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Crime and Crime Prevention Strategy: Biological and Sociological Theories - Research Paper Example

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The focus of this analysis is to evaluate in the context of competing for biological and sociological theories, the causality of crime and crime prevention. The author evaluates the debate regarding appropriate offender punishment and crime prevention, which is rooted in sociological theory. …
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Crime and Crime Prevention Strategy: Biological and Sociological Theories
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Download file to see previous pages The criminological debate has propounded polarised theorem as to the most efficacious method to punish offenders within the criminal justice system.  Whilst academics agree on the concept of “punishment” as a necessary means; they disagree on the “underlying reason that makes punishment appropriate and justified the response to social norm violations” (Carlsmith & Daley, 2002:284). However, from a moral perspective, the underlying question regarding punishment is clearly unanimous in asking “what justifies the infliction of punishment on people?” (Carlsmith & Daley, 2002).
It is submitted that a central factor in this theoretical conundrum is the divergent biological and sociological theories pertaining to causality explaining the occurrence of crime. Moreover, the dichotomy between the biological and sociological theories for explaining causality in crime is further compounded by narrow legal principles defining crime within rigid concepts of “actus reus” and “men's rea” (Ellwood, 2004:165). This, in turn, has impacted crime prevention theory and appropriate modes of criminal punishment.
For example, on the one hand, one line of argument propounds that the punishment’s primary purpose is to pay back harm caused as retribution for past crimes (Darley, Sanderson & LaMatnia, 1996; Kahneman, Schkade & Sunstein, 1998; Rossi, Waite, Bose & Berk, 1974). On the other hand, others claim that the central purpose is to prevent or reduce future crimes (Jeremy Bentham 1962); thereby implementing two diverging and broad justifications for the use of punishment of offenders. A common justification for offender punishment is rooted in the just deserts and retribution rationale; focusing on the individual offender whereby the “punishment” element of the sentence is proportionate to the moral wrong committed in proportion to “their internal wickedness” (Kant, 1952:397)   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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