Criminological Theories And How They Apply To A Fictional Characters Life Essay

Length: 13 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #31389181 Related Topics: Strain Theory, Money Laundering, Russian Organized Crime, Jack The Ripper
Excerpt from Essay :

Criminological Theories and Their Application

Character History

Nikita Voronov was born in Omsk, Russia in 1977 to a 17-year-old mother named Natasha Voronov. She had gotten pregnant with him after dating a man for one month, another Russian male who was working in the mining area at the time. Once Natasha became pregnant she never saw the father of her child again who fled the town. Desiring a better life for her child, rather than the dreariness and isolation of Omsk, Natasha immigrated to Brooklyn, NY ten years later where she had some relatives living in the Coney Island neighborhood. Nikita struggled to learn English and often felt teased and isolated from the other kids at school who made fun of the fact that he couldn't communicate well with them. This led to Nikita learning how to take out his anger and aggression through violence and fighting, something that Nikita did a lot of. With the absence of a father figure, Natasha struggled to keep Nikita in line, and offered him very little discipline and structure. Natasha worked three jobs to support them, and they lived in a crowded one bedroom apartment. Natasha also worked as a topless dancer, something which helped to bring in more money, but which ended up bringing a deep sense of shame upon Nikita.

As Nikita became 15 years old, he allowed his violent tendencies to manifest in more ominous ways. Nikita became involved with a gang of Russians who were based out of Brooklyn. This gang engaged in petty thievery, vandalism, and once stole a car. It was Nikita's involvement with this gang which led to him becoming introduced and exposed to drugs, something which quickly made him become addicted, and led to his first arrest. Like many drug addicts, Nikita first experimented with marijuana which he started smoking twice a day, once during school and again after school with his friends. He then moved on to harder drugs like cocaine and crack cocaine. Nikita was arrested when he was 16 for breaking into an electronics store. He was trying to steal TVs and other forms of equipment in order to get money to buy more drugs. This arrest led to a sentencing of four months in juvenile hall. The one good thing which came out of this sentencing is that it broke him of his drug habit. Nikita was able to finish high school once he was released and began working a job in a grocery store, bagging groceries. Nikita came to the realization that with his minimum wage job he was just following in his mother's footsteps and he decided that returning to a life of crime was the best way to make a great deal of money in a short period of time.

Thus, Nikita began engaging in a series of violent crimes, such as muggings and assault, assault and battery and comparable acts. Eventually Nikita moved on to white collar crimes such as medical fraud, insurance schemes, credit card fraud, and drug dealing. Nikita got into these actions from his old gang connections which had all graduated to the Russian Mafia which was based out of Brighton Beach. Nikita was highly paranoid at this time, and would occasionally make remarks to people around him which didn't make a lot of sense; for example, he claimed that the old woman who was a florist in his neighborhood worked for a rival gang, or that the CIA was watching him from a boat in the Atlantic ocean.

Nikita was never able to demonstrate any loyalty to the Mafia, at least not the type of loyalty that they wanted. Nikita started cheating the Russian Mafia in his business dealings, something which could have easily got him killed, but which somehow did not, but which did help him build a tremendous amount of enemies. Nikita was also in the habit of using drugs again, but was somehow able to control his drug habit so that it was just recreational. One thing which alienated his relationship with his drug-dealing associates was that when Nikita was high he would often put on women's clothing and start to act flirtatious with the men around him, something that caused him to receive all sorts of pejorative nicknames. Whenever...

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However, it was the FBI who had been placing him under surveillance for over a year and which had been gathering information and evidence about a money laundering scheme which he had going on, that were the final nails in the coffin that led to his arrest at 25.

