10, 2017

Criminology Final Exam

            Throughout the course of the fall
semester, we have spent a great deal of time exploring the field of
criminology. Criminology can best be defined as the scientific study of crime
and the reasons why people engage (or don’t engage) in criminal behavior. One
of the most important questions for debate was presented that goes as follows:
Do you believe crime is a moral choice and that criminals are rational thinking
individuals or do offenders commit crime involuntarily and do they have a
compulsion? To answer this question, I believe that crime is an involuntary
act, because the psychoanalytic perspective assumes that an individual’s
behavior is presumed to be due to the three aspects of his or her personality:
the id, ego, and superego, as well as other key ingredients such as anxiety,
defense mechanisms, and the unconscious (Schram & Tibbetts, 2018, p. 167). In
summary, there are several key factors that can psychologically affect an
individual which could lead them into a life of crime and destruction. With
proper care and supervision, we can prevent these types of events from
happening and give these individuals the care they so desperately need.

            As I previously mentioned above, the
psychoanalytic perspective assumes that an individual’s behavior is presumed to
be due to the three aspects of his/her personality. The psychoanalytic
perspective was developed by Sigmund Freud, who many considered to be the
father of psychoanalysis. Freud came up with the three aspects of the id, ego,
and the superego. First, the id is the source of instinctual drives which is
everything that is seen at birth. It is important to state that there are two
forces that drive criminals, constructive which is sexual in nature and
destructive which is aggression, destruction, and finally death thereby creating
the libido. Second, when talking about the ego it is the moderator between the
demands of an instinct, the superego, and reality. This has to do with reason
and sanity. This can be hard for criminals to rationalize since the reality
that they live in and experiences can negatively affect their brain’s development
as well as what they can or can’t do and their values toward society. Finally,
anxiety and defense mechanisms also are key in the development of this
psychoanalytic perspective. Anxiety can best be defined as follows, “a warning
of looming danger or a painful experience which results in the individual
attempting to correct the situation” (Schram , 2018, p. 169). For
example, a woman is harassed by a co-worker who rapes her and threatens her not
to say a word to her employees. The defense mechanism would be fear, hostility,
and rage which is all psychological and not rational choice. In conclusion, the
psychoanalytic perspective is one tool that demonstrates that crime is an
involuntary act and a compulsion.

            In following, another theory that adds
to my belief that crime is an involuntary act and if they have a compulsion is
the routine activity theory. One of the most alarming statements that it
proposed was the idea of the absence of a capable guardian that could intervene
on an individual’s behalf. By having somebody intervene, it will greatly
eliminate the risk of people committing crime throughout the country. Without
having somebody intervene on an individual’s behalf, the individual has no
sense of belonging. They are deprived of somebody teaching them what’s the
right thing to do and what’s the wrong thing to do. A crime will only be
committed if a likely offender thinks that a target is suitable and a capable
guardian is absent. If there is a guardian present, the crime rate will
drastically decrease as you will have a person intervene to stop it. By having
a guardian look out for you, the individual can take a step back and realize
that crime is not the answer and that they are loved by somebody.

Finally, the final idea that crime is an
involuntary act and a compulsion should do with child abuse and neglect. Per
the Joyful Heart foundation, whether children witness or experience abuse, it
can take a toll on their development. Domestic violence victims are not
isolated to intimate partners. Children are at an increased risk for emotional
behavioral problems regardless if they were directly abused or not. This can
psychologically effect people who may experience the following conditions: Self-harm,
eating disorders, alcohol and drug use, trouble sleeping, uncomfortable with
physical contact with others, repeating school grades, absent from school often,
as well as criminal activity. In following, the Centers for Disease Control and
preventions is quick to point out that studies have found abused and neglected
children to be at least 25% more likely to experience problems such as
delinquency, teen pregnancy, and low academic achievement. Similarly, a
longitudinal study found that physically abused children were at greater risk
of being arrested as juveniles, being a teen parent, and less likely to
graduate high school. That is a scary thought to see and one that needs to be
considered in dealing with criminals. They didn’t just assume that one day they
were going to go out and commit a crime. It’s much deeper than that and it’s
more psychological than anything else.

