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Offering a rich introduction to how scholars analyze crime, this Fifth Edition of the authors’ clear, accessible text moves readers beyond often-mistaken common sense knowledge of crime to a deeper understanding of the importance of theory in shaping crime control policies. This thoroughly revised edition covers traditional and contemporary theory within a larger sociological and historical context and now includes new sources that assess the empirical status of the major theories, as well as updated coverage of crime control policies and their connection to criminological theory.
Posted October 13, 2012
Crime, why do people commit it? This is a very in-depth issue to determine whether people commit crime because they are born with criminal nature or if they are born as a good natured person who is influenced into it from the social perspectives. Others saying that people need to be locked up in prison because they are beyond rehabilitation and they commit the crime because of their own criminal choice and criminal nature or criminal mind(born this way).
From the beginning of time there has been crime. The reason of this is unknown but theorists have gone to great lengths to determine the criminal man. The classical school of criminology “emphasizes on the criminal as a person…capable of calculating what they want to do.” (Lilly, Cullen, Ball, 2011, p. 20) This is basically saying that the criminal makes the “free will” choice based off of the “pain and pleasure” aspects and not due to any part of the social factors that may come into play in future criminal school theories. (Lilly, et al., 2011)
These schools consistently worked to improve the ideologies from further study and inspired the positivist school ideology. It is very similar to that of the classical school focus but added the notion that “crime was determined by multiple facts.” (Lilly, et al., 2011) The difference between the classical school only focusing on free will and the positivist school advancing the thought that there are other factors involved is huge. The factors that are mentioned as part of the positivist school are things such as biological factor. It was thought that crime was committed due to biological imbalances in a person. They even took this to further steps to try to identify the biological criminal by “physical and mental deficiencies”. They even went as far as to list physical characteristics of what they thought were a key to a born criminal. They listed things such as the “ears of unusual size, sloping foreheads, excessively long arms, receding chins and twisted noses.” (Lilly, et al., 2011) These are interesting thoughts but seem a bit strange and won’t really fly in today’s society.
The Chicago school of criminology had a whole new different ideology that was very impressive. This school took on the ideology of the social factors in the pursuit of finding the criminal man and why they commit crime. The industrial revolution caused an increase to social populations that caused over populated cities and created poverty and “slums.” (Lilly, et al., 2011) Many separate theories came out of this school. Some were focused on the government being the main cause to these poverty stricken areas since they did nothing to assist in equality and others focused on the disorganization and delinquency aspect of these social environments. These environments caused for an increase in circumstances that would cause someone to commit crime. They ranged from choices for survival such as hunger to the social influence and peer pressure due to the lack of education that causes delinquency.
All of these schools have revised over time into into more effective ideologies such in search for the criminal man. The criminal school advanced in its theory only to increase punishment and incarceration and others such as the Chicago school are still in search to determine how socially we can fix people who commit crimes before they do it. One of these schools alone does not work but all of these school ideologies and research togethe