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I uploaded material text choose theory unit 3, unit 4. Reference: Seigel L.J. (2011). Criminology: The core (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Examine major theories crime causation. Use materials text / resources support crime occurs theories.
Sociologists and psychologists alike have over the years attempted to create theories that explain why people commit crime in the U.S. As well as the rest of the world. There have been several questions that have lingered in the minds of the scholars one of which has been on what the major theories reveal about the patterns of crime and how they contribute to tactics of combating crime. Crime is extremely complex and trying to explain it in a single theory is next to impossible. This is because crime ranges from the savage violent acts and the white collar crimes that are highly sophisticated. On the other hand, crime can be conducted by one person alone or by a highly organized syndicate of criminals. It is for this reason that even the most sophisticated of theories has failed to explain the existence of criminal behavior. Many criminologists have debated on their opinions of the analysis of crime patterns. However, none of these has helped to give proper efforts for crime prevention Siegel, 2012()
The rational choice theory states that behavior that leads to violation of the law is produced by careful thought and planning. Offenders usually opt for crime after they consider both the personal factors such as revenge, entertainment, money and thrills and the situational factors such as security measures, presence of police and availability of a target. Before the individual decides to commit the crime, they reason to evaluate the risk of getting apprehended, the severity of the punishment that is expected, the potential benefit or value of the crime, and the ability of the criminal to succeed. When the person deems that the risks of conducting crime outweigh the rewards, they decide against the crime. Same goes for those who feel they are likely to be arrested and that the punishment is severe Siegel, 2012()
Elements of the rational choice theory
Evaluation of the risks of the crime.
The first element of the rational choice theory is that the reasoning individual evaluates the risk of the crime. Here, the criminal selects their target carefully then behaves in a systematic and selective manner. The target is chosen based on their value, potential for resale, novelty price, etc. Their decision to commit a crime is made worse by the fact the promise that they can gain easily with extremely low chance of getting caught. Under this element, when the reward is perceived to be great, the risk small, and the excitement high, there is a higher likelihood of an individual to commit a crime Siegel, 2012()
Offense-specific and offender-specific crimes.
Theorists of the rational choice theory state that crime is both offender-specific and offence-specific. When the crime is offender-specific, the criminals engage in critical thinking and plan their antisocial behavior carefully. Before they decide to commit a crime, they decide what their personal needs are, the required skills and the prerequisites for them to commit the crime successfully. They assess their skills, immediate need for valuables such as money, legitimate sources of finances other than crime, resources required to commit the crime, fear of apprehension, availability of alternative crimes and their physical capability such as strength, health and dexterity Siegel, 2012()
In offense-specific crimes, the offender reacts to selective characteristics of the criminal act. The criminals consider the probability of security devices, effectiveness of police patrols, presence of occupants, escape routes, entry and exit points, and availability of a getaway vehicle Siegel, 2012()
As a result of the in-depth risk evaluation and offender-specific and offence-specific crimes, there are other personal factors that lead to a person's decision to commit a crime. One is the economic opportunity or financial needs of the individual. When a person feels that they need money, they may embark on crime in order to get the money they so need. The second thing is an evaluation of personal traits and experiences. The personal experience of a criminal and their lifestyle are strong influences to a person's decision to conduct a crime. The expertise of a criminal also influences their capability and decision to commit a crime Siegel, 2012()
The decision of a person to commit a crime depends on their choice of place and the characteristics…[continue]
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