Investigating Crime and Relevant Issues Essay

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Investigating Crime and Relevant Issues

Crime is defined as an act which is prohibited by criminal law. These criminal activities are prohibited for the protection of society as a whole, or a section of society. Each country has its own series of prohibited criminal acts. In England, if a criminal act is committed, the persons responsible are issued punishment of a fine, community service or imprisonment. Although criminal activity is seen by society to be morally wrong, and is punishable, people still continue to commit crime.

Forensic psychology attempts to apply psychological principles to the criminal justice system. For many years psychologists have tried to explain why some
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Individuals that had these features were considered to be a more primitive type of human being. Among the features which Lombroso identified were the following: an over-sized brain; squinting eyes; prominent eye-brows and a projecting jaw.

Lombroso believed that these primitive humans could not adjust socially or morally to civilised society, could not distinguish right from wrong, had no remorse or guilt and therefore could not form meaningful relationships. Lombroso determined, “Some people are born with a strong, innate predisposition to behave antisocially,” (L’Uomo Delinquente, Lombroso, 1876).

Evaluation of Lombroso’s Theory

Lombroso made a major contribution to establishing the study of criminal behaviour and was responsible for moving the study of criminology towards scientific research, indicating that biological influences could affect criminality.

However Lombroso’s experiments cannot be considered to be valid because he never compared his criminal sample to a non-criminal control group or took account of racial and ethical differences. He recorded inaccurate measurements, which were not based on proper statistical techniques or an accurate understanding of human physique. Also a large proportion of Lombroso’s sample had psychological disorders. This would mean that there was no