This idea of a rational calculation of the advantages and disadvantages of crime runs parallel with the Rational Choice Theory offered to us by
Does the Perceived Risk of Punishment Deter Criminally Prone Individuals? Rational Choice, Self-Control, and Crime
In classical theory, the main objective of study is the offence and the nature of the offender is a rational, free-willed, calculating and normal individual (Aker, 2012). However, it became apparent that some were more motivated to commit crime than others, regardless of deterrence. Therefore, the classical doctrine cannot account for re-offending. Based on empirical research done on convicted offenders, the notion of deterrence was rarely given thought of (Burke, 2013). Initially, most offenders give a lot of thought to the notion of punishment; however, in the process of committing the offence, offenders give little consideration to deterrence and consequences. As a result, this defies whether the purpose of deterrence is, in fact, achieving what it is meant to (Burke, 2013). The model is idealistic, that individuals could be controlled by the threat of punishment- by the likelihood of arrest, prosecution and
Deterrence theory of crime is a method in which punishment is used to dissuade people from committing crimes. There are two types of deterrence: general and specific. General deterrence is punishment to an individual to stop the society as a whole from committing crimes. In other word, it is using the punishment as an example to “scare” society from precipitating in criminal acts. Under general deterrence, publicity is a major part of deterrence. Crime and their punishments being showing in the media or being told person to person can be used to deter crime. Specific deterrence is punishment to the individual to stop that individual from committing other crimes in the future. This type of deterrence is used to teach the individual a
Deterrence and Rational Choice Theory and the three strikes laws are seen by some researcher as the way to maintain control, deter crime and deliver harsh punishment for repeat offenders by subjecting them to the three strikes law. They believe that if the punishment is harsh that offenders will be deterred to commit crime. We will take a look at these theories, and see if they are really the answer to our crime problems in the USA. It will also allow us to ask the question which is: can theories work better individually or should we incorporate them to make a better policy? And if we do incorporate them will in a policy, will they reduce crime, deter criminal from committing future crimes, and help to reduce future criminal acts? Lastly, can we implement general strain theory to into the policy so that we can try to figure out what is wrong, along with reevaluating the three strike law and see if the mandatory sentencing is working or is part of the problem?
The idea of capital punishment deterring crime is difficult to determine; some could rationalize that the death penalty should in theory stop potential murders from committing crimes. However, this rationalization has never been concretely proven. The research into capital punishment’s effect on deterrence is immense; however, the majority of research on this issue has differential findings. Although some research suggests conclusively that capital punishment deters crime, others found that it fails to do this. Understanding deterrence, the death penalty, and the results of
It is unfortunate that crime exists in our daily lives. There really is no way to stopping crime completely, no matter how many laws or punishment are present, people will continue to keep breaking rules. There are many theories of why that may be the case, for example, Caesar Lombroso and his “atavistic” theory with the Positivist School theory and how people were “born criminals”, or the Rational Choice Theory, devised by Cornish and Clarke, described that people could think rationally and how people will naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure referred to as “hedonism” (Cartwright, 2017, lecture 4). Since it is apparent that crime will continue to exist, it is not only important to understand the study of crime and the feedbacks to it,
375) and by using this hedonistic calculus people will refrain from committing crimes. This concept focuses on the punishment fitting the criminal and on preventing future crimes from occurring. The three most important factors in effectively deterring a criminal from further crimes are the severity of the punishment, the certainty of the punishment, and the swiftness of the punishment. If criminal doesn’t believe he will be punished or he feels the punishment is minor in comparison to the crime or if the punishment is not swift enough, then he/she will not be deterred from committing crimes. Studies on the effectiveness of deterrence have shown to be inconclusive. The deficient areas of deterrence are crimes committed in the heat of passions, crimes committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and the massive backlog of cases in the nation’s courts (Neubauer & Fradella, 2008).
Law, crime, and the concept of deterrence have existed simultaneously for thousands of years. Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden crime has been a prevalent aspect of society and always will be. Ever since there has been crime and as long as crime exists there will be efforts to deter people from committing crimes. Deterrence relies on fear and doubt to dissuade a person from committing a crime. However, does deterrence work? Many people think that deterrence does not work and tend to follow the logic of the rational choice theory. The rational choice theory says that everyone makes calculated choices based on the risk and the potential reward (Siegel, 2011).
