Theories of Criminal Behavior
You have been hired as an advisor to the Mayor of “Our Town” Connecticut. The Mayor is going to create a program to reduce crime as part of the plan to revitalize “Our Town.” The mayor would like to know what we can do about crime and has asked you to prepare a report on the causes of crime and what could be done to reduce crime. Your task is to select two different theories of crime from different perspectives (e.g., Rational Choice; Psychology; Biology; Strain; Control; Critical; Social Learning) and prepare a summary for the Mayor of how each theory explains crime and how you would recommend the mayor use each theory to develop programs/initiatives to help reduce crime. The mayor will make the final program selection and also wants to know how he will be able to tell if the program is working, so briefly describe how you would evaluate the program.
- Routine Activity Theory is an important type of rational choice theory of crime. Describe the rational choice model of crime and describe how Routine Activity Theory differs from Deterrence and Incapacitation based models of crime control. Assume that your police department has developed a crime prevention program for predatory crime based on Routine Activity Theory and is going to target juvenile offending. Outline the steps that would need to be taken to implement the program and then to evaluate its effectiveness.
- Alternate version: Routine Activity Theory (RAT) is an important modem rational choice model of crime and offending. Provide an overview of the rational model of crime and RAT, and then critically evaluate how RAT is used to explain two of the following types of offending: predatory crime, illegal consumption, Illegal drug sales, and violence/fights.
- One of the critiques of Social Disorganization Theory as an explanation of crime is that all not persons exposed to bad neighborhoods become criminals, and that many who are not exposed to these bad neighborhoods do become criminal. Select two alternative explanations of crime and demonstrate how they do a better job of accounting for these facts.