Realism In Crime

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Studying crime is an interesting topic because there are so many theories surrounding why people commit crimes. Although there are several theories pertaining to crime, there are few that stand out when exploring criminal activities. Theories such as strain theory or differential association theory are based around a persons surroundings, that those surroundings are what causes them to commit crimes. Although these theories make extremely good arguments, they suggest that others are to blame for criminal activities and not the person who commits the crime. Realism however, looks at the individual who committed the crime as the person at fault. It was out of their free will and personal choice to commit the crime. This research paper will demonstrate …show more content…
Two strands were developed dealing with realism and crime control, left realism and right realism, both operating on opposite sides of the spectrum. For the purpose of this research paper, the focus will be on right realism and the theories pertaining to crime prevention. Unfortunately crime is constantly taking place all over the world and although there have been signs of decrease in certain areas, illegal acts are still happening. Right realism claims, “crime is endemic, it is a reality we must face, it will always be with us, and we will never eliminate it” (MacLean, 1993, 347). Right realism looks to reduce crime rates and believes heavy prison sentences and being tough on crime is the way to decrease crime in the future. Matthews (1987) finds that, "Since the search for causes is often dismissed, the 'solution ' to the problem of crime is to be found, it is argued, in the adoption of more repressive and intensive forms of punishment.” (377). The reasoning behind this theory is by enforcing harsher punishments; it will deter people from committing the crimes. Public fear of crime …show more content…
In Canada, Indigenous people are imprisoned at a much higher rate. A study by Hogeveen (2005) found that, “As a group, native adolescents are among the most disadvantaged in Canadian society. They are also the most punishable” (p.74). This is not a hidden fact, the government is very aware of the high incarceration rates yet, they continue to be imprisoned and for longer sentences than whites. Cook & Roesh (2012) state that, “Aboriginal people tend to be released later in their sentences and are overrepresented in segregated population” (p.222). In Canada, particularly out west, the statistic for Indigenous population is high. In Saskatchewan “Aboriginal adults represented 81% of the admissions to provincial sentenced custody while they represent 11% of the general population in this province” (Perreault, 2009, p.5). Canadians have put Indigenous communities through much heartache and pain. With the decolonization of the different communities of Indigenous people to residential schools, Canadians continue to stigmatize and treat Indigenous people scantily. Indigenous people are more likely to suffer from drug abuse using needles because of the intergenerational trauma suffered through their parents attending residential schools in Canada (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 327). This puts them at a higher criminal risk than others

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