Right Realist views on crime and deviance

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  • Created by: Maria
  • Created on: 14-06-10 14:06

Right Realism –

· Right realists believe that poverty is not the sole cause of crime, as many people in poverty do not commit crimes

· Right realists tend to focus on ‘predatory street crime’, such as burglary, theft, robbery and murder, simply because police spend most of their time focusing on such crimes

· Wilson (1975):

o People only commit crimes when the benefits outweigh the costs. If people believe that they are likely to be caught and punished for committing a crime, they are less likely to commit it. Crime is a rational choice made based on need

o Although harsher sentencing may go some way to preventing crime, alone it is not effective. There must be community programmes in place to ensure that the benefits of crime are outweighed by the costs. An example of such a programme is a methadone programme for heroin addicts. Harsher sentences for dealing and possessing the drug coupled with this programme reduces the overall number of people engaging in taking the drug, so drug dealers have fewer benefits

o A sense of community must be strengthened in order to prevent crime. A reduction in social capital caused by community breakdown has caused a higher rate of crime, as people no longer fear losing their community standing. By strengthening a sense of community, people are less likely to commit crimes, as they do not wish to lose their social capital

· Wilson and


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