What Makes a Criminal? Essays

1778 Words8 Pages
What makes a criminal a criminal? Can anyone become a criminal? Answering and understanding these questions is the core work of criminologists as most criminologists attempt to make sense of why people do certain things (Garland, Sparks 2000). This essay will consider the notion that any person could become a criminal and in so doing consider the initial question. This essay will outline a range of theories that attempt to describe human behavior in relation to criminal behavior given the complexities of behaviour. Several theories will be considered as no single theory of behavior can account fully for the complexities and range in criminal behaviour. The theories range from social-control, to classical, to biological, to personality…show more content…
Further to this, they need to provide a thorough explanation underpinning the criminal behaviour (Hayes, Prenzler, 2009). There are numerous theories available to assist with the explanation of criminal behaviour. These theories give rise to behavioral patterns such as repetition, instigation, desistance, and maintenance (Akers, Jensen, 2007).

It is possible to consider the notion that some people may be more predisposed to committing a criminal behaviour or could become a criminal by committing an offence (Gottfredson, Hirschi 1990). For example, people in certain areas have a higher rate of crime. This higher crime rate in those areas seems to remain constant over time (Hayes, Prenzler, 2009). There may be many reasons influencing this phenomenon including socio-economic, and the limited resources associated with this (including less money and fewer services). This may be a factor contributing to the reason people living in these areas become a criminal – that is, to survive (Baumer & Gustafson, 2007).

However, the view that crime pays well and many commit crime for a lucrative lifestyle is simplistic and an unlikely explanation for the range in criminal behavior and circumstances surrounding that behaviour. It has be noted that while some may view crime as an avenue to gaining a lifestyle, crime
Get Access