Catch Me if You Can: criminal justice theories Essay

2159 Words Dec 13th, 2013 9 Pages
Catch Me If You Can

Abstract In this paper, I will be discussing the different criminal justice theories found in the movie Catch Me if You Can staring Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr, and Tom Hanks as FBI Agent Carl Hanratty. Some of the themes I will be discussing include Rational Choice Theory, Critical Criminology Theory, Social Learning Theory, Neutralization Theory, and Social Control Theory.

Delaine Songe
11/13/2012
Criminal Justice Theory
CJ 325
Karla Pope
Catch Me if You Can
Catch Me if You Can is a movie based off the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr, who impersonated a Pan Am Air pilot, a pediatric doctor, and a lawyer, and accumulated over 2.8 million
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However, after his check is rejected, he turns instead to impersonating a Pan Am pilot after seeing one sign autographs to a small child outside the bank. After acquiring a uniform from the company by saying that he “lost” his, he forges his credentials and passports after he creates a fake, Pan Am Air salary check and successfully cashing it in. His need for money to survive on his own drives these decisions to act on these illegal activities, outweighing the cost he will end up paying for committing them. Part of the Rational Choice Theory is whatever techniques the criminal learns and perfects to avoid detection from authorities. Frank’s first run in with authority is when FBI Agent Carl Hanratty tracks him through his forged Pan Am bills to a hotel he was staying at. In Frank and Carl’s first meeting, Frank impersonates a Secret Service agent named Barry Allen (after The Flash) when confronted by Carl’s gun, convincing the agent long enough in order for him to escape. After his close call, he retires to Georgia, where he impulsively convinces the hospital and town that he is a Harvard medical doctor after meeting a new, young nurse named Brenda, whom he ends up falling in love with. The branch that Frank was assigned to was chief doctor of the pediatric ward, where they don’t do much work. The motivation behind this was to get closer to Brenda, whom he had an attraction to when he first met her. His growing love for
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