Criminal Acts and Choice Theories

Topics: Criminology, Sociology, Crime Pages: 4 (1201 words) Published: July 28, 2013
Criminal Acts and Choice Theories

CJA 490- Survey of Criminal Justice

In society, people always want to point a finger as to who did what and why. For centuries, theorists have come up with ideas to try to identify and explain why people commit crimes. What causes them the break the law, even when they know the repercussions for their actions. Many theories have been brought up, but only a few have surpassed time and are approved by society and law enforcement. These choice theories hypothesize on why how and why people commit crimes, they are also accepted through our society and they affect law enforcement as well as the government.  

Criminal Acts and Choice Theory

It is very easy, now a days with the media, to glamorize crimes and certain cases that have created a spectacle. Many of these famous criminal cases always question the motive of the crime. With this question, come many answers, some leading to theories as to why this particular person would commit the crime they did. Theories try to give an explanation to a cause and link and explain cause and effect. In Criminology, choice theories attempt to explain the reasons a person decided to engage in certain behaviors that caused they to break the law. Some of these theories, such as the rationale theory and sociological theories have a great impact on society as well have affected the criminal justice system.

According to Frank Schmalleger, “some theories of human behavior help us understand why certain people engage in acts that society defines as criminal or deviant, while others do not” (78). Once a theory is implemented it must be tested, with some of these trial an error tests come results thus either proving the theory or discrediting it due to the results.

Some theories that can be in today’s society and thinking are Classical and Neoclassical theories. Within these theories, the belief is that the offender that committed the crime did so out of his own free will....
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