            To answer the question, I do not
believe that crime is a rational choice but rather it is an involuntary act
that eventually turns into a compulsion. By looking at Freud’s psychoanalytic states
perspective, we see assumes that an individual’s behavior is presumed to be due
to the three aspects of his or her personality: the id, ego, and superego, as
well as other key ingredients such as anxiety, defense mechanisms, and the
unconscious. This illustrates the idea of what a compulsion is which is defined
as an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s
conscious wishes. In following, without having a guardian interfere on a person’s
behalf is detrimental because without that human element, there is no sign of
being loved or belonging in society that an offender longs for and so
desperately needs. Finally, Child abuse and neglect is an important piece of
psychological damage as it states that at least 25% more likely to experience
problems such as delinquency, teen pregnancy, and low academic achievement.
With further action, we can help prevent crime in our community to make it a
safer place and in accordance keep people out of jail.

Part II

link: https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34757/title/Catching-Criminals/

            In the following article, it focuses
on Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, who in October 1975 who
killed a woman by striking her twice in the head with a hammer and 15 times
stabbing her. Without the right data, it was hard for local policed to make an
arrest as it took five years to solve the case and convict Sutcliffe of his
crime. It was found that if law enforcement used Geographic Profiling, it could
have been a real game-changer to solving the case. By using geographic
profiling, this tactic is specifically designed to track down repeat offenders
and in turn pinpoint the source of infectious diseases and invasive species.

            In regards to the article, we can
conclude that the local law enforcement could have done a much better job to
solve the case, however, without geographic profiling they were at quite the
disadvantage. Steve Le Comber was responsible for geographic profiling and he could
see the connections as to how with the use of this technology could pinpoint
the direct activities of the suspect. With the help of Kim Rossmo, geographic
profiling was able to adapt in the early 1990’s they were able to conclude that
crimes were more likely to occur where the location is linked. They also found
that most common criminals don’t commit crimes on their own property but rather
there is a buffer zone that they are not willing to travel long distances. With
geographic profiling, scientists can create a 3-D graph where they can analyze
where a suspect is more likely to commit crime as well as forming a volcano
shape around the criminal’s home base. In regards to the species, geographic
profiling is being used to track down invasive species. For example, if a tree
is spewing out pollen every season, with geographic profiling, we can track
back and find out the source problem.

            The most important concept to take
away from the article is how beneficiary geographic profiling is in the world
of criminology. Geographic profiling can best be defined as a criminal
investigative methodology that analyzes the locations of a connected series of
crimes to determine the most probable area of offender residence. It’s
important to stress the fact that by incorporating both qualitative and
quantitative methods, it assists in our understanding of spatial behavior of an
offender and focusing the investigation to a smaller area of the community. By
doing this, by studying a specific pattern, it provides valuable information
for the crime solvers such as whether the crime was opportunistic and the
degree of offender familiarity with the crime location.

            This relates to criminology as
another source of data we can use to solve a crime. We’ve learned of the
Uniform Crime Report which is compiled by the FBI where each month they report
crimes. We also learned about the National Crime Victimization Survey which
comprises of thousands of interviews within a period of six months and relies
exclusively on what the people being interviewed have to say. The more data
that you have the better as is the example of the Uniform Crime report being
flawed. With the Geographic Profiling, it will help tremendously to track down
victims. I chose this article because of the idea that it was amazing to see
the advancements that technology has made and how with one development can have
a big impact on the solving of crimes.



P. J., & Tibbetts, S. G. (2018). Introduction to criminology: why do they
do it? Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.


Prevention. (2016, April 05). Retrieved December 11, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childmaltreatment/consequences.html


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