April 3, 2012
Crime in the United States is out of control; with over 2 million Americans currently incarcerated, there are studies on why these people commit crimes. This has been studied for many years there are many reasons why a criminal commits a crime. While nobody knows exactly why a person would commit a crime there are some theories that have been studies since the 1800’s; for example choice theories, biological theories, and psychological theories are just a few that have been studied. Choice theories
Cesare Beccaria is considered the innovator of the choice theory. Beccaria suggests “that punishment should just be sufficient to deter criminal behavior but should not be excessive” (Schmalleger, 2009 ch.3). Choice theory explains that a person has the choice to commit a crime, for his or her own personal gains. The gain does not just have to be financial it also consists of ego boosting incentives, power status or could even be for the purpose of learning for the next crime. The criminal has the choice to plan what type of crime they will commit, locations the crime will be committed in, and commits the crime fully aware that they are violating the law, but still choose too. Biological theories
Biological theory was studied by Cesare Lombroso in the late 1800’s. Mr. Lombroso Believes that all criminals are criminals from birth, if the parents of the criminal has had previously been convicted of a crime the children will in turn become criminals. Lombroso believes that the genetic make-up of criminal will carry to their off spring even if they have been rehabilitated. Lombroso conducted his studies by interviewing known criminal families. Along with his interviews Lombroso linked evolution and criminality. With the findings of his study Lombroso figured out that a higher rate of criminals have longer arms, large lips, crooked noses, large amounts of body hair, prominent cheekbones, different...