Criminal Minds Essay

1666 words - 7 pages

Criminal Minds

A highly debated topic concerns whether criminals commit crimes because of a social pressure or an individual urge. The strain theory supports crime as a social pressure because, as Frank Schmalleger suggests in Criminology Today 222, crime is an adaptive behavior that coincides with problems caused by frustration or unpleasant social surroundings. Also, culture conflict theory states the cause of delinquent behavior is because different social classes conflicting morals of what is appropriate or proper behavior, (Schmalleger 228). Other people believe blaming crime on the economy or where they grew up is making an excuse for criminals instead of making them take ...view middle of the document...

Stanton E. Samenow states in Inside the Criminal Mind 16 that social sciences circulate the outlook that humans come into the world, “like a lump of clay to be shaped by external forces”. This does nothing except give criminals an excuse for committing crimes. It is better said by Samenow when he says, “This view renders us all victims!” 16. Something that happened in the past would be found to be a “reason” for the behavior. For example, if the parents of a criminal were strict, it would be the parents fault because they were too harsh on the child. This gives the parents minimal ways of raising their children since if they are strict they are at fault, but if they allow their kids to do as they please, chances are they will experiment with drugs and other forbidden activities which could lead to worse crimes. According to liberal apologists, crime is due to an ethical failure in society, Charles P. Cozic, editor Gangs Opposing Viewpoints 119, but this view is not persuasive because individual moral responsibility is at the head of the criminal justice system and youth crime cannot be clarified as a coincidence of racism and oppression, as stated by (Cozic 118). Additionally, because a person lives in a gang infested neighborhood does not automatically mean the person will become affiliated
with gangs, hence criminal activity. For example, if a family of three children lived on the streets of Compton and one of the three joined a gang, why would anyone say this is a
social issue when the other two siblings did not join the gang? Also, wealthy families are not immune to criminal activity. For example, Bernard Madoff was a wealthy man, but an even more lavishly rich man after his Ponzi scheme. Madoff’s scheme cost his investors about 64 billion dollars collectively from the 1980s to 2008 according to Business Week writer Ben Levisohn. Another example of a wealthy criminal was Frank Lucas, a drug lord based in New York who had millions of dollars of assets, but was busted and taken to jail in 1975 according to (Biography.com). Whether living in a gang infested neighborhood or residing in the illustrious streets of Bel-Air does force or restrict the individual of committing crimes, like cannot compel someone to eat or do something they do not want to, somebody acts a certain way and does certain things because they want to.
In addition, a further explanation that crime is an individual act is many criminals do it for pleasure. It is difficult to oppose this being an individual work since nobody else is necessarily needed for someone to have pleasure doing illegal acts. Other people may be involved, but they are not the reason the unlawful person enjoys what he or she is doing. (Cozic 72)
“…the criminal activity itself is often carried out for pleasure, not criminal gain. The fact that pleasure manifests itself as crime is simply a brutal and disheartening truth. While some social activities may also be criminal, common...

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