Discussion and Results Chapter: Criminology M8D1: Assessing Criminological Theories

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[. . .] Some people get locked up in prisons because of committing minor crimes while others for committing major crimes such as murder. As these criminals interact, those that committed minor crimes learn of how to commit major crimes. This does not help in rehabilitating the prisoner because once he is out of prison, he commit major crimes.

Another theory is the strain theory, which states that people will commit crime if there is a discrepancy between societal goals and the means of achieving these goals (Cernkovich 2000). Many of the people who serve time in correctional facilities are adults who are bread winners their family. When they get locked up, it leads to a situation where the family cannot sustain themselves. This leads to the members of the family engaging in crime to satisfy their needs. I do agree with the policy recommendations because they form a basis in which crime levels will decrease in the community while at the same time decongesting the number of inmates in prisons. People who commit different levels of crime should serve in different levels of prisons. Those that commit minor crimes should not be put together with those that commit hardcore crimes.

If property criminals were put in a different status from personal criminals would the overall incarceration rate change or would a change in the length of stays affect the overall incarceration rate? If you have a habitual property offender that continually has to be processed through the judicial system aren't you causing the same issue of instability within the household no matter what level of incarceration is called upon? I think the revolving door could cause more issues than it would solve. Having someone come in and out of your life is no way to live.

If the American Judicial System were to put property criminals in a different state from personal criminals, the overall effect on the rate of incarceration would be that it would decrease. Putting property criminals in a different status means that property criminals would not transfer their criminal skills to other criminals of another level. This would decrease the likelihood that personal criminals would not practice any form of property crime after they are released from prison. A change in the length of stay of criminals has a direct effect in determining the rate of incarceration. A short stay in the prison system would not be effective in rehabilitating criminals. A habitual property offender is likely to practice property crime after release. A lengthy stay behind bars is effective because it increases the time required for the criminal to rehabilitate. When people stay long periods behind bars, it directly influences their decision to commit crime after they are released. A person may feel that practicing crime after release from prison would not be right since he knows that he will serve a long time in prison.

The problem existed prior to the increased attention placed on drugs and violent crimes, but now it is only reinforced by the higher incarceration rate. Higher stressors on the community cause higher incarceration rates as well as policy changes. What will it really take to fix it?

Increase in the rate of incarceration is not at all effective in decreasing the rate of violent crimes and drug abuse in the community. An increase in incarceration only prevents criminals and drug abusers from associating with other citizens but does not change a person from believing that crime is the only way out of poverty. The best way to fix this problem would be to put these offenders in rehabilitation facilities where they will receive treatment. Many prisons only lock up offenders but do not offer rehabilitation to these offenders. These offenders should be first rehabilitated so that they can stop their unlawful behaviors. The government should see to it that reformed criminals get employment so that they cannot resort to crime to satisfy their monetary needs. Effective rehabilitation would be an excellent strategy than increasing the rate of incarceration of criminal offenders.


Bernard, Thomas J., Jeffrey B. Snipes, & Alexander L. Gerould. (2010). Vold's Theoretical Criminology (6th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.

Cernkovich, S., Giodano, P., & Rudolph, J. (2000).Race, Crime and the American Dream.Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 37,131-170.

Clear, T.R., Cole, G.F., & Reisig, M.D. (2012).… [END OF PREVIEW]

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