Examining What Rational Choice Theory Means Criminology Essay

Rational Choice Theory is a theory used by societal scientists in a command to grok the behaviour of human existences. In the yesteryear, the attack was used in economic sciences but late, it has gained widespread usage in other countries such as sociology, anthropology and political scientific discipline. This is a major alteration from the usage of the theory in economic issues to its usage in other countries. This theory first considers why persons make picks on peculiar behaviours. Rational pick theoreticians analyze the development of single behaviours before they go on to seek and understand how behavior picks of persons constitute a certain result ( Siegel, 2008 ) . The first portion of this essay discusses how rational pick theory applies to the proposed jurisprudence in Massachusetts of incarcerating first clip wrongdoers for two old ages.

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Link between Rational Choice Theory and Crime

Rational pick theory enterprises to happen out whether the condemnable Acts of the Apostless and pick of the victims felons perpetrate the Acts of the Apostless on emanate from rational determinations. The theory presupposes that felons put assorted factors into consideration before they finally commit a offense and normally prosecute in exchange of sentiments before doing the concluding determination. Some of the factors they consider include the likeliness of being arrested, the reverberations of their offenses such as decease or exposing their households to agony and other state of affairs factors such as surveillance systems in topographic point ( Siegel, 2008 ) .

After carefully analysing all the above mentioned factors, felons so do a determination on whether to perpetrate the offense or non. They besides think of where they will perpetrate the offense and the people to bear the brunt of the offense. With this apprehension, rational pick theory becomes applicable in the proposed Massachusetts jurisprudence because felons do non perpetrate offense by chance. Governments are able to understand the grounds that lead them into perpetrating offenses therefore they can fasten the punishments to discourage felons from perpetrating the offenses. The theory postulates that felons are members of the society who hold the same values as the remainder of members of the society but use different methods to accomplish what they want to accomplish ( MPRS, 2011 ) .

Failings of the Proposed New Law

One of the restrictions of the proposed jurisprudence of enforcing a biennial gaol term for new wrongdoers is that seting them in correctional installations is an expensive project for the authorities. As the figure of wrongdoers put in prison additions, this finally strains the authorities resources through increased costs since the captives must be maintained in the prisons ( MPRS, 2011 ) . Another failing of the proposed jurisprudence is that the captive wrongdoers frequently return to the community without the resources they require for them to take their normal lives. For case, after their release they require vesture, abode and other basic demands. Once in prison, they are non involved in any productive activity that would vouch their successful re-integration into the society. This may do them to restart their condemnable activities as they struggle to provide for their unmet demands. This is likely to cut down the effectivity of the proposed jurisprudence in cut downing offense.

Research has shown that merely 10 % of plans aimed at reforming felons are effectual. The most effectual plans are known to cut down recidivism by an norm of 32 % ( Ginger, n.d ) . This is brought approximately by the fact that correctional installations in Massachusetts are non put in topographic point establishing them on research of how effectual correctional installations map. This is besides another failing probably to cut down the effectivity of the proposed jurisprudence in cut downing offense.

Another failing of the proposed new jurisprudence of incarcerating first clip wrongdoers is that this leads to the creative activity of constructions that disadvantage some people. Most of the captive wrongdoers are immature productive persons and dividing them from their already enduring communities may impoverish the communities the more. This failing of the new jurisprudence is supported by the fact that the figure of kids in United States who have one of their parents in prison exceeds 1.5 million kids ( ncjrs, 2003 ) . There are legion negative effects associated with a parent who spends life in prison such as the inability to supply for the household. There is besides the physical separation of the captive individual and his relations, something that frequently causes emotional perturbation because in most instances the wrongdoers are taken stat mis off from their households. These factors may lend towards an addition in offense rates instead than a lessening.

The proposed jurisprudence besides has a failing in that it causes psychological harm to the imprisoned persons by dividing them from their relations, something which heightens category and societal differences. For illustration, the captive persons are forced to travel through antisocial conditions through a socialisation procedure that leaves them traumatized. Sending the wrongdoers to prison makes them appear like castawaies and unsuitable persons to the remainder of the society. These jobs may as a consequence cause the wrongdoers to travel back to offense after release because they feel rejected.

Strengths of the Proposed New Law

Despite the failings associated with this proposed new jurisprudence in Massachusetts, it however has strengths that make it an of import scheme of cut downing offense in the part. Its first strength is that the fright of losing freedom by being imprisoned will discourage first clip wrongdoers from perpetrating offense. The compulsory two twelvemonth prison sentence will expose the victims to unwanted conditions where they are removed from the society and forced to populate in segregation from their household members. It is rather obvious that cipher will perpetrate an discourtesy that will do him to pass clip in prison since this will hold inauspicious effects on their lives.

The 2nd strength of the proposed jurisprudence is that it will guarantee that those who fall victims of first clip offenses are rehabilitated and leave prison as Reformed people. The thought behind imprisonment is non to torment wrongdoers but instead to rehabilitate them for a successful re-integration into the society. The two twelvemonth prison term proposed in the new jurisprudence will guarantee that first clip wrongdoers do non go on perpetrating offense but alternatively they will emerge from the correctional installations as Reformed people.


Despite the few failings associated with this proposed new jurisprudence, it is expected to convey about alterations in offense bar therefore the legislative assembly should go through it. It should go through the new jurisprudence because decidedly the jurisprudence will maintain first clip wrongdoers at bay. Some people may go on perpetrating offenses because they know that they have unsusceptibility from the jurisