Rational Choice Theory For Juvenile Delinquency

1774 WordsMar 17, 20178 Pages
Rational Choice Theory The Rational Choice Theory, as more commonly referred to as Choice Theory, is a view as to why criminals commit crimes, and more importantly why juveniles choose to be delinquent. The problem of juvenile delinquency in keeping with this viewpoint, makes juvenile delinquency an individual problem and not a social problem. The Rational Choice theory will be detailed throughout this paper as well as the theory’s established ways in which the theorists believe juvenile delinquency can be prevented. The validity of the Rational Choice Theory will also briefly be discussed. What is Rational Choice Theory? Rational choice theory is based on free will. Choice Theory is basically the individual making “rational…show more content…
Cesare Beccaria published the well-known book On Crimes and Punishments in 1764. Beccaria’s thoughts are commonly referred to as the classical theory. (Shoemaker, 2009, p. 64-65) The work in On Crimes and Punishments inspired multitudes of criminal philosophers two in particular; Locke and Hume. These two believed that, “human nature was predicated upon the search for pleasure and the avoidance of pain, and that human action was consequently organized around calculative strategies aimed at utility maximization.”(Hayward, 2007, p. 233) This thought justification is how those who believe in the Rational Choice Theory get further away from the social issues that may affect the commission of crimes and try to keep it focused on the individual desires of pleasure and avoidance of pain. This thought process may also be in part to the societal want of the juvenile delinquent’s behavior to be solely their fault based on an economic standpoint because if it is individual fault society does not need to fund programs to fix it. As stated in the book The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending, “… a rational choice perspective on criminal behavior- was intended to locate criminological findings within a framework particularly suitable for thinking about policy relevant research.” (Cornish & Clarke, 2014, p. 1) That is to say that yes, many philosophers may truly believe in Choice Theory but some were probably motivated more by economic
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