Scientific research on the etiology of crimes has its roots in the ancient times and is guided by theory. There are several theories in criminology aimed at seeking the causes of crimes, but a good one provides a strong foundation enabling to understand and interpret the manifestation of behavior. In fact, understanding why an individual commits a delinquency, one can formulate the strategies to control the crime or rehabilitate the criminal. Some theories attribute to the person, while others believe that it is the responsibility of the community to ensure that its citizens do not deviate by providing them with a secure and safe place to live. The following paper will discuss the application of the criminological theories in addressing the issue of crime rates increase.
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Various theories try to explain the increase in crime rates in modern society. For instance, the choice theory implies that people tend to follow their selfishness and decide to engage in delinquencies having evaluated the possible threats compared to the rewards (Le Blanc, 2005). Strain theory argues that most individuals have similar ambitions, but some lack the abilities or opportunities to succeed in life. Hence, those who are unfortunate to attain the expectations of the society through the approved ways, like being industrious and persistence, may try to accomplish excellence through the crime (Le Blanc, 2005). Social control theory in turn explains that many individuals would turn into criminality, if there were no constraints that the community imposes via such establishments as workstations, churches, and clans (Neubacher, 2006). Lastly, labeling theory states that deciding which actions are offensive is the prerogative of the powerful individuals in the society, and when they label a person a law-breaker they thus contribute a lot in their crime engagement (Neubacher, 2006). As the result, the people labeled as offenders are left with fewer chances of achieving success in life, which encourage them to continue their criminal activities.
Theoretical Concepts and Arguments
A sound understanding of the concepts and arguments in each theory can help to describe the issue of the increased crime rate in our community. In choice theory, the argument is that individuals make decisions of engaging in delinquency if the rewards are bigger than the risks (Le Blanc, 2005). The risks, in this case, would mean being caught by the police, imprisoned, or even killed. Hence, the decreased security in this area creates a suitable environment for engaging in crime. The concept behind strain theory implies that not all people are lucky to be successful in life through the mere involvement in morally right activities. Hence, most of them resort to a crime as a way of achieving success in life (Cale & Lussier, 2011). Social control theory explains the increase in crime rate through the lack of social controls that the society places in the institutions such as clans and churches (Neubacher, 2006). According to the theory of labeling, classifying people as wrongdoers contributes to increased crime rate, which further makes the society isolate these individuals and view them as dangerous (Cale & Lussier, 2011). As the result, such people have no other alternatives apart from turning to crime, as all their opportunities are withdrawn from them leaving them helpless and desperate. Therefore, practical understanding of the concepts and argument behind the above described theories help to reduce the crime rate in our societies.
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Crime victimization is the process by which a person becomes a target of a crime. In the choice theory, the people drinking late at night and going home alone contribute to the increased crime victimization (Neubacher, 2006). As the result, such individuals become the easy targets of the crime and criminals consider it less risky to attack and steal from the victims. Following the strain theory, less fortunate people resort to criminal actions and find potentially easy crime targets as those who walk alone in the night being drunk and less security (Cale & Lussier, 2011). As for the social control theory, it implies that the institutions such as families and churches fail to impose restrictions, hence many people get into crime perceiving such actions as being proper (Neubacher, 2006). In the labeling theory, criminals are desperate due to the social labeling which leaves them with no other alternative than performing delinquency and victimizing the people who appear to be unprotected and easy to approach (Le Blanc, 2005). Evidently, people must ensure that they do not behave in the manners that predispose them to be the easy targets of crime.
Criminological theories under consideration outline the steps that the local police department can take in order to thwart a criminal activity. In the choice theory, the department should make crime engagement seem more risky by ensuring that there is maximum security and that the community members possess the necessary knowledge on the effective ways of avoiding being crime victims (Le Blanc, 2005). In its turn, the strain theory holds that the department should collaborate with the government to guarantee the equal opportunities for all people thus motivating people to embrace hard and persistent work as the way of succeeding in life (Neubacher, 2006). Following the social control theory, the department should encourage the social institutions such as clans and churches to promote good morals that display crime as immoral (Le Blanc, 2005). Finally, in the labeling theory, the department should ensure that nobody victimizes and labels criminals as the outcasts by educating the community members to rehabilitate the reformed criminals (Neubacher, 2006). These recommendations can help in overcoming the escalating crimes in modern societies.
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The study of criminological theories argues why people commit crimes and why they behave in a certain way in some circumstances. The choice theory states that people weigh the risks and rewards of committing a crime. The strain theory implies that people adopt criminal behavior due to the lack of better opportunities in their life. The labeling theory explains that social labels leave criminals desperate and helpless, which motivates them to engage in a crime. The crime victimization makes certain groups of people in the society to be more vulnerable or the easy target of crime. Criminological theories are mostly applied in police departments to suggest the strategies to reduce the rate of offense. These theories provide significant information regarding the ways crime should be handled and prevented.