Crime and Individual Choice Essay

Crime is a common phenomenon. Huge investings of any authorities go towards the containment and apprehensiveness of offense wrongdoers. The more offense acquires assorted signifiers and becomes prevalent. the more surveies and theories are brought out to analyse the causes and motives. A expression at Australia in the recent yesteryear indicates public call over increased incidences of offense. although incidences of organized offense are going rare. the same can non be said of junior-grade larcenies. Criminologists have over the old ages stepped up their attempts in analyzing the motives of offense.

This is an issue that sparks contention as some sociologists blame it on the society. indicating out that it is the prevailing fortunes in the society that are behind offense. In the visible radiation of this row. this paper maintains that offense is as a consequence of single picks instead that the prevailing societal fortunes. A survey of the possible causes of offense is core to understanding offense. the information generated is important every bit afar as government’s response and attacks to contending offense is concerned.

A famine of information on such a common job means that jurisprudence enforcement bureaus spend valuable resources and clip on turn toing the symptoms instead than the causes. It is this fact that motivates criminologists to delve out the existent causes of offense. Economists traditionally have non been involved in the analysis of offense. the issue of causes and bar was seen as being outside the kingdom of economic sciences. It was seen as a preserve of sociologists and criminologists.

This nevertheless changed in the late sixtiess when economic experts brought in an statement that represented a extremist paradigm displacement from afore recognized sociological and criminological theories. They deviated from the social foundations of the motive of offense to a more individualised attack. A good theory of offense harmonizing to Becker ( 1968 ) has to “dispense with particular theories of anomy. psychological insufficiencies or heritage of particular traits and merely widen the economist’s usual analysis of pick. ” The economic theory of offense focal points on the facet of an individual’s rational pick as the cardinal motive behind offense.

This is a theory that is based on the premise that each and every person engages in offense in their command to increase their public-service corporation. Crime should be regarded as a venture ; it is an endeavor which an person engages in with an purpose of deriving something merely like in concern. This hence means that any one can go a condemnable. there is no peculiar group that is inherently condemnable. it is merely that people tend to travel in and out of offense when there is an chance and there are ample conditions for a offense.

Merely like in concern ventures. a possible felon takes clip to be after his activities and besides makes determination in respect to the sum of clip to be appropriated in each activity so as to maximise the additions. In doing a determination of whether or non to prosecute in offense. an single takes into history all the possible benefits and besides the likely costs. Peoples engage in condemnable activities non because they have some natural or psychological motives but because they have amply taken into consideration the perceived benefits and costs.

This means that a certain offense will non be committed if the costs exceed the benefits. In such a instance hence it is possible to see a peculiar offense being the most preferable in comparing to another due to the net benefits associated with that offense. Indeed offense is driven by the attendant benefits and decreased if the penalty meted out is rough in comparing to the offense. Harmonizing to the economic theory. “an addition in the chance and/or badness of penalty ( stand foring costs of condemnable behaviour ) will cut down the possible criminal’s engagement in illicit activities.

” ( Philip & A ; Cameron ) This is what motivates the disincentive theory. It is of import to indicate out that the issue of costs and benefits must be carefully analyzed. the cost does non merely go around around the facet of captivity but besides encompasses the societal cost. this applies even to the perceived benefits. A rational single want to prosecute in offense hence puts into consideration all these factors and weighs his options. his determination and pick is influenced by the attendant weight. either towards the benefits or towards the costs.

If the costs outweigh the benefits. the persons is improbable to prosecute in the offense ; the frailty versa is besides true ( Gottfredson & A ; Hirschi. 1990 ) . The Rational Choice Theory. on which the economic sciences theory is founded. is derived from the useful belief that so human existences are rational ; their determinations are independently influenced by the factors of costs and benefits. In the extension of this theory. several premises are made. There is the premise that people are driven by public-service corporation ; they are motivated by the impulse to increase their felicity which largely is in footings of wealth.

they besides are supposed to hold ends and they pick the pick that enables them to carry through such ends. The theory of rational pick can be traced to the early plant of Cesare Beccaria who set out to explicate offense utilizing the enlightment thoughts. Harmonizing to Cessare. “people want to see pleasance and avoid hurting. and while condemnable Acts of the Apostless can convey pleasance of assorted kinds. possible penalty can convey hurting. ” ( Laura. 2007. 231 ) This is a theory that has vastly been used in the justness system ; it is based on the thought that for offense to be prevented. penalty must outweigh the benefits of the offense.

