Crime And The Punishments For Criminal Offences

2120 Words Jan 17th, 2015 9 Pages
This essay will explore theories of crime and the causes of crime along with the roles of prisons and the punishments for criminal offences. To conclude this essay will research prison conditions and statistics and the alternatives to prison.

According to the Oxford dictionary ‘crime’ is defined as, “An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law.” Wilson and Herrnstein confirm this definition – “any act committed in violation of a law that prohibits it and authorizes punishment for its commission.” (p22 1986) Criminology has concentrated its research primarily “at elucidating the connection between crime and the personal characteristics of the offender or his environment.” Hurwitz (p1 1983) Some of the most common theories include; Biological, Sociological and Psychological. Biological theories have explained causes of crime through inherited genes and evolutionary factors. Cesare Lombroso developed the first biological theory “based on physical measurements he collected from Italian prisoners and non-criminal military personnel.” Rice (2014) Lombroso believed criminals are “dangerous individual marked by what he called ‘anomalies’.” Lombroso (p1 2006). Criminals “had been born with ‘atavistic’ features…or sometimes just savage features.” Rice (2014) The physical atypicalities consisted of; flattered or upturned nose, large jaw, high cheekbones, long arms, thick skulls and handle shaped/large ears. Charles Goring (1913), conducted a…
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