Right Realist Theories of Crime

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  • Created by: Kani.T
  • Created on: 12-04-18 12:44
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  • Right realist theories of crime
    • Crime is the product of 3 factors
      • Biological differences
        • Wilson and Herrnstein put forward a biosocial theory of criminal behaviour
          • Biological differences between the individuals make some people more strongly predisposed to commit crime than others e.g. personality traits such as aggressiveness
        • Herrnstein and Murray argue that the main cause of crime is low intelligence, which they also see as biologically determined
      • Socialisation and the underclass
        • Effective socialisation may decrease the risk of an individual offending; right realists believe that the nuclear family is the best agency of socalisation
        • Charles Murray argues that the crime rate is increasing because of a growing underclass who are defined by their deviant behaviour and who fail to socialise their children properly
        • According to Murray, the underclass is growing in both the UK and the USA as a result of welfare dependency
      • Rational choice theory
        • Ron and Clarke argue that the decision to commit crime is a choice based on a rational calculation of the likely consequences
    • Criticisms of the R.R explanation of the causes of crime
      • Ignores wider structural causes such as poverty
      • Overstates offender's rationality and how far they make cost-benefit calculations before committing a crime
      • doesn't explain impulsive or violent crime
      • Its view of criminals as rational actors freely choosing crime conflicts with its claim that their behaviour is determined by biology and socialisation
        • Over-emphasizes biological factors; according to Lilly et al, IQ differences account for less than 3 % of differences in offending
    • Tackling Crime
      • They say that instead of dealing with the causes of the crime, we should make crime prevention policies reduce the rewards and increase costs of crime to the offender
        • E.g. Target hardening', greater use of prison and ensuring punishments soon follow after the offence to maximise their deterrent effect
      • Zero Tolerance: Wilson and Kelling's article 'Broken Window' argues that its essential to maintain the orderly character of neighbourhoods to prevent crime taking hold
        • Any sign of deterioration, such as graffiti or vandalism must be dealt with immediately
        • Zero Tolerance: An urban Myth?

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