Crime Control Theory Understanding Criminal Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

Within American communities with the highest crime rates, the dynamic relationship between motivated criminals and the myriad opportunities perpetually available in their communities contributes to a continuing cycle of multigenerational crime. Moreover, the simultaneous domination of criminal gang culture in conjunction with patterns of social and institutional responses to crime in poor communities on the part of the government also greatly exacerbated the problem.

The Role of Parents, Society, and Government Institutions

The emphasis on apprehending career criminals and prosecuting crimes after the fact instead of directing attention to the root causes of crime in society is likely responsible for the current inability of California (and authorities in many other states) to make substantial progress toward reducing the numbers of individuals who are criminally inclined in society. More than sufficient empirical research and anecdotal information have documented the fundamental importance of directing social services to single-parent families in need (Roback Morse, 2003) and to providing children with realistic alternatives to criminal deviance before their exposure to crime in general and the criminal gang mentality in particular (Pinizzotto, Anthony, Davis, et al., 2007: 3-4). Unfortunately, as long as California continues to fight crime primarily through emphasizing law enforcement attention to criminal activity instead of a comprehensive sociological prevention strategy, it is unlikely that those efforts will achieve their goal of reducing crime in society.

Retrospective Project Summary

Crime in society is not effectively reduced through a focus on apprehension, detection, and prosecution. Rather, genuinely effective crime reduction requires an entirely different approach that emphasizes the resolution of sociological causes of social deviance and the evolution of the criminal mindset in the individual. In that regard, the money currently devoted to building more prisons and housing more inmates would be much better spent on providing social services and realistic alternate options for inner city youth in particular.

This project provided a valuable opportunity to review the manner in which statistical data and economic records help differentiating inefficient approaches to resolving social problem from more sensible approaches and for identifying the connection between variables, root causes, and specific social problems. One of the most valuable lessons of this project (substantively) is that even initiatives that enjoy substantial support from governmental authorities and legislators may not necessarily reflect the best conceptual analysis of social problems and their respective solutions.

The principal practical application of this project includes a much better understanding of the specific problems associated with crime in the U.S. And its underlying causes. It also provided me with increased confidence in my ability to synthesize relevant information to contribute productively to an intellectual discussion of the causes of crime and the essential requirements of an effective crime reduction strategy.

References

Macionis, John J.

2003

Sociology 9th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Pinizzotto, Anthony J., Davis, Edward F., and Miller, Charles E. III.

Street Gang Mentality: A Mosaic of Remorseless Violence and Relentless Loyalty. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 76(9): 1-7.

Roback Morse, Jennifer

2003

When the family fails, the state steps in. Electronic document, http://www.hoover.org/publications/policyreview/3448276.html, accessed November 16.

Schmalleger, Frank…

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