There are many theories to why crimes are committed, the classical approach has been around for centuries but it was not until the mid-1970s that it was renewed and formed was is now known as choice theory. That being said there are different types of choice theories and I will discuss one which is rational choice theory and this has different concepts that make it up. The classical approach to crime originated in the late 1700s, where philosopher Cesare Beccaria implied that intelligence and rational thought are fundamental characteristics of people and the principal basis for their behavior.
In other words, people have free will, make choices and pursue their own interests. Beccaria and Jeremy Bentham also applied these ideas to crime, arguing that people freely chose to offend. According to Beccaria and Bentham, people’s decisions to offend are guided by calculations that weigh the pleasure they hope to obtain from criminal acts against the potential pain they would receive if they were caught and punished for their crimes.
This perspective, known as the classical school of criminology, maintains that people’s calculations involve their knowledge of the law and their perceptions of the likelihood of punishment (based on their experiences and knowledge of the experiences of others).
It proposes that crime can be most effectively deterred by punishments that are certain, swift, and proportional to the harm caused. Punishments that met these criteria would discourage offenders from re-offending and would encourage others to be law-abiding.
Crime is a common phenomenon. Huge investments of any government go towards the containment and apprehension of crime offenders. The more crime acquires various forms and becomes prevalent, the more studies and theories are brought out to analyze the causes and motivations. A look at Australia in the recent past indicates public outcry over increased incidences of crime, although incidences of ...
This “deterrence” philosophy was the preeminent explanation of crime for over a hundred years; yet, by the start of the twentieth century its popularity was eclipsed by positivist explanations arguing that offenders differ from non-offenders in important ways (e. g. , socialization).
The classical approach to crime was revived in the mid-1970s when the rehabilitation of known criminals came under attack beginning the positivist criminology policy.
This policy stated that if crime was committed because of social problems, like poverty, that if giving good jobs to criminals would reduce the crime rate. Political scientist James Q. Wilson disagreed with the positivist criminology policy that social problems, like poverty, were excuses for crimes to be committed. Instead he thought crime would be reduced by deterring offenders and incarcerating known criminals. The United States implemented tough new laws which created mandatory sentences for drug offenders which in turn made the prison population greatly increase.
Since these laws have been passed crime rates have gone down while the prison population continues to go up and become another concern. The classical approach to crime has been critiqued and is now believed that crimes are committed by human emotions and though processes. Rational choice theorists view two different concepts to crime; offense-specific and offender-specific, offense-specific is defined as the offenders will react selectively to the characteristics of particular offenses.
Offender-specific relates to the prerequisites that an individual must posses in order to commit a crime. Criminality is different then crime, the crime committed is an event while criminality is a personal trait. There are numerous reasons that cause people to commit crimes, such as economic struggle, knowledge of criminal techniques and the learning and experience that comes from committing crimes. Economic struggle can be a factor in committing crimes because it is an easy way out.
William Stuntz "The Pathological Politics of Criminal Law". INTRODUCTION While many factors that make positive sentencing reform rather problematic remain, different factors have come together at the beginning of the new century which made such reform more possible than it has been for a many years. On the other hand, as these critical factors are not likely to remain in adjustment for a long ...
It is an easy way to get money like selling drugs or prostitution. Someone people will steal to feed their families or just for the fun of it. Some people have committed crimes for so long that they have obtained the necessary skills to not get caught. They think they are unstoppable and therefore continue to commit these crimes. Experience also helps play a role in the committing crimes; it goes hand and hand with the knowledge of criminal techniques. As experience helps anyone on either side of the law it also works the same for offenders.
They learn how the police work and how to get around the law, some of them are mindful of the legal definitions and stay within the legal boundary so that they do not get caught. The outlook on crime has come a long way since the 1700s, and still today I do not believe everyone can agree on a right or wrong way to punish these offenders. However the laws that we have set up have definitely been a good structure to build from. Criminals are getting smarter and smarter by the minute and it is the job of the criminal justice system to always stay one