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The Lost Boyz Analysis

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“Free will and determinism are like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt is determinism. The way you play your hand is free will.” (Norman Cousins) “The Lost Boyz” by Justin Rollins, is a remarkable, personal recount of the author’s dejected youth as well as a deep, raw and vivid insight into the ways and consequences of a broken youths’ mind (Rollins, 2011). Throughout his book, Rollins depicts the divergent factors responsible for his descend into the criminal lifestyle, ultimately attributing them to two key criminological theories; classicism and positivism (Newburn, 2017). Classicist criminology, or the classical approach to criminal behaviour is centred around the idea of free will and rational thinking, defining the criminal…show more content…
Philosophical utilitarianism is the view that people’s behaviour is motivated by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain (Newburn, 2017). In other words, crimes occur when an individual weigh the risks and benefits of an act, and realizes that the criminal act outweighs the consequences, hence the punishment (Law et al, 2009). This is also known as the pain-pleasure principle (Newburn, 2017), which simultaneously aids in explaining the need for a more just penal policy, where the idea of punishment is utilized in order to deter criminal behaviour (Law et al, 2009) as well as the overall existence of crime. Throughout his book, Rollins continuously attributes his “satisfaction from seeing destruction” (Rollins, 2011:24) to the maximization of pleasure through the “amazing adrenaline rush” (Rollins, 2011:38) going as far as to refer to himself as an “adrenaline junkie” (Rollins, 2011:25). Rollins breaks the law throughout the course of the book, some examples including his tendency to “set fires, smash windows and steal” (Rollins, 2011p:25) in order to gain excitement and stimulate “the adrenaline rush and feeling of power” (Rollins, 2011:38), hence ensuring the maximization of pleasure to the extent where the consequences, the pain, were forgotten. Therefore, as the pain-pleasure principle is purely based on self interest (Carrabine, 2014), Rollins arguably made his
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