Criminological theories are designed and studied for law enforcement agencies to fight crime. These theories are based on different ideas of why crime is committed and why it is committed in certain areas. There are many criminological theories. Some of these are rational choice theory, social disorganization theory, strain theory, social learning theory, social control theory, labeling theory, and biology, genetics, and evolution theories (Williams, III & McShane, 2008). There have been so many theories developed over the years to explain criminal behavior. These theories are constantly studied to try to reduce the levels of some crimes. assignment writing service india
The question regarding why crime is committed and how to keep crime a level low is an ongoing challenge for law enforcement agencies. Some of these theories can be seen as excuses for committing a crime. If someone were to try to rationalize why someone would commit a crime I would think that it would be economic reasons and labeling. The economy is so bad today, jobs are scarce and some do not pay enough to survive. People today are doing good to try and survive and at times there just is not enough money to do that. Sometimes people will do whatever they must do to support themselves and their family. Theft is one of the main crimes that is the reaction to a bad economy. Neighborhoods that at one time that were thriving are turning into slum areas. To survive people feel as if they need to turn to crime.
Businesses are closing their doors every day and people are suffering for it. Unemployment will go only so far. People will revert to public assistance after the unemployment runs out but that can be stretched only so far. People will turn to crime to feed their families, pay their rent and to keep their utilities turned on. Living in a neighborhood watching the drug dealers make more money in a day than they see in a month since they have been out of work or even when they were working, will play on a person??™s mentality. They have gotten all the help they can get from the government and are having doors slammed in their faces every day. When all these variables come into play, it looks as if there is only one way out. The way out appears to be committing a crime to get the money they need.
??? Social Learning Theory
Looking at all of the different theories there could be others used to try and explain why someone commits a crime. A person could be raised in a criminal environment and therefore it is a learned social behavior. If someone lives in an environment where their existence is from criminal activities, that is what they know and it will be repeated and reinforced. An example of this type of behavior can be traced back to the days of the Ma Barker. She raised her sons in a criminal environment and that is how they lived their lives. In today??™s society you can look at the gangs with the same view. If a person joins a gang from a young age and start breaking the law then it continues through their growing years. If a person lives in a home where their money or food comes from stealing it is a good possibility that is how they will continue their lives.
Assuming that this is one of the theories that can try and explain crime being committed today is gangs. When a person joins a gang most of the time it is because their family life is nonexistent and the gang becomes their family. They are raised by that gang to be protective of their family (fellow gang members), to support their family (the gang), and to prove that they are tough enough to handle anything thrown at them. They are taught to fight, terrorize enemies, to steal, sell drugs, or do whatever it takes to survive for the family.
The social learning theory is based on pleasure seeking and avoiding pain. Criminal behavior can be learned through material reinforcements as well as social reinforcements. If someone feels as if they deserve something they should have it regardless of how they get it and someone living in this environment learns those same ideals. If deviant behavior is present in a person??™s social environment and the values are set that even bad behavior is acceptable then these are the values that they live by. Criminal behavior has its own rewards and if a person feels deprived then they will lean toward this behavior for the rewards they feel they deserve (Williams, III & McShane, 2008).
??? Qualitative Research Method
The methodology that can be used to explain this theory would be the qualitative research. With this methodology research the historical data would be analyzed. The history of people who commit crimes and how they were raised and in what type of environment would be used to research the social learning theory. Looking into the culture of the person, talking to them to find out what type of attitude they have, and where this attitude came from. What kind of social values was this person raised with will explain the attitude toward society and the criminal justice system This method should go back in history as well as looking at the criminals of today.
Once a person has committed a crime for whatever reason he or she are from there on out labeled a criminal. They have a record now that will follow them as they try to find a job to replace the one they lost. They have now been labeled so very few jobs will be available to them. With the label following them they will continue to commit crimes to survive. Society has hit them twice once with the economy being so bad and the other labeling them as a criminal for trying to support their family.
There are three different criminological theories that can be used to describe regarding why these types of crime happen. One is the social disorganization theory. The social disorganization theory can be looked at in two different ways. One way are the differences in social environments such as commercial and residential neighborhoods being mixed. The other would be the deterioration of a neighborhood because of business closing, unemployment being high, and buildings being vacant. These neighborhoods are prime areas for drugs and crime. Another theory is the strain theory. People are under such strain of a financial burden that they are willing to commit a crime to relieve some of that pressure. A person who has a good job and believes that it is there for good and suddenly it is gone could give him or her the feeling of inferiority. They lose it because of downsizing or the closing of the company gives them the impression that they are not good enough to keep their job or any job. Committing a crime to these people seems the easy way out of their predicament. The last theory is the labeling theory. Once someone commits a crime regardless of the reason for it and is arrested for it he or she are then labeled a criminal. The labeling theory will continue throughout the family. If a parent is caught for a crime and convicted their children are always labeled the children of a criminal. It is hard for them to shake that label and may continue with a life of crime. This means following in their parents footsteps.
There is never a good reason for committing a crime but there could be extenuating circumstances. If a person has worked a job for years and suddenly does not have one he or she feel there is only one way to support their family. If a neighborhood suddenly has an increase in crime such as theft, drugs, and breaking and entering they need to look at the economy of that neighborhood. Possibly making the neighborhood more attractive to business will help to increase the economy of that neighborhood. More businesses mean more jobs, which in turn will mean less crime.
Williams, III, F., & McShane, M. (2008). Criminological theory. Retrieved from University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.