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Evaluation of Deterrence Theory - Research Paper Example

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The author evaluates deterrence theory to find out whether it can be regarded as a good criminology theory. There are various ways in which a scientific theory can be evaluated. Most of these methods of evaluation depend on the type of theory and what the theory proposes…
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Evaluation of Deterrence Theory
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Download file to see previous pages In my evaluation, I use the evaluation method proposed by Akers and Seller. In this technique, the theory is evaluated using its scope, logical consistency, parsimony, testability, empirical validity, and its usefulness and policy implication. A major advantage of this method that it can give us the chance to evaluate almost all the aspects of this theory. Theory Discussion This theory uses the idea that fear of punishment or negative consequences resulting from committing a crime can cause individuals to refrain from committing offenses (Maimon, 2012). One of the things this theory uses in explaining criminology is human rationality. It says that human nature is motivated to do something that has more gains than losses. Therefore, if someone sees that he will have more loss than gain from a crime when he is caught, he will be motivated to refrain from the crime. This theory thus proposes that severe punishments should be imposed on crimes and offenses to increase the risks that a person exposes himself to when committing them. The theory also uses the concept of an individual’s free will and the power of a person to make calculated choices in explaining crime. This theory states that people commit crimes due to the drive to do so from their free will without being directed to do so by someone else. However, it indicates that in making a choice to commit a crime individuals to analyze the gains and losses which might result from the choices they want to make. As a result, the choices they make are always calculated to make sure they maximize gains while minimizing risks. If severe punishments are imposed on crimes they will make the crimes to be less attractive and hence make individuals refrain from them. This theory explains individual offending and how people can be deterred from committing crimes. It suggests that imposing formal legal punishments can deter individuals from offending. However, according to Maimone al (2012), the theory explains that the deterrent effect of these formal legal punishments depends on their severity, certainty, and celebrity. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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