Classical Ideas And Crime Prevention Criminology Essay

Crime is one of the greatest challenges the world is experiencing today. Crime rates have continually shot up at the same time taking new proportions. People encountered by the troubles of completing their responsibilities under various economies, environmental situations and mental mindset often wrap up in committing crime. The contemporary society in response to the has stipulated several lawful mechanisms to arrest the situation, punishment being the utmost settled means. Punishing the scammers without identifying the root cause of the offense will not necessary solve the vice, more procedure is aimed towards establishment of the 'why' question the average person finished in committing criminal offenses. Societies have therefore developed various criminological theories intended to determine crime and criminals in fainting reasonable judgments. Each theory is applied relating to its relevance to a particular case since different criminological theories base their arguments on the different societal set up and assorted environmental/communal conditions. This paper examines the use of classical choice theories in crime prevention.


Classical choice theory dates back the 18th century and probably sorts the bases of other ideas too. This school of thought find it context by basing an argument that people are at liberty in decision making and for that reason will behave in a fashion that best suits their wishes (Ambroise, 2006). The idea attributes that crime can be curbed to better extent when there is a mobilization in societies to avert from getting affected by their wishes and pleasures in taking an action course. Criminal offense can be included by making certain abuse outweighs the pleasures produced from the crime committed (Siegel, 2008). This idea therefore, is a framework that tries to comprehend the behavior of individuals, the reason why that drives them in committing criminal offenses and various approaches to prevent a person to make choices that leads to crime.

This theory was first developed in the 18th century by Western philosophers who have been criticizing the corrupt and authoritative arbitrary mother nature of these legal system. The ideas about people and the legal behavior in identifying crime emerged up when these philosophers were changing the legal system thus referring it as choice theory. Alternatively classical theory is based on arguments that regulations shouldn't be discriminative and should be applied equally between all (Cullen & Agnew, 2006).

The other aspect of the classical and alternatives theory is floor to the actual fact that humans have the capacity to control these choices. The fear to the confrontation of the results resulting from their habits governs their mode of conduct and for that reason refrains from legal activities. "Human beings have the ability to analyze situations with regard to their positive outcomes and their potential negatives. In case the risks involved in engaging in certain habit are significantly less than the huge benefits, then an individual will probably commit that crime"(Siegel, 2004).

According to the philosophers, people work in a logical manner and choose towards their actions that gives them the greatest pleasure and least pain. The concept is equally applicable to the people who get excited about criminal activity. The traditional theory supports that "Delinquent patterns is a logical choice created by a encouraged offender who perceives the probability of gain outweighs any identified punishment or damage" (Siegel & Senna, 2004, p. 61). It is therefore a person's choice to commit a criminal offense after concerns of the huge benefits and possible effects final result. The characteristics traits of the offender, dynamics of the offence, specific factors and situation may have an impact on his/her decision to a spot. Psychological status of a person with regards to emotions, tension and other external pressures is thus considered a contributory factor towards an individual committing a offense (Verma, 2007, p. 2020).

The theory advocates an individual is urged to commit a criminal offense on opportunity supply. The classical theory helps to understand demographics, victimization and lifestyle of a process whereby the offender and the sufferer touch one another. Experts have discovered aspects like being unmarried, male, leading an active lifestyle and frequenting bars can raise the chance of offense committing (Verma, 2007, p. 2020).

People can opt to use unlawful means in acquiring what they want to achieve if the results aren't severe set alongside the benefits from the crime. The society must ensure that punishments accorded to crooks are severe if it's to achieve visible results in seeking to discourage unlawful activities (Adler, Mueller, & Laufer, 2004, p. 59). With regards to this, penalties for committing legal acts must be known to the public, the punishment passed down must be swift and certain (Cullen & Agnew, 2006).

