Essay: Choice theory-People rationally choose crime

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Essay: Choice theory-People rationally choose crime

Sample Essay

Crime is seductive and opens the door of opportunity. People may rationally choose crime because it provides them with psychological and social benefits and can help them solve problems. Choice Theory roots are based on the classical school of criminology, by Ceasare Beccaria, who viewed that crime is rational and can be prevented by punishment that is swift, certain and severe enough to deter crime. This has lead to a more contemporary version of classical theory, based on intelligent thought processes and criminal decision-making; today this is referred to as the rational choice approach to crime causation (Siegel, 2007).

This theoretical perspective suggests that:  people have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviors; people choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need; and crime can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions (Siegel, 2007).

Offenders choose crime after considering both personal—money, revenge, thrills, entertainment—and situational factors, such as target availability, security measures and police presence (Siegel, 2007).

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