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Analyzing Criminal Justice ProfessionalInterview

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Criminal Justice Professional

How do certain individuals choose to commit a crime? Do they actually take into consideration the advantages as well as the dangers involved? Why do certain individuals commit crimes in spite of the known repercussions? Why are other individuals never involved in crimes, regardless of how desperate their situation is? Criminology refers to the study of crime and criminals conducted by experts known as criminologists. Criminologists actually analyze what leads to crime and how it may be stopped. All through history, individuals have attempted to explain what leads to abnormal social character, including crime. Attempts to manage "bad" behavior extend back to ancient Babylon's Code of Hammurabi, 3,700 years ago. During the 17th century, European colonists in North America viewed sin and crime as being similar. They trusted that evil spirits possessed those that did not abide by the rules or conform to the social norms. In order to sustain social order in the settlements, people that exhibited antisocial behavior were quickly dealt with and frequently cruelly. By the 12st century, criminologists considered a broad, disparate factors to clarify why an individual would be involved in crimes. These entailed physiological, economic, biological, as well as social factors. Normally a combination of these particular factors causes an individual to commit crime. Some causes of committing crime are greed, jealousy, anger, revenge, or even pride. Various individuals choose to commit a crime and they cautiously arrange everything in advance to raise gain and decrease the risks. These particular individuals are making decisions regarding their behavior; others even view a life of crime as being better than a regular job- trusting that crime results to better rewards, thrill, as well as admiration- at least till they are caught. Other individuals get an adrenaline rush whenever they successfully conduct a dangerous crime. Others carry out crime on impulse, out of terror or even anger ( JRank, 2015).

This paper attempts to understand the outlook of a Criminal Justice expert on why individuals commit crimes and compare these outlooks with developed theories of criminology.

Identifying the Interviewee

Positions: Retired senior special agent for the Department of Homeland Security (initially recognized as U.S. Customs Service), having worked for more than 25 years in the federal agent positions, starting with seven years as a special agent for the Naval Investigative Service (presently known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, NCIS). Posts held entail a Regional Program Manager- Customs Office of Internal Affairs (involving oversight of personnel security operational security, information security, threat analysis, as well as physical security for the Southwest Region of Customs), supervisory position and technical investigative specialist position with NCIS, Program Manager- Acting Customs Attache, Joint Drug Intelligence Group- Panama, Acting Regional Coordinator Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, and Child Exploitation Coordinator.

Why do people commit crimes?

There are several theories; in fact there exists a whole science that addresses this percept of criminology. There exist no easy answers to an intricate question. Individuals commit crime since they find themselves in circumstances whereby committing a crime is simple. Simply put, criminal behavior is similar to non-criminal behavior in the sense that it is a conduct which individuals deliberately decide to be involved in (individuals are not obliged to commit crime). And, the reason that they decide to resort to criminal actions is that they think it shall be less industrious and more rewarding compared to non-criminal behavior (Criminal Justice, 2015). This could be associated with the idea that in a situation where the chances of being caught committing a crime is great, individuals shall not commit crime. This is due to the fact that the risks overpower the reward.

What will you say about people who commit crime knowing they will be caught?

I actually think that those chosen few are an exemption. However, it has to be taken into consideration that the punishment for being caught in the act was considered prior to getting involved in such crimes.

Criminological theory- Rational choice theory

Rational choice theory concentrates on the aspects of criminal behavior. It is founded on economic theory derived from the utilitarian tradition. The theory presumes that the actions of man are founded on "rational" choices- that is to say that they are informed about the likely repercussions of that specific action (Akers, 1990). Rational/situational choice theory places emphasis on the percept that society is capable of achieving a high level of crime prevention by concentrating on the situational aspects that affect certain kinds of criminal behavior. In accordance to the rational choice theory, a criminal rationally chooses not only the crime to conduct, but also the target of the crime. In other words, the target is not a random choice. Rational choice theory is amongst the integrated classical theories that have merged the positivists and classical outlook to crime as well as crime prevention founded on the rationality and freedom of choice of an individual. An integrated theory is one whereby two or more of the main criminology theories are utilized together in a new theoretical outlook. Choice theory places emphasis on the idea the ability of a person to choose is merged with positivism and empiricism, allowing criminologists to assess and understand how one's decisions are influenced by the situational factors (Explanations for Criminal Behavior, 2015).

How does the theory help you to think more clearly about the interviewee's response and professional experience?

From the response provided by the interviewee, and insight obtained from the theory, it could be presumed that in spite of offender motivation, elimination of the chance to conduct crime, it is argued, shall decrease the frequency of the crime. Supporters of the efficiency of formal surveillance argue that prospective criminals shall be discouraged by the threat of being seen, and suggest that participation in crime is the result of a career choice, it is a chosen manner of life, a manner generating your own income, one of a variety of options. There exists no need for intricate cultural and structural biological debates (Burke, 2009).

RCT's position is that criminal behavior is similar to non-criminal behavior in the sense that, it is a behavior which individuals deliberately decide to undertake (individuals are not compelled to commit a crime). The reason why they decide to conduct the criminal act is that they think it shall be less costly and more rewarding for them than non-criminal behavior. Let us now carefully decipher this last statement. RCT actually assumes the position that criminals are not obliged to commit crime due to some extraordinary motivation: Criminals do not possess quite different personalities compared to the personalities of non-criminals; neither arethey socialized into a cultural system or a criminal belief whose norms need crime (Cornish & Clarke, 1986; Kubrin et al., 2009). In RCT both criminals and non-criminals choose their respective conducts on the basis of a rational consideration of the costs of the gains of the intended action. The rational choice criminal, then, is actually self-interested and rational and decides to be involved in criminal behavior on the basis of his/her evaluation that it shall be lucrative or rewarding, or even fulfill a particular need better than a non-criminal conduct (Criminal Justice, 2015).

What points did the interviewee make that the theory fails to explain?

The theory does not explain why certain individuals that cannot make rational decisions conduct crimes. The interview reveals that individuals conduct crimes from rational as well as properly thought out logic. However, various people not capable of utilizing proper logic still go ahead and commit crime. In spite of the presumptions upon which rational decisions are founded on in the classical economic model, the literature in criminology puts emphasis on the restrictions together with limitations on rationality via which absence of data, values, structural limitations, as well as other "non-rational" influences (Akers, 1990).

Conclusion

RCT assumes that there exists no compelling or even strong motivation for getting involved in criminal acts; rather, crime takes place when an individual rationally perceives that a criminal course of action possesses more advantages and minimal costs compared to a non-criminal alternative course of action. Hence RCT theories believe that criminals are rational enough to calculate the costs and gains of both conventional and criminal behavior and that they shall generally pick the conduct having the most utility. This does not imply that individuals gather all significant data prior to making a decision, nor that they accurately weigh the particular costs and gains of committing crime or not committing crime. RCT supposes that individuals are rational enough and that they are actually influenced by what they perceive to be the advantages of certain courses of action.

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References

JRank. (2015, November 20). Causes of Crime - Explaining Crime, Physical Abnormalities, Psychological Disorders, Social And Economic Factors, Broken Windows, Income And Education. Retrieved from Jfrank: http://law.jrank.org/pages/12004/Causes-Crime.html#ixzz3s3hdArti

Akers, R. L. (1990). Rational Choice, Deterrence, and Social Learning Theory in Criminology: The Path Not Taken. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 81(3).

Burke, R. H. (2009). An Introduction to Criminological… [END OF PREVIEW]

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