In the early 1700s, the Europe legal system was in disarray. The laws were open to interpretation and hazy where in fact the judges were accorded with a great deal of power which they misused in interpreting laws and regulations to match their pursuits. A charges for a particular crime assorted depending on who was at the obtaining end. Equality in legislation application did not apply: Some criminals could go unpunished for a offense committed while others received a life word for the same (Cullen & Agnew 2006). It experienced become the order of the day for the societies in the top course bribing the judges to move free for offences dedicated while the poor without resources to bribe their way to avoid it received unconditional harsh punishments. Petty offences like theft resulted to stiff punishments amounting to torture, life imprisonment or murder (Cullen & Agnew, 2006).

These legal shortcomings fueled a fresh wave concentrating on radical reforms in the middle 18th hundred years. In the year the entire year 1740, Fredric II of Prussia terminated torture to inmates and death word for burglary offences in the year 1743 (Ambroise, 2006), a move that was welcomed by many Western philosophers. Hobbes, a philosopher thought that people in a natural way go after their own interest and in the course harm each other. Further, he asserted that rational individuals quit some flexibility to the state of hawaii willingly so that regulations could be proven which placed limitations in order to avoid this harm from developing (Cullen & Agnew, 2006): A philosophical thought that led changes to criminal justice.

Many criminology experts have contributed towards development of the traditional and choice theories to make stand relevant to the ever-growing problems bordering the field. Much issue has rested on the way of measuring punishment a specific offence should carry. "The purpose of punishment is crime deterrence, not interpersonal revenge. Certainty and swiftness alternatively than intensity in consequence best secures this goal (Clear & Cole, 2003, p. 33). The particular level scale of consequence should correspond to the type of crime, in a proportionate system. It is because criminals are rational in the sense that they compute the benefits and costs a tendencies before action before deciding the action. The idea of Beccaria's proportionate consequence is based after this assumption and even this forms the foundation of our current legal justice system (Verma, 2007, p. 202).

Classical choice theory emphasizes on the utilization of the resources open to reduce possible offense incident by advocating direct solutions to the condition arising from offences. The verdict applied to the offender is meant to discourage further engagement in similar or associated offences. By upsetting the total amount between the benefits vs. costs, criminal offenses occurrence is found to lessen (Campie, 2003).

Classical and choice theory software to crime

This theory finds application up to date. The current strategy is more focused on crime prevention. Insurance plan makers still develop more approaches specifically those that contain grounds with information and are results founded which includes: policing initiatives, weapon control techniques, increased incarceration and youngsters substance abuse and violence lowering strategies (Schuck, 2005, pp. 448-49). The following are some examples where this theory confirms application.

In an article entitled "Giving students what they need, " inner and external desire strategies in the school room are reviewed. Student determination is one of the input most needed for success. Educators wish for their students to be determined since motivated students perform better. Inability to the, students will possibly do poor work or no just work at all, learn little, and sometimes show reckless or unruly conducts. You will discover two types of motivation-external and inner. "Exterior inspiration, the proverbial carrot, and stay way predominates not only generally in most classrooms but also in the world" (Erwin, 2003, p. 20). Nonetheless, this process is much less successful as inside inspiration since it stimulates students to work hard limited to rewards. The promised incentive must increase once a habit is achieved. Students do not struggle to excel for the right reasons.

Internal desire is a wiser choice for educators to utilize with students since it helps to fulfill some of the students' basic needs. Choice theory by William Glasser explores inner motivation and its own impact on interactions. "According to Choice Theory, five basic needs constitute the source of internal inspiration and guide all habit" (Erwin, 2003, p. 21).

Survival is one of the essential needs our students have to have met. The need for getting the survival need satisfied is that it allows individuals to feel a sense of order and security. Teachers can help fulfill this need in the class by developing structured and consistent school room techniques, allowing students to obtain snacks and refreshments, and creating guidelines that allow a safe and respected environment (Erwin, 2003, p. 21).

