Essay about Core Issues in Crime and Punishment

3257 Words Feb 10th, 2013 14 Pages
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Jimmy Boyle's autobiography A Sense of Freedom (1977) gives a very interesting and honest insight into his life of crime and incarceration. The autobiography, written from inside prison, is according to Boyle an attempt to warn young people that there is not anything glamorous about crime and violence. It gives a full narration of his life from a very young age, with a detailed insight into his childhood, experiences of petty crime, approved schools and borstal, right through to his adult experiences of more serious crime, violence and adult prisons, including his interpretation of the Penal System. Reading this autobiography I aimed to remain detached from the author and seek to create an independent
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Cornish and Clark (1985, cited in Newburn, 2007) have had a major influence in developing Rational Choice theory. They suggest that rather than a simple choice, a sequence of choices have to be made, and that these choices are influenced by a number of social and psychological factors within the individual. Although this contemporary view still holds some of the main aspects of Classicism regarding rationality, it has moved in a new direction as it now arguably considers the psychological and sociological effects on the offender, an area that Classicism failed to consider. Rather than suggesting offenders are just ‘bad' in its explanation of crime as Classicism does, the Rational Choice theory became the study of why people make particular decisions and behave in particular ways under certain circumstances (Newburn, 2007:281). According to Cornish and Clark (1985, cited in Newburn, 2007) crime is treated as ‘purposive'; it is never senseless. Moreover, Cornish and Clark (1985, cited in Newburn, 2007) suggest that other than material wealth, the benefits of committing such crime may also include excitement, prestige, fun, sexual gratification, defiance or dominance of others.

It is arguable that throughout reading A Sense Of Freedom (1977) Boyle is aware of all the benefits from crime he receives, a lot of which are mentioned above. From a young age Boyle admits to the excitement experience by stealing and fighting. It is this that makes it

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