The concepts of the rational choice theory. Within the rational choice theory you have subcategories. General deterrence, specific deterrence, and Incapacitation. General deterrence is the idea that crime can be controlled by increasing the real or perceived threat of punishment. According to the general deterrence theory not only is the likely hood of punishment a deterrent but also the sentence will be harsh. This should in theory lessen criminal activity. So basically the certainty of punishment combined with the swiftness and severity of punishment will be the contributing factors of reducing crime rates.
Until the early 1970s, the sentencing of crime convicts was based on the principle of rehabilitation of juvenile and adult offenders. Legislatures set maximum authorized sentences for various types of crimes and judges decided on the prison term or probation or fines. Correctional officials and parole boards had the powers to reduce the time served for good behavior and release prisoners early. In the 1980s and 1990s, the emphasis shifted to deterrence by imposing mandatory minimum sentences for certain types of crime, heavier sentences for habitual offenders and the “three-strike” rule for felony convictions. Public opinion supported these changes in the belief that prison terms were just retribution for crimes and incarceration kept criminals off the streets (Mackenzie, 2001).
Every day I enter the gates of a prison, sign out my keys, walk to my office and start my day. The first thing I do is log on to my computer, check my work email and then start inputting the details of last night’s new arrivals into our database. I stop pause and then wonder how, why, what makes a person commit a crime. Many crimes are committed throughout the world. There are several factors that instinctively contribute to one’s misconduct which can be explained by criminological theories. There are many core arguments of the criminological perspectives. These theories may help us to understand the problem. In this essay I will describe the criminological perspectives of Trait (biological/psychological), Social (structure/process), and Classical/Choice (deterrence) while addressing each of their core arguments; I will support an argument for which of the two sentencing models (determinate or indeterminate) is most likely to be effective at addressing crime from each of the three perspectives; and I will discuss
There are five distinct philosophies to the punishment of criminal offenders. The deterrence model is based on the belief that punishment or threat of punishment will prevent citizens, offenders or non-offenders, from committing or recommitting crimes (Fagin, 2016), 2016). A real-life example of the deterrence model would be corporal punishment. Because the children who witnessed the punishment would not want to commit the act, and the child receiving the punishment would not want to recommit their crime, it was believed to be an effective strategy in forming school children’s behavior (Fagin, 2016). The belief that criminals cannot be rehabilitated, and it would never be safe to release them back into the community falls under the incapacitation philosophy of punishment (Fagin, 2016). The most common type of incapacitation is imprisonment. When offenders are imprisoned, they are unable to commit new crimes, and will no longer pose a threat to their communities. Rehabilitation on the other hand, is the belief that criminals can be cured of their criminality, and can be released back into the community (Fagin, 2016). Counseling, educational programs, and work skill programs are all different real-world examples of the rehabilitation model (Fagin, 2016). The aim of these programs is to help offenders get better and become a productive member of society. The idea of punishing criminals because they deserve to be punished fits into the retribution philosophy of punishment (Fagin, 2016), 194). An example of this philosophy today would be
Akers, R. L. (1990). Rational Choice, Deterrence, and Social Learning Theory in Criminology: The Path Not Taken. The Journal Of Criminal Law And Criminology (1973-), (3), 653. doi:10.2307/1143850
People chose all behavior and including all criminal behavior. Which in this case the choices that criminals make brings them pleasure and adrenaline. Criminal choices can be controlled by fear of punishment, but not all the time. The crime will be limited when the benefits are reduced and the costs increase. Rational choice theory is a perspective that holds criminality in the result of conscious choice. Not to mention, that it is predicted that individuals choose to commit crime when the benefits outweigh the costs of disobeying the law. In the rational choice theory, individuals are seen as motivated offenders by their needs, wants and goals that express their preferences. This theory has been applied to a wide of range in crime, such as robbery, drug use, vandalism, and white collar crime. Furthermore, rational choice theory had a revival in sociology in the early 1960s, under the heading of exchange theory, and by the end of the decade was having a renewed influence in criminology, first as control theory and later as routine activities theory.