Choice ideas are on the list of fastest growing theories in social research today. Many sociologists and political experts defend the claim that logical choice theory provides the foundation for a unified and thorough theory of sociable patterns. Rational choice theory is recognized from other ideas since it emphasise on the fact all actions are calculative and logical. All cultural action is seen as rationally encouraged, as instrumental action, however a lot of it may look like irrational or non-rational. Choice Theory would be most appropriate in the reduction or control of crime.

According to the decision Theory, law-violating habit should be looked at as a meeting occurring when an offender chooses to risk violating regulations after considering his or her own personal situation (need for money, personal beliefs, learning experiences) and the subsequent results. Other factors a potential criminal would consider includes: how well a target is protected, how affluent a nearby is and exactly how efficient the local police happen to be. Before choosing to commit a criminal offenses, the reasoning legal evaluates the risk of apprehension, the seriousness of the expected consequence, the worthiness of the unlawful enterprise, and his / her immediate need for unlawful gain (Erwin, 2003).

The Choice Theory transfer focus on deviant activity or the work of participating in criminal. The issue becomes, what can be done to help make the act of offense or deviance less attractive to a person, and how can criminal offenses or deviant behavior be prevented? The theory claims that offense reduction or at least criminal offense reduction may be achieved through guidelines that convince criminals to disengage from unlawful activities, wait their activities, or avoid a particular focus on. Strategies that are relevant to this perspective includes: aim for hardening, deadbolts, self-defense skills, neighborhood and viewing programs that are against the law (Siegel, 2008).

The theory is one of the least complicated explanations for just about any action and involves a simple cost-benefit examination. A violent specific gains some benefit from either threatening assault or operating out violently. If she or he does not get, or dread receiving, some significant punishment, then he or she is more likely to do something on his / her drive to act out in a violent manner (Ferguson, 2009).

Crime is seductive and opens the entranceway of opportunity. People may rationally choose crime since it provides them with subconscious and social benefits and can help them solve problems. Choice Theory root base derive from the classical university of criminology, by Ceasare Beccaria, who looked at that criminal offenses is logical and can be avoided by punishment that is swift, certain and severe enough to deter criminal offenses. This has business lead to a more contemporary version of classical theory, predicated on intelligent thought processes and legal decision-making; today this is referred to as the logical choice approach to crime causation (Siegel, 2007).

This theoretical point of view shows that: people have free will to choose unlawful or conventional habits; people choose to commit criminal offenses for reasons of greed or personal need; and criminal offense can be manipulated only by worries of legal sanctions (Siegel, 2007).

Offenders choose criminal offenses after considering both personal-money, revenge, thrills, entertainment-and situational factors, such as target availability, security methods and police presence (Siegel, 2007).

The choice theorists view crime as offense- and offender-specific; and that a range of personal factors condition visitors to choose offense; and the decision to commit criminal offenses regardless of its product, is set up by where it occurs and the circumstances revolving the offender and the surroundings (Siegel, 2007).

New and tougher laws and regulations are now being put in spot to bring the crime rate down. With this representation, the U. S general public insurance plan of 1980 created a required prison sentences for drug offenders. Astonishingly, the prisons' inhabitants swelled up with minors constituting a significant body (Schmallager, 2006). Despite liberal anguish, conventional view of offense control shaped legal justice for an extended period. Most People in the usa that were passionate competitors of abortion on the ground that it requires human being life, became ironically ardent followers of the fatality penalty (Siegel, 2008) The difficult attitude measures was overwhelmingly reinforced owing the actual fact that while the prisons were getting overcrowded, offense was on the other hands was noted to be on the drop. These developments noticed the classical theories take another advanced dimension. The newer methodology is dependant on intelligent thought techniques and legal decision making. Experts in criminology ascertain that the choice theory is in ways different from the initial classical theory which posed scammers as individuals who maximized their pleasure and reduced pain. These experts claim that if folks are caught while committing crime, it is because they are sluggish thinkers and are not perfect in their decision making. The causative factors influencing a crime are therefore long to thought and emotion processes. Social marriage, environmental characteristics, individual traits and features are also found to impact thieves in decision making. Human behavior to make their selections is therefore willful and established (Schmallager, 2006).

