Rational Choice Crime Control

329 Words2 Pages
Rational Choice Crime Control Strategies Rational Choice Crime Control Strategies According to Rational Choice Theory, individuals violate laws out of a sense of need, accomplishment, or perception of survival. The Theory also concludes that rational individuals carefully weigh possible benefits and consequences of breaking the law (Siegel, 2006). After considering benefits and consequences, one may make a “rational” choice to commit the crime. He or she may base this rationalization on “greed, revenge, need, anger, lust, jealousy, thrill-seeking, or vanity” (Siegel, 2006, p. 98). Of the scenarios, the wealthy man going through a divorce is the most likely example of a rational choice criminal. The mother who drowned her children may have suffered emotional distress that caused her to act irrationally, according to her attorneys. The wealthy man carefully weighed his options: do nothing and be liable for child support and alimony; or, rely upon the services of another individual who will stage an “accident” that will take the man’s wife’s life. The first option could be financially taxing to the man. The second option could prevent the man from paying child support or alimony, and may prove lucrative if the wife had an insurance policy. In his mind, the man would be better off if his soon-to-be ex-wife and unborn child were not in the picture. From a financial standpoint, the man made a “rational” choice to hire someone to take his wife’s life. Rational Choice Theory asserts that deterrence is an effective control method to crime prevention. It assumes that individuals are fearful of punishment. As a result, attaching punishment(s) to crimes is the surest way of preventing crime. The Theory also concludes that the punishment must be proportional to the crime, a concept commonly called marginal deterrence. More serious offenses, such as rape,
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