Theories of Crime

Criminologists world over are concerned with developing theories in their pursuit to explain causes of crime. A theory is any logical arrangement of ideas and views attempting to enlarge people’s knowledge and understanding. Most criminology approaches define crime as a deviation from a set of criminal codes. These theories explain the causes of crime and propose policies to reduce crime (Coser, 2006). This paper focuses on the strain theory of crime and the role played by correction in crime prevention.

This theory tries to enlighten causes of crime in a societal context. It states that individuals turn to crime as a result of being subjected to strain. There are basically three cases responsible for the criminal behavior of individuals and the society at large.  The first cause is goal blockage where individuals accuse others of trying to frustrate their efforts in achieving their goals. These goals can be thought of as economic gain, political ambition or status and independence form parental control by adolescents. Once subjective to strain as a result of failure to achieve these goals, the offended often reciprocate by engaging in criminal activities such as stealing, drug abuse among others as an alternative to regain their lost glory (Socyberty, 2007).

The second cause of strain is deprivation of value of such importance to an individual or a group of individuals. In particular men are associated with certain status n the society such that when these statuses are denied they resort to crime to show their frustration. Research shows that individuals leaving in extremely low conditions of life from developing countries commit crime in their endeavor to earn a living. On the other hand those in the middle class always want to uphold their status even if it means using illegal means to maintain that status. The third cause of strain according to this theory is the exposure of an individual to an external negative stimulus. Several research studies have shown that crime has thrived as a result of a number of negative conditions such negative peer pressure, strained relationship with parents and teachers, child abuse and rape among others. In conclusion, this theory proposes a number of policy measures to reduce the prevalence rate of strain and consequently reducing crime. These measures include providing more opportunities for people during policy formulation such that they are not aggrieved (Socyberty, 2007).

The second part of this paper examines the role played by correction in criminology.  The following measures become prudent in trying to explain the role of correction in criminal justice.  The first measure is the application of justice where the quality of treatment given to individuals is based upon their rights and merits relevant to their conduct. The second measure is securing communities in order to reduce crime. This means protecting communities against threats from criminal groups so that they can thrive. Another measure is to reinstate victims of crime which involves empowering the community to help these victims complete again. The last but not the least is the attempt to promote no criminal alternatives to ensure that effects of punishment are kept minimal as possible. This includes ensuring that imprisoned offenders are given opportunity to engage in activities which are productive and justifiable (DiIulio, 1993).

Reference:

Coser, L. (2006): Crime Theories and the Field of Criminology. Retrieved on 14th February,

2009 from http://www.apsu.edu/oconnort/1010/1010lect02.htm.

Socyberty (2007): Theories of Crime. Retrieved on 14th February, 2009 from

http://www.socyberty.com/Sociology/Theories-of-Crime.154303.

DiIulio, J. Rethinking the Criminal Justice System: Toward a New Paradigm. Retrieved on

14th February, 2009 from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/evaluation/guide/documents/documentI.html.