The latest improvements have described criminals as people who reveal profile and ambitions just like the normal people but have opted to make use of shortcuts in attaining their goals. They have got conventional citizens' values strive for success, material attainment and work hard. Phillipe Bourgois in his research towards crack traders in Harlem discovered that criminal business lead a life where they were mobile, and attempting to make their ends meet: They only commit crime as a decision to make use of an illegal course in obtaining their goals which were regarded elusive using the legal way (Siegel, 2008).

Crime has become attractive when an individual believes that its results is more beneficial compared to the cost. Their is a inclination for individuals engaging in a crime when they have a preceding information that other who determined a similar crime made considerable successes and are successful owing a criminal offense previous committed. It's quite common that crime will not pay. Small but significant subsets of bad guys earn approximately $50, 000 every year on criminal offenses. Such success is an encouraging factor to potential criminals. Offenders are however less likely to be inclined to committing offense if they perceive that their future earnings from criminal functions will be low and legal opportunities that can generate profits are available. Within this sense, rational choice is a function of a person's perceptions of standard alternatives and opportunities (Siegel, 2008). The various specialists therefore have to keep checking the occupation level requirements and creating more opportunities with considerable remunerations. The work offers should be attractive so that it captures many individuals who would possibly engage in crime if there have been no such offers.

Criminals have a tendency to adapt the logical selection of time and host to their crimes. Criminals for example choose working between 9A. M and 11A. M and in the mid day, when parents are either working or dropping off or picking their kids from college. They avoid Saturdays when most family members are at home, and the morning hours of Sunday. Chapel hours are considered the best for weekend burglaries. Bad guys are known to identify their goals hobbies so as to reach when the family members are out for such outdoor interests. These activities are designed to create minimal possible likelihood of being found (Siegel, 2008). Family living in close neighborhoods can restricts the access to their homes by disconnecting the subdivision from the adjacent ones and install walkways to locations safe to pedestrians, also to create bounds to them.

Evidence of rational choice may also be found in the way criminals choose their focuses on locations. It's been known that thieves avoid free located buildings as you can find likelihood of law enforcement encircling them. They choose goals that often do cash business like pubs, supermarkets and restaurants. Burglars appear to screen car and pedestrian traffic and avoid busy roadways. Instead, they choose part homes largely those located near traffic equipment and lighting, or those surrounded by wooded areas. Most criminals choose their community where they can be conversant with the landscape and access streets. New location is only chosen when the prospective is worth and regulations enforcers aren't identified to be very vigilant (Siegel, 2008). It is strongly recommended that residents adopt the method of natural surveillance that advocates that: door is fully illuminated from exterior and windows to be laced strategically once and for all awareness. If proper lamps system is located along sidewalks and the complete backyard in generals, thieves and burglars would lack the ability of stunning in undetected. Commercial areas can be designed such a means that, check-out counters are found in entry of the stores visible from the outside enabling the employees to view outside activities. General population entrances can be designated with a panorama, architecture and visual to designate sidewalks, parking areas and design loading zones independently with chosen delivery time.


Classical choice ideas concludes that the decision to engage in a legal behavior is based on the offenders own hobbies. Hence, it is in position to assert that a lot of offenders react rationally and in their personal needs. With this understanding of your choice making device behind committing criminal offenses and with regards to criminal justice, experts might be able to reduce criminal offense level to a grater amount. This can only be performed by making criminal offense less attractive and the consequence more serious, swift to justice so that potential bad guys get discouraged in interesting with the serves. Crime prevention may be used to propel the organizations dependable in enforcing city and state rules to help identify trouble spots and properties that are crime hazards or could become future criminal offense risks. Factors that attract crime and violence like inappropriate zoning, trash accumulation should be taken out to reduce future victimization.

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