Is Crime Rational Essay

Is Crime Rational Essay-43
Think for a moment about what deterrence theory and RCT say about what causes crime: Crime will occur whenever a would-be offender thinks that the advantages or benefits of crime outweigh both the costs of crime and the benefits and costs of non-crime.This means that there are several different avenues by which to pursue public policy if one wanted to reduce crime through an appeal to RCT.

Think for a moment about what deterrence theory and RCT say about what causes crime: Crime will occur whenever a would-be offender thinks that the advantages or benefits of crime outweigh both the costs of crime and the benefits and costs of non-crime.This means that there are several different avenues by which to pursue public policy if one wanted to reduce crime through an appeal to RCT.

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One of the most frequently taken paths of criminal justice policy is to enhance the formal penalties for crime with the expectation that such an increase will lower the commission of that particular crime (and maybe others, if there is a spillover effect whereby if we punish more severely for Crime X it also inhibits people from committing Crime Y).

Readers who think about the major criminal justice response to the increase in crime during the 1990s and early 21st century will discover that most states responded by increasing the number of people in prison and increasing the length of time inmates were spending in prison.

For example, one of the reasons kids in inner-city neighborhoods get involved with crime and drugs is that they get thrills or some kind of “kick” out of doing it.

In other words, crime and drug use supplies them with a rush.

Frequently, then, when there are calls for more police, less plea bargaining in courts, more prison terms and less use of probation, and more certain and longer prison terms, these calls are based on the expectations of RCT that such measures will increase either the objective or expected costs of crime and, other things being equal, will reduce the level of crime.

Increasing the costs of crime is only one way under deterrence theory and RCT to reduce the level of crime; one can also lower crime by increasing the benefits of activities that compete with crime.Former President Bill Clinton made as one of the important supports of his crime control policies the requirement to hire 100,000 new police officers and put them out on the streets.He might not have explicitly said that his policy was based on RCT, but it was.To reduce crime, one or all of the four following general actions could be taken: Sometimes these policy paths would overlap such that when we increase the cost of crime we may also be increasing the benefits of non-crime.However, with these four general points in mind, we can briefly explore the crime-reduction possibilities of RCT.It targets youth who by most accounts would be considered at high risk for committing crimes—young, mainly minority males, from urban areas—and helps them finish high school, earn a GED, learn a trade, and find a job and keep it.The whole purpose of the Job Corps is to take young people with a bleak future and train and educate them so that they can find well-paying jobs and become productive citizens.Recall that the theory holds that people consider the costs and benefits of both crime and non-crime before making a rationally based decision as to what to do.This means that when these programs are set up, inner-city youth will weigh the costs and benefits of crime along with those of midnight basketball.The benefits of auto theft, for example, would be dramatically reduced if people would not leave their keys in the ignition, if they would lock the car, or if they would purchase an inexpensive car alarm or car location device.These things make stealing a car more difficult and therefore less beneficial.

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