Choice Theory Essay

861 Words4 Pages
Introduction: Criminological theories are paradoxically fascinating, frustrating, and nebulous. They are fascinating in that almost everyone has an opinion, sometimes a very strong opinion, on what causes crime. They are frustrating because crime and human nature are too complex for one theory to explain them accurately and comprehensively. Therefore, when one studies criminological theories, criminology as a whole becomes nebulous, confusing, and incomplete. However, choice theories of crime resonate with a conservative person’s sense of right and wrong, common sense, and ability to understand crime causation so that it is not viewed as irrelevant, impractical, academic drivel. Choice theories also satisfy a person’s emotional need for revenge. Therefore, choice theories have had a strong political and legislative impact on the criminal justice system. This paper will identify and describe choice theories, how they relate to crime, and how they relate to society’s response to crime. It also contains a real-life example illustrating how four people from the same family chose very different paths in life: a life of crime and homicide and a life of education and career success. Choice Theories Paraphrase the textbook’s information (page 81) about classical criminology and its origins. As noted in the introduction, one of the strongest attributes to choice theories is its simplicity and ability to be understood. The rational choice theory epitomizes this simplicity with the tenet that people will do what brings them more benefit than harm. For example, a person commits the crime of selling drugs because he/she can make a lot of money without having to work hard to obtain an education and a career. During the liberal era (1960s and 1970s ) of the criminal justice system in which there were fewer police and lenient courts, the potential consequence of

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