Routine Activity Theory

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Theory Pages: 5 (1037 words) Published: October 9, 2011
Routine Activities Theory
Autumn Eliason
Keiser University
CCJ1010- Criminology
Michael Teague, MS
September 16, 2011

This paper will define and explain the meaning of Routine Activities Theory. It will explain how it can effect or change everyday life, lifestyles, and crime involved. It will also show the three factors involved in crime and victimization, and give examples of each of the three factors. It will show similarities between routine activities theory and lifestyles approach. An example of how someone may become a victim to the theory. All information in this report was collected from a series of books required for the Criminal Justice Program at Keiser University of Lakeland. Routine Activities Theory is a basic explanation on why crime occurs.

Table of Contents

AbstractPage 2
Routine Actives Theory definition Page 4
Suitable TargetsPage 4
Capable Guardians Page5
Why Crime is Committed Page 5-6
Routine Activities Theory and Lifestyle Approach Similarities Page 6-7 Example of Routine Activities Theory Page 7
ConclusionPage 8
ReferencesPage 9

There are various social theories that are learned through the Criminal Justice program, and how they apply to crime and victims of crime. With all those theories out there that give explanations on why or how to keep crime from being committed, in my opinion, the Routine Activities Theory (RAT) explains it the best. Routine Activities Theory, developed by Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus K. Felson (1979). Routine Activities Theory defined is the view that victimization results from the interaction of three everyday factors: the availability of suitable targets, the absence of capable guardians, and the presence of motivated offenders. Illustration 1: Routine Activities Theory

Criminology: The Core, Fourth Edition by Larry J. Siegel Page.73 The first condition for crime is that a suitable target must be available. There are three categories of a target. Targets can either be: A person

an object
a place

No matter how suitable a target is, a crime won't occur unless a capable guardian is absent and a likely offender is present. The second condition is that a capable guardian who would discourage a crime from taking place is absent. A capable guardian can be anything, either a person or thing, these can be formal or informal. Some examples of a capable guardian would be: Police patrol

neighborhood watch groups
security guards
good lighting and alarm systems
staff or co-workers
friends and neighbors
When a suitable target is unprotected by a capable guardian, there is a greater risk of a crime will take place. Likely offenders have many different reasons for committing crime and possible reasons why they commit offenses varies. Examples of some of the reasons people may commit crime are: Gain/Need

to feed their drug habit

east to get away and with great rewards
Society/ Experience/ Environment
living where crime is acceptable
peer pressure
thrill or pleasure
lack of education
poor employment or unemployed
family background or history
mental illness
poor housing or community
rebellion against authority
prejudice against certain minority or ethnic groups
belief that crime in general or particular crimes are not wrong as a protest on a matter of principle
An individual may be willing to commit crime if given the opportunity, but if that opportunity never arrives, the crime will not occur. Ones routine may influence the amount of exposure one has with potential offenders, how valuable or vulnerable they or their property is as a target, and how well guarded they or their property may be. Routine activities theory and the lifestyle approach are similar in a number of ways. Agreeing that a person's living arrangements can affect the risk of being a victim and those...

References: Law Enforcement in the 21st Century- Second Edition, Copyright 2008, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc.
Criminology: The Core, Fourth Edition, Copyright2011, 2008 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning
Taylor, Robert W
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