This is because if the hurting is less than the benefits. so there is no motive to discontinue offense. Bentham besides was in understanding over the facet of offense boiling down to single pick. and influenced by the sensed benefits. He noted that “the net income of the offense is the force which urges a adult male to delinquency. The hurting of the penalty is the force employed to keep him from it. If the first of these forces is greater. the offense will be committed ; if the 2nd. the offense will non be committed. ” ( Cited in Maurice. 1993. 311 )

An of import facet that has to be looked at is why some people or groups show a higher prevalence to offense. Indeed. people can non hold a similar response to offense. This is so as people have single differences that affect their penchants. There are those that may prefer honestness. hold a higher income and therefore value their repute. The sensed additions and costs are besides regarded otherwise. The chances of sing a certain degree of hurting might be actuating adequate to some people to avoid offense. The determination to prosecute in one kind of offense and avoid others besides follows a similar form.

It is influenced by chance. available information. costs and benefits ( Loftin. & A ; McDowell. 1982 ) . The position that offense is influenced by rational single picks has most frequently than non been put into discredit by a bustle of other available surveies done on the topic. A bulk of the bing surveies are influenced by the societal conditions and environment instead than the single pick. One of the bing schools of idea that points at the relationship between societal factors and offense is the positive school of idea.

Harmonizing to this thought. offense and criminalism is influence by internal and external factors that are beyond the control of an person. The reply to criminalism prevarications in the biological. psychological and societal foundations. Those that propagate the thought that offense can be explained by physiological factors do it on the footing that those persons that have a higher affinity towards offense tend to hold some specific physiological traits. This thought influenced the idea that offense is a natural trait and hence can non be separately controlled. Some persons are born felons and they can non alter this.

It is this statement of built-in criminalism that was used to fuel the statements behind the abolition of capital penalty. on the footing that felons were being punished for things they had no control on. There is besides the thought that offense can be closely linked to neurosis and psychotism. In this. offense is seen as a mental disease where the condemnable develops a psychotic irresistible impulse to prosecute in offense. The prevalent theory that challenges the facet of single pick in offense is the sociological positivism. This is a theory that traces offense to social factors such as poorness. subcultures and deficiency of instruction.

The societal disorganisation theory for illustration has been able to set up a positive nexus between the prostration of of import societal establishments and offense. The society is held together by establishments such as faith and besides the justness system. The prostration of these nucleus establishments contributes to an addition in offense. Poverty and deficiency of economic development fuels an addition in offense. As the theory claims. topographic points that are characterized by vicinities with high population and failed societal construction record high cases of offense compared to others.

Poverty leads to societal upset and is characterized by physical groundss of collapsed edifices and deteriorating vicinities. This leads to what has been referred to as the impairment concentration effects. Such vicinities attract offense ( Maurice. 1993 ) . It is of import to detect that societal factors can so fuel offense. There exist huge surveies that have focused on offense and ethnicity and have come to reason that there are certain societal conditions that influence such communities to perpetrate offense.

Poverty has been pointed out as one of the prima factor. where people resort to offense as a agency of geting wealth and prosperity. This nevertheless does non intend that the function of an person in doing such a pick diminishes. Peoples are influenced by their ain rational pick to prosecute in offense. in consideration of the bing benefits and costs of such a offense. should the cost override the benefits ; so offense is reduced. Mentions Maurice P. F. ( 1993 ) The psychological science of offense: a societal scientific discipline text edition. Cambridge University Press. Laura L. F. ( 2007 ) Encyclopedia of juvenile force. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Brantingham. P. J. & A ; Brantingham. P. L. ( 1991 ) . Environmental criminology. Prospect Heights. Illinois: Waveland Press. Gottfredson. M. . T. Hirschi ( 1990 ) . A General Theory of Crime. Stanford University Press. Becker. G. S. ( 1968 ) Crime and penalty: an economic attack. Journal of Political Economy. Loftin. C. and McDowell. D. ( 1982 ) The constabulary. offense and economic theory. American. Sociological Review Philip M. B & A ; Cameron M. Crime. penalty and disincentive in Australia: A farther empirical probe. International Journal of Social Economics retrieved on April 28. 2009 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. uq. edu. au/~ecpbodma/ijse. pdf.