In the past, any form of criminal activity was associated with low self-esteem that is why criminal activity was minimal. Paying for crime in the past involved ruthless means, including tying a criminal on a stone and throwing them into the river. Comparing the past with the modern world, a great contrast occurs. Criminal offenders in the modern world appear to be of very high self-esteem. The self-esteem arises from prior criminal activities, personal traits and participation in prison. It is so unfortunate because criminals do not fear the law, security officials and subsequently no regard for positive punishment.
Criminologists and psychologists have a task of establishing whether crime is in either way related to the human mind, behavior and psychology. Criminal activity is increasing by day, and the securities do not know what to attribute for especially, when correctional facilities are full of criminals. It is likely that more people are facing problems that make them vulnerable to committing crime. Crime is not justified, children also face trial, and this explains that the law does not condone crime of any kind. Unfortunately, no matter how harsh the law is, people associated with crime, are likely to offend again. Criminals with prior criminal records are also likely to involve in any form of criminal activity. A closer look at criminal offending reveals that, family, environment and early behavior problems influence criminal offending. For children, a vulnerable environment may influence the frequency of juvenile delinquency observed worldwide.
Explanation for Criminal Offending
Individual Offending is a crime committed by a single person. The individual offender is discreet and loves committing crimes alone. This paper has based information on individual offenders because individual level of crime gives insight to a wide explanation of criminal offending. General Strain Theory of Racial Differences in Criminal Offending (GST), explains several factors that go hand in hand with crime. The factors are age, sex, and community. The theory focuses on the macro level and micro control processes by evaluating emotional, and motivational social psychological processes that influence criminal behavior (Inga, Alfgeir & Robert, 2012). The theory argues that Black Americans tend to posses unique strains compared to whites, the strains are not of merit rather they lead Black Americans to experience higher levels of negative emotions (Marie, 2010). In addition, GST theory tries to explain the relation of the strains and Black Americans to crime, by considering the living conditions of Black Americans, and how these strains prompt them commit to crime. These are theoretical insights believed to be of relevance in trying to explain criminal offending.
GST theory analyses poverty and mental health, discrimination, educational attainment, family structure, and interpersonal victimization to explain racial differences in offending (Broidy, 2001). These factors consider social capital and social control process at the individual level because individual level of criminal offending, widely elaborates the race crime relationship. This theory focuses on three things. First, it is limited to Black Americans and whites not any other race. Secondly, it looks at past race and crime relationship and how GST complements these aspects (Broidy, 2001). Thirdly, it looks at the argument on Black Americans possessing unique types of strains conducive to crime, and that Black Americans are likely to cope with the strains through crime. The theory has discussed these focuses to explain general crime, violent crime, and antisocial behavior (Inga, Alfgeir & Robert, 2012).
The GST theory has offered brief discussion to every form of crime that may arise from the strain. The discussion reveals that Black Americans are likely to engage in crime because of poverty, residential mobility, and single parenthood among others. Moon, Hays & Blurton (2009), asserts that crime might arise from various strains: the strains may arise due to failure to achieve positively valued outcomes, removal of positively valued outcomes and imposition of negative stimuli (Leana & Nicole, 2010). It is also evident that the strains may result to negative emotions that trigger criminal activity.
GST explains serious crime among Black Americans when strains conducive to crime are perceived unjust for example discrimination. Most Black Americans are likely to be poor and unemployed. Research indicates that unemployment and severe poverty lead to crime (Kaufmann, 2008). Poverty is likely to lead Black Americans to strike at others or engage in robbery, which is a crime with the highest Black American offenders.
GST goes further to explain the family structure of Black Americans. Black Americans are likely to be poor parents because they live in disadvantaged neighbor hoods. The parents may turn to be harsh, or provide unbearable restraints to their children, and this contributes to strain in children. The theory asserts that Black Americans are likely to face victimization more than Whites hence experience noxious stimuli like crime victimization. Moon, Hays & Blurton (2009) asserts that victimization is a negative experience, and may induce strain that may influence revenge.
Numerous studies provide support for GST in the U.S. suggesting that some strains increase the likelihood of criminal activity. Research also suggest that GST is applicable in a cross range of societies, with selected strains affecting crime in most countries (Moon, Hays & Blurton, 2009). The finding on the research found out it was possible to generalize GST across European countries. Among few theories developed, GST provides a potential framework to determine racial offending. GST research proves that crime happened as earlier expected across the different models, and significant distinction was proved among different races. GST theory overcomes criticism by having a central role in explaining racial criminal offending.
Limitations of GST Tests on GST focused mainly on the relationship between crime and strain and failed to explore the negative emotions arising from this theory. Research reveal that strain, negative emotions and anger are all related. According to Inga, Alfgeir & Robert (2012), strain affects crime in some countries and not others and hence strain is not reliable to determine crime worldwide. Research further suggests that, it is hard to generalize GST because tests conducted, relied on the U.S.A. where it gave positive results. Research and test on viability has not extended to other countries outside the U.S.A.
In another research, revelations were that, strain appears to have larger effects in some countries than in others. Research conducted by Inga, Alfgeir & Robert (2012) found that strain appeared to be in some families and students. This indicates that generalizing GST is a problem. Some scholars argue that Black Americans appeared to have utilized some coping strategies and resources explained in the GST during the slavery period. GST focuses only on crime; it should also provide a historical insight into slavery and survival mechanism of the Black Americans.
Another test was that of the GST on terrorism. GST states that terrorism is likely to occur when people experience collective strains that are of high magnitude, with civilians affected, unjust inflicted by other powerful civilians. The mentioned strains only increase the likelihood of terrorism but do not lead to terrorism.
Sherman (1993) came up with Defiance theory (DT), which suggests that defiance occurs when four conditions passes. He suggests that for defiance to occur, four conditions, that is, when the sanction to be viewed as unfair to the offender has weak social bonds, when the sanction must be seen as stigmatizing, and when the offender subsequently rejects the shame produced by the sanction. The theory implies that individuals who possess strong social bonds are likely to receive reiterative sanctions, which rejects the act, but avoids applying the label to an individual. Reiterative sanctions are likely to produce deterrence while disintegrative sanctions reject both the act and the actor. Sherman (1993) recognizes the criminal effect of stigmatizing sanctions between individuals with weak social bonds. He also highlights the role of shame in the sanctions. Sherman perceives sanctions as unfair, and this reduces the level of compliance (Leana & Nicole, 2008). Therefore, according to how an offender perceives a sanction, its fairness and social bonding will determine the response of the individual. Some people may respond with rage if they felt the sanction stigmatized them.
Sherman (1993, p. 461) indicates that the three reactions to a punishment perceived as unfair include deterrence, irrelevance or defiance. He asserts that an individual, who feels the sanction being unfair, but accepts the shame, must expect a response of deterrence. On the other hand, an offender who denies the shame accompanied with unfair sanction should expect irrelevance. The theory reveals that, perceived unfairness of a sanction means that an offender is likely to deny shame; this will nullify the deterrent effect due to the existence of strong social bond (Cesar, Nicole, Alex & Stephen, 2010). The perceived unfair sanction might have little or no effect in the future of the offender. A Poorly bonded offender who denies shame due to unfair stigmatizing sanctions is likely to respond defiantly and is prone to criminal offending in the future.
The theory explains crime in the form of perception. It explains that, when a well-bonded…