At this point, Nikita had been selling crack cocaine, regular cocaine and heroin, getting imports smuggled in from Columbia and from some of his contacts in Russia. He was selling the drugs on his own all over New York City, using his mafia connections to get to customers. He was lying to the Russian Mafia about how many drugs he was getting smuggled into the country and how much he was making at them, ultimately only paying them a fraction of what he was actually making. The Russian Mafia found out about this right before Nikita's arrest. Nikita's arrest was actually very fortunate, as the mafia already had plans for his murder during the time the FBI closed in on him. The mafia was planning on stabbing him in the stomach, disemboweling him, sending his organs to his mother and then throwing his body deep into the Atlantic Ocean. When the FBI arrested him, he was ultimately tried and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

While in prison, Nikita asked all the other prisoners to call him Stephanie quite regularly and was repeatedly kicked around and abused by other prisoners, so much so that Nikita was sometimes placed in solitary confinement for his own protection. Much of the abuse that Nikita suffered was because he was so small and petite for his age and because word quickly got around that he had wronged the mafia quite badly: this gave him a reputation of a rat, and someone who could not be trusted.

Social Disorganization

Many of the problems which pervade Nikita's life are glowing manifestation of the social disorganization and delinquency theory, one which is largely connect with the work of the sociologists Clifford Shaw and Henry McKay. Shaw and McKay made the bulk of the work revolve around the connection between crime and delinquency and how these two factors were so often a manifestation of the social, structural and cultural traits of a community and geographic area and to try to offer more concrete explanations of how deviant behavior was manifested more continually among lower class urban males (Wong, 2013). This is manifested very strongly in Nikita's life. All Nikita has ever known was oppression and poverty. His formative years were spent in the abject poverty of Omsk, which was not only poor and dreary, but which was sometimes given to social unrest, being so close as it was to the border of Kazakhstan. It was a depressing introduction to life and it only got worse: Nikita was introduced to more poverty, more struggle and more social isolation. So much of Shaw and McKay's findings make a strong case for the fact that crime and delinquency often happen to lower class males as a result of the fact that they're so disadvantaged and crime appears to be the only way out of that.

In some of their more famous research, "Shaw and McKay made rate, zone, spot, and pin maps. Their finished work presented detailed discussions of delinquency rates in Chicago over three time periods: 1900 -- 1906, 1917 -- 1923, and 1927 -- 1933. Together they produced a collection of books and reports that illustrated the distribution of delinquency rates in Chicago and that discussed the processes associated with delinquent values and traditions" (Wong, 2013). Ultimately, Shaw and McKay believed that in order to trump an inevitable fate of crime and delinquency, it all depended on being able to relocate to a residential area which was not characterized by such extreme poverty and disadvantage (csiss.org, 2013). Thus, according to this theory, in order to have developed into a law-abiding citizen, Nikita would have had to have lived in a different neighborhood: one which was at least middle class and which had low rates of crime to begin with. Shaw and McKay's theory and research evidence, aside from representing some of the first sociological explanations of delinquency and crime, also make a strong case for the inherent power of the environment, a notion which continues to influence modern psychological and sociological theory to this day. In fact, one of the most common arguments in…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Agnew, R. (2007). Great Scholars, Great Work. Retrieved from emory.edu: http://www.emory.edu/PROVOST/greatscholars_old/RobertAgnew.htm

Canevit, S. (2013). The Scholarly Development of Social Disorganization. Retrieved from Scottcanevit.net: http://scottcanevit.net/social_disorganization4.html

Cook, S. (2012, May 12). Subcultural Theories. Retrieved from Revisesociology.wordpress.com: http://revisesociology.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/3-subcultural-theories/

Fsu.edu. (n.d.). Differential Association Theory. Retrieved from Fsu.edu: http://criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/sutherland.html
Fsu.edu. (n.d.). Ronald Akers and Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from fsu.edu: http://www.criminology.fsu.edu/crimtheory/akers.htm
Savolainen, J. (n.d.). Institutional Anomie Theory. Retrieved from Oxfordbibliographies.com: http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396607/obo-9780195396607-0132.xml
Wong. (2013). Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay: The Social Disorganization Theory . Retrieved from Csiss.org: http://www.csiss.org/classics/content/66


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