Developmental Theories Of Crime Essay

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5. Pick two developmental theories and use them to explain why crime declines with age. Which do you think provides the best explanation? Why?

@In criminal justice, researchers are tasked to figure out what motivates people to offend, however to answer that they might have to focus on why some people stop offending. There have been many theories that have attempted to identify and explain what phenomena that may motive casual criminals into law abiding citizens. Theories like Sampson and Laub’s age-grade theory of informal social control and Giordano, Cernkovich, and Rudolph’s cognitive transformation and desistance from crime both offer up explanations for why some people suddenly decided to not to offend anymore. @In Vold 's Theoretical Criminology the authors Bernard, Vold, Snipes, &
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Research on deterrent indicates that sanction certainty is a far more important deterrent than sanction severity. Further, research on rational choice theory finds that informal costs (e.g., shame, embarrassment when family or friends find out about an offense) are a much stronger predictor of crime/conformity than formal sanctions, and imprisonment can further erode bonds that create informal costs. In addition, this approach is also inconsistent with many of the theories we covered during the second half of the semester. In fact, based on these theories, excessive use of incarceration could make things worse. For example, prisons might increase social learning of crime, decrease informal social control or label and stigmatize offenders, making it difficult to successfully reenter society. It is perhaps unsurprising that recidivism remains so high in the U.S. Given this discrepancy between what we know and what we do, how should we move forward with addressing crime in the United States? Imagine that you are advising President Obama on what to keep and what to change. What recommendations would you make? How do those recommendations connect to theories covered in

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