug robberies from drug houses. Criminals learn the techniques of crimes to aid them in non-detection (Schmallager, 2009). Routine activities can be defined by the choice theory when discussing crime. Crimes rates correlate to the number of inspired criminals such as male teenagers, drug consumers, and unemployed individuals who partake in criminal activity.

Most offenders commit crimes based on his or her narrow education, background, and lack of opportunities because of their education. If offenders were given the opportunities to improve themselves, he or she would not commit crimes. The rational choice theory includes the organization of crime and the molding of criminality (Schmallager, 2009). Society uses a couple of common models to decide which acts are determined to be criminal acts. The two models within the criminal justice system are consensus model and conflict model. Consensus model is defined as majority of individuals in a society who share the same values and beliefs.

Criminal acts conflict with consensus values and beliefs, and here the term ‘conflict model’ comes into play. The consensus model explains that individuals within a society will agree on which activities should be considered against the law and will publish them as crimes. The consensus model assumes that a diverse group of individuals can have similar morals and beliefs. The consensus model presumes that when individuals stand together to form a society; the members will come to a fundamental agreement with the observance of shared norms, values, and beliefs.

Individuals whose actions deviate from the standard norms and recognized values, and beliefs are considered to be a threat to the well-being of society, and must be punished. Societies pass laws to control and impede deviant behavior, which in return establishes boundaries for appropriate behavior within the society (Schmallager, 2009). The conflict model establishes those who reject consensus on the foundation that morals, norms, ideas, values, or behaviors are not absolute, meaning, multiple parts of society hold different ideas about value and norm systems.

The conflict model carries diverse segments, which are separated into age, social class, race, and income. Those who engage in the idea of the conflict model are in a constantly struggling with one another for control of society. Those who successfully grasp control make the laws with his or her value system, and determine what is criminal and what is not (Schmallager, 2009). Resources; Schmallager, F. (2009). Criminal Justice Today, 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, N. J. Pearson/Prentice Hall

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