Psychological Factors Underlying Criminal Behavior Essay

1886 Words Jun 13th, 2013 8 Pages
Core Assessment Paper

Criminology (CJ200)
February 21, 2013

Core Assessment Paper
Throughout the course of history individuals have always been known to commit crimes. Of those crimes committed, some serve as a purpose for survival while others where done as senseless acts of hate or with malicious intentions. Criminal behavior is something that can be further understood through the discipline or course study of criminology. Criminology as defined by the text is, “The scientific study of the nature, extent, cause, and control of criminal behavior” (Siegel, 2011, p. 7). There are some things involved in criminology that even notable criminologist can’t explain. While this statement is true in some instances, there are
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1). The criminal justice system of today was built off the foundation of Beccaria’s book, which outlined what the system should be like (Brown, 2004). Classical thinkers like Beccaria were instrumental in setting in place a system that would hand out punishment as well as establish laws for the people to abide by. Classical theorist believed that punishment that followed the commission of a crime was more just and useful (Brown, 2004, p. 1). This means that if an offender was punished following a crime that he or she committed they would be less likely to commit a criminal act again. Classical theorist believed that swift and just punishment was the key to deterrence. A criminal would think hard before committing a crime because they would have to weigh out the benefit versus the cost of facing punishment. This would in many ways deter the criminal thought for a person’s fear of punishment. Bentham, one of Beccaria’s contemporaries, reasoned that crime was something that happened when a person was allowed to think rationally in free will (Brown, 2004). Bentham felt that punishment must be greater than the criminal act. For instance, if a person steals they should be placed in jail for a fixed amount of time. This would

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