Criminal Act and Choice Theory

Criminal Acts and Choices Paper
Khristie Collins
CJA/204
10/18/2010
Maxine Craig

Criminal Acts and Choices Paper
Choice theories are perspectives on crime causation that states that criminality is the aftermath of conscious choices. It is also known as the rational choice theory. According to this theory, offenders desire to defy the laws when they believe that the cost of doing so does not outweigh the benefits.
Choice Theory posits that there is a central behavior to our existence and that it is genetically driven by five needs: responsibility and freedom, power/competence/significance, fun/learning, love/connecting/belonging, and survival. The choice theory also has ten Axioms that are based on a counseling process that is focused on helping clients learn to make good choices. The ten Axioms of choice theories are: (1) all behaviors are assigned by verbs and name by the part that is recognized the most, (2) all behavior is chosen, but we only posses direct control over thinking components and acting. Our feelings and physiology can be indirectly controlled through how we chose to think and act, (3) our behavior is the only behavior we can control ourselves, (4) information is all we can give someone else, (5) relationship problems stem from long-lasting psychological problems, (6) the relationship we had the most problems with is always a part of our present life, (7) total behavior is all behavior and it is made up of four components- feeling, thinking, acting, and physiology, (8) behave is all we do, (9) the pictures in our quality world can only be satisfied if we satisfy our own need, (10) and what transpired has a lot to do with what we are today, our basic needs can only be satisfied right now with plans to continue future satisfaction.
Choice theory has a direct relationship with crime. The main relevance crime and rational choice theory have is that criminals are not seen as deviance; instead criminals were often seen as inherently anti social. In contemporary thinking, with a stressed reason, criminologist wanted to explore and consider the real reason for crime. A certain class of people being evil or ignorant was not why crime was committed, but it was because their choices were being hence and constrained, given their circumstances crime was the rational option. Make sure that it is understood that the Rational Choice approach to crime does not posits through a cost analysis before crimes are committed. That is not the case. What is important is that a life of crime is infringed upon due to the inhibition in available choices, rather than any stringent accounting of losses or gains.
To completely understand the concept of crime, it would be helpful gain an understanding the two most common models of how society determines which act are criminal: the conflict and consensus model. The consensus model speculate that as individual gather to form a society, a basic agreement among its members will naturally come together with regard to values and norms that are shared. These individual whose actions are deviated from the established values and norms are mused on posing a threat to the well being of society as one and must be punished. The society passes laws for the prevention and controlling of deviant behavior, these laws have been set as boundaries for behavior that is acceptable in the group. When the term consensus was used it implied that most of the citizens agree on which activities should be punished and outlawed as crimes. To a certain extent, the consensus model makes the assumption that people of a diverse group can have morals that are similar; that means, there are ideals that they share on what the believe is right and wrong. Individuals who reject the consensus model reject it because they believe that moral attitudes are not free from imperfection. Democratic societies like the United States, a different part of society will inevitably have shared norms and value systems that are different. As stated in the conflict model, these segments that are different, separated by race, age, income, and social class-have engaged themselves in a struggle with each other for control of society. The groups that are victorious use their power by codifying their value system into criminal laws. Whichever group is holding the power consequently determines what the criminal activity is.
Choice theories state that criminality is the aftermath of conscious choices. The definition of conscious is intentionally conceived; therefore, when laws are broken it is not because the economy is bad, someone coerced you into, and it is not genetically inherited. It is simply a conscious choice that was made by the offender, unless you have been declared mental incompetent.

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