Features of Criminal Law The life of the criminal law begins with criminalization. On this view, we are not invited to commit crimes—like murder, or driving uninsured—just as long as we willingly take the prescribed legal consequences. As far as the law is concerned, criminal conduct is to be avoided. This is so whether or not we are willing to take the consequences.
Historically, there are three broad theoretical models of criminal behavior: A psychological B sociological C biological All infer different methods of control, but it is difficult to completely separate the three categories as it is generally accepted that all three of the factors play a role in the expression of behavior.
Moreover, psychological science consists of several disciplines including biological psychology and social psychology, so psychological principles could be applied across all three domains. However, there are some general principles associated with each of these paradigms that would be associated with some specific crime control policies.
This results in admittedly narrow definition for each of the categories, but it does simplify the discussion herein. Psychological Approaches There a many different psychological models of criminal behavior ranging from early Freudian notions to later cognitive and social psychological models.
I cannot review them all here.
Instead, I will list the several fundamental assumptions of psychological theories of criminality and human behavior in general. The individual is the primary unit of analysis in psychological theories.
Personality is the major motivational element that drives behavior within individuals. Normality is generally defined by social consensus. Crimes then would result from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inappropriate mental processes within the personality of the individual. Criminal behavior may be purposeful for the individual insofar as it addresses certain felt needs.
Defective, or abnormal, mental processes may have a variety of causes, i. The last assumption of the psychological model would suggest that a variety of different causes or reasons exist for criminal behavior and that general principles targeted at the individual would be effective for crime control.
However, the model also assumes that there is a subset of a psychological criminal type, defined currently as antisocial personality disorder in the DSM-IV and previously defined as the sociopath or psychopath APA, This type of criminal exhibits deviant behavior early in life and is associated with self-centeredness, a lack of empathy, and a tendency to see others as tools for their ends.
Controls for these individuals would be more extreme and general public policies may not be stringent enough to curb the behavior in this small subset of criminals. Given these six principles to establish psychological explanations of criminal behavior, we can suggest first that traditional imprisonment, fines, and other court sanctions are based on operant learning models of behavior for crime control.
Operant learning models are based on the utilitarian concepts that all people wish to maximize pleasure and minimize pain or discomfort. Skinnerian based social psychological theories of reinforcement and punishment are influential in this model of criminal control although the idea of punishment for crime has a much longer history Jeffery, Technically speaking, punishments are any sanctions designed to decrease a specific behavior; thus, fines, jail sentences, etc.
However, Skinner himself recognized that punishment was generally ineffective in behavior modification and that reinforcement worked better e.
A caveat should be applied here: Punishment is effective if applied properly, but unfortunately it rarely is applied properly. Punishment needs to be immediate or as close to the time the offense as possibleinescapable, and sufficiently unpleasant in fact, the more it is subjectively perceived as harsh, the better.
Given the judicial system in the U. Nonetheless, punishments and sanctions for criminal behavior are based on behavioral psychological principles. Because harsh forms of punishment do not appear to significantly decrease recidivism rates, other psychological principles have been applied.
In terms of cognitive behavioral psychological principles, rehabilitation and relearning, retraining, or educational programs for offenders are forms of psychologically based methods to control crime.
These methods are based on the cognitive behavioral methods of teaching an alternative functional response in place of a formally dysfunctional one as opposed to simple punishment. These programs can take place in prisons or outside of the prison and have long been demonstrated to be successful e.
So any form of retraining, reeducation, or reentry guidance is based on psychological principles of criminality and reform. However, rehabilitation programs are often rarely implemented in jail or prison. Many of these programs appear to be especially beneficial for drug and alcohol offenders.
Likewise, any form education such as the DARE program and recent efforts to curb bullying in schools are based on these methods. In line with this, changing the environment of the offender such as providing more opportunities would be a psychological behavioral principle designed to cut crime.
In line with other psychological methods are policies aimed at maintaining a visible presence of law enforcement and methods to maintain self-awareness in tempting situations. Such methods are preventative. For instance, it has been a well-known social psychological principle that situations that diminish self-consciousness and self-awareness lead individuals to being less restrained, less self-regulated, and more likely to act without considering the consequences of their actions e.
The simple act of placing mirrors in stores can increase self-awareness and decrease shoplifting. Likewise, the presence of visible law enforcement can cut down on crime.
Making sanctions and the consequences for crime well-publicized and available to the public is another psychological method to control crime in this vein. More recently there have been efforts to develop methods to identify individuals at risk for certain forms of deviant behavior including criminal activities based on personality and social variables.
These psychological variables can be identified in the school or at the home at an early age and include such disorders as learning disabilities, ADHD, depression, and others.Classical criminal justice theories state that punishment can regulate and deter criminal activity by removing the criminal element from society.
More modern ideologies favor a correctional approach to criminal punishment. Punishment given to an individual meant to prevent or deter other potential offenders from engaging in such criminal activity in the future is called _____ deterrence.
General One of the unintended outcomes of public trials and punishment was __________. addressed in the following discussion of the rationale, justification, and nature of punish- The Purpose of Criminal Punishment leslutinsduphoenix.com 1/30/04 PM Page 3. It must be of an offender, actual or two main types of theories of punishment dom-inate: utilitarian theory and retributive theory.
Student Study Guide for Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, Application as well as patterns of criminal activity. Individual theories may be either macro or micro.
|Functions of Criminal Law||Provides web links to schools and departments within a university that offer criminal justice as a program.|
|Punishment - Wikipedia||Felony and Misdemeanor A principle often mentioned with respect to the degree of punishment to be meted out is that the punishment should match the crime. Measurements of the degree of seriousness of a crime have been developed.|
|Criminal Justice at MSU||In other words, they continue to be good, law-abiding citizens.|
|Get Program Details||These values are intended to promote harmony within the community by protecting people from undue harm by others.|
|Explaining Deviance | Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World||Provides web links to schools and departments within a university that offer criminal justice as a program. An international association established in to foster professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice.|
Theories can be used to guide policy making, and can be punishment of an individual or . But, they were different in other ways; biological theories focused on the individual criminal whereas classical theories focused on the actual crime. Plus, the former encouraged the idea of rehabilitation and the reformation of criminals while the latter believed in deterrence to try to reduce crime.
Start studying Criminology: Exam #1. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Search.
Student Study Guide for Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, Application as well as patterns of criminal activity. Individual theories may be either macro or micro. Theories can be used to guide policy making, and can be punishment of an individual or . Punishment serves numerous social-control functions, but it is usually jus- tiﬁed on the principles of retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilita- tion, and/or restoration. Start studying Unit 1 Criminology. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The idea of hedonistic calculus was proposed by Beccaria and was an idea from the Classical School of thought. _____ is used as the basis for United States policies on punishment for criminal activity because it focuses on.
concerns judgments of appropriate punishment for convicted criminals. routine activity theory.