Criminal Justice Discussion Question

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Part 1:300 word response not including the Question please

Part 2 & 3: 100 word responses

Part 1: In your opinion, are Control Theories strong enough to be considered general theories of crime? Why or why not? Is any one theory within the category better than the others? Which one and why? Be sure to use evidence from lecture/assigned readings to support your contention.

Part 2: 1. Self-control theory is a good explanation for crime in general because outside factors such as environments and child hood make a big impact on the opportunities one has to commit crimes. However, the idea that self-control is permanent is not exactly true for everyone. The theory mentions that self-control is permanent unless opportunities to commit crimes changes for the individual. The idea that peoples ways of living stays stable throughout their youth and into adult hood is not a very acceptable or trusted concept. Each individual is different. It seems that this theory is tautological because it states poor parenting causes low self-control and thus leads to crime. This is a learned cycle for the children involved because they see and learn directly from parents actions/behaviors.

2. I believe control theories are strong enough to be considers general theories of crime because it all leads back to child hood trauma i.e. bad parenting. Bad parenting can be a very significant cause of why people commit crimes and the opportunities they have to commit them. If a parent neglects a child its whole life and does not teach them morals (right from wrong) the child will grow up not knowing a difference. Research has shown that the majority of offenders in prison did not have a strong/healthy relationship with their parents. I think one specific theory from control theories that really supports this is Hirchi’s social bonding theory because it takes into account the attachment issues one may have experienced in childhood as well as the beliefs ones has. It all links back to the type of morals one was taught in childhood.

3. For people who have never committed a crime before, I think that courts should consider how harshly they are punishing someone as first time offenders. Of course, it would be ideal that they learn a lesson and do not commit crime again but this is not always the case. For people who have a criminal history and are on parole or probation, courts should introduce a rehabilitation program that allows these people to live a better life on the outside. Many offenders have a hard time getting employment after getting out of prison and there should be programs designed where they partner up with companies that hire offenders, so they will have a line of work set up for them. Society as a whole should stop holding a negative stigma over offenders who enter back into society. If someone keeps referring to an ex offender as a criminal then they will never get out of that mindset. Society should work to be more accepting of those who are trying to turn their lives around.

Part 3: Based on this weeks Control Theories I still stand by delinquent friends cause delinquent behavior (i.e., lay down with dogs, get up with fleas) because I feel like human beings are more prone to go out and look for friends that are like them. Even after learning more about the theories I more side with this idea. Also believe that human beings inherently more tabula rosa (Social Learning & Subcultural Theories) because human beings are not born to naturally behave evil more so who we are socialized around and if they are evil then they will go along not exactly knowing that it is not actually right.

In my opinion, I believe that Control Theories are more so strong enough to be considered general theories of crime. I would consider it to be a general reason as to why human beings commit delinquent acts because it goes back to human beings being born as “blank slates” and it is up to who we are surrounded by that creates who we are whether it is right ways to live or bad ways to live. Human beings can be raised normal but may have improper socialization would not understand proper cultural norms, values and laws.

A specific theory that I liked the most this week was Social Bonding Theory. I think it is a good explanation of crime because human beings are social animals and if we lack any of the four bonds that were listed then it can result in criminal acts. I can see that if a human being stops having emotional connectivity with others and stopped caring about being in pro-social activities then they can engage in the opposite and become delinquent. Then, if they lose those interest and start to not care about any good commitments and beliefs then they don’t care about any bad outcomes.

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