Rational Choice Theory Essay

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Rational choice theory, also known simply as choice theory, is the assessment of a potential offender to commit a crime. Choice theory is the belief that committing a crime is a rational decision, based on cost benefit analysis. The would-be offender will weigh the costs of committing a particular crime: fines, jail time, and imprisonment versus the benefits: money, status, heightened adrenaline. Depending on which factors out-weigh the other, a criminal will decide to commit or forgo committing a crime. This decision making process makes committing a crime a rational choice. This theory can be used to explain why an offender will decide to commit burglary, robbery, aggravated assault, or murder. It is 9:00am on a warm July morning.…show more content…
Having her address he began to case her home. For several weeks he watched her comings and goings. Based on his surveillance he was able to determine that the homeowner leaves everyday at 8:45am to bring her children to school and does not return until 9:45am. He was able to determine that the rear entry was less visible to neighbor’s which is why he decided to use the rear door. John clearly demonstrates rational choice based on situational risks he observed. John decides to act when he knows the homeowner will not be home and the risks are low. He made it a point to plan his attack which is also explained as a rational choice. Rational choice theory involves both offense-specific and offender-specific crimes. Offense-specific crime is crime committed when an offender considers all parts of the actual act before they decide to commit the wrongdoing. The offender would weigh police presence in that neighborhood, if the home is well protected, will people be in the home, ease of getting in and getting out, or if stolen property will be valuable for sale, etc. Offender-specific crime is when the potential offender determines if they have what it take to commit the crime based on self interest. They only think about their personal experience and not particularly about the offense itself. Offender-specific crime is when an offender considers;
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