In instituted during that same era such as a

Topic: Lifestyle
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Last updated: January 2, 2020

In Criminology there areseveral different theories that have been created by many different people. Thethree theories that will be covered in this paper are Classical, Social, andTrait.

The three theories will be breaking down by explaining the history, andideal that supports each theory. Each theory will also be compared to eachother and at the end they will be paired  with a type of sentencing model (Indeterminateor Determinate) best suits that specific theory and why. The Classical criminologytheory dates back to eighteenth century writings of Cesare Beccaria and JeremyBentham (Akers, R, 2014). Both social philosophers were primarily concernedwith legal and penal reform rather than with formulating an explanation ofcriminal behavior. In doing so they formulated a theory of crime that remainsrelevant to criminology even today. During the eighteenth century the legalsystem was marred by many issues in the judicial systems in Europe andpunishments were based on cruel punishments that ranged from whipping, topublic hanging, to mutilations. Due to reforms in the eighteenth century manyof these cruel and unusual punishments were disbanded and new ideas wereinstituted such as the right to a speedy trial. Other ideals were institutedduring that same era such as a legislatively fixed scale of punishment for eachtype and degree of crime.

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The Basic premise in theclassical criminology theory is that actions and decisions are made by a personin the rational exercise of free will. An individual in society chooses to obeyor violate the law by a rational calculation of the risk of pain versuspotential pleasure derived from an act. When an individual contemplates acriminal act, they consider the probable legal penalties and the likelihoodthat they will be caught. If the individual believes that the penalty has agreater pain than reward for the crime, then they will not commit the crime. Ifthey calculate that the crime has a greater reward to punishment ratio theywill more then likely commit the crime. Their calculations are based on theirown experiences with criminal punishments, their knowledge of what punishmentis imposed by law and their awareness of what punishment has been given toarrest offenders in the past.

 In this theory the primary purpose of criminallaw is deterrence. It would not be used to avenge the wrong doings that havebeen done to the state or victim. Judges would also do nothing more thandetermine guilt or innocence and would not use any discretion to alterpenalties provided for by the law. To Bentham and Beccaria the punishment must”fit the crime” meant that the punishments for the crime was proportional tothe harm caused to society and that the punishment must be tailored to be justas severe to overcome the gain in committing the crime (Akers, R, 2012). In theclassical theory, the determinate sentencing method is required because it isrequired to have a set punishment for the specific crime that createsdeterrence. If the indeterminate sentencing model was used, criminals wouldeither get less of a sentence or would just committing crimes based on acalculation of chance of how harsh the punishment would really be. The Trait Theory is a theory ofcriminology that states that certain personality traits can predispose a personto crime.

 Its roots stem from Michael Lombroso (Olson, 2013) which statesthat criminals are throwbacks to a more priumanity, both physically andmentally. Individual Trait Theory is based on a mix between biologicalfactors and environmental factors. Trait Theory suggests that people haveparameters that are set by our genetic code, and our experiences in lifedetermine how we act. There are many different views onwhat makes up a person’s personality, what traits a person has, and how tocategorize those traits. One of the pioneers of trait theory Gordon Allport,recognized that there are 4000 personality traits in the dictionary, so hesplit these up into three categories; Cardinal, Central and Secondary. Cardinaltraits are defined as traits that summarize a person entirely. Central traitsare words used to describe a person such as kind, funny, or loud. Secondary are defined as traits that only pertain to a person in certainsituations such as “Road Rage” (Sincero, 2012).

 In the Trait Theory, thisinformation can be very important factors for profiling criminals. Oneexample of this theory could be a serial killer that could have a cardinal traitof narcissism, because they are always self-centered; a trait you cannotchange. They could have many central traits that include a lack of empathy orthe ability to manipulate because while they cannot be defined by these traits,they can be described by them. Their secondary traits could be of charm orintimidation, because these traits can be used to their advantage in certainsituations to manipulate (Kouri, 2009). In use of this example theindeterminate sentencing model would be best suited for this theory.

Based onthe theory that a person was born with a trait, suggests that a person would beguilty for a crime before it is even committed. Indeterminate sentencing wouldallow a judge or jury to see this and sentence the offender appropriately, andmay allow the court to see what type of help that offender really needs toreintegrate back into society. There are many different typesof social theories that are currently published today. Generally sociologicaltheories of criminology states that society creates conditions under which aperson commits a crime.

In the social learning theory (Akers, 1998), individualslearn to engage in crime in the same way they learn to engage in conformingbehavior: through association with or exposure to others. Primary or intimategroups like the family and peer groups have an especially large impact on whatwe learn. This theory suggests that association with delinquent friends is thebest predictor of delinquency other than prior delinquency (Cohen, 1955). Althougha person does not need to be in direct contact with others to learn from the;for an example, a person can learn to engage in violence from observing otherscommitting these acts on the internet or on the media. Most of the sociallearning theories involve a description of the three mechanisms by which aperson learns to engage in a crime from others: differential reinforcement,beliefs, and modeling.

Individuals can teach others toeither engage or not to engage in crime through the reinforcements andpunishments they provide for behavior. Reinforcements can be positive ornegative. In positive reinforcement the behavior results in a positiveconsequence (Cullen, F.

& Wilcox, P., 2010). This consequence may involvethings such as money, or pleasurable feelings (physically or mentally). Basedon the social learning theory individuals that live in environments where crimeis positively reinforced will eventually conduct these same acts and commit thecrime.

Sometimes these environments are not deliberately forced on theindividual such as a child that grows up in a home and has an abusive father.This child could grow up believing that this is ok, and one day has their ownfamily can turn abusive their selves. Indeterminate sentencing is the best pairfor this model, because some offenders may have not had a good chance indeveloping in the environment they lived in. If an offender may need help incorrecting what he learned what is right from wrong, and the court can identifythis, then the court would sentence the offender appropriately, aiding in theirrehabilitation back in to society. All three theories have validgrounds to stand on with supporting evidence even today. Our judicial system isever evolving to fit the growing need to suppress the crime, punish the guilty,and to rehabilitate offenders back in to society.

Out of the three theories thebest suited pair of theory and sentencing model that could be used to reducecrime is the classic theory with determinate sentencing. This theory is the onlytheory that incorporates deterrence and would be supported by determinatesentencing. The social theory would be directly impacted by a judicial systemwith a greater deterrence system emplace and would reduce crime is penaltieswere greater. Our current problem in the United States is that we have several environmentsthat individuals learn from each other such as the social theory supports. Theclassical theory is not all encompassing because it does not take in factors ofhow an induvial may have a mental disorder or commit crimes that they could notmentally control. The classical system would not aide in rehabilitating individualsas such but over all would decrease crime rates supported by determinate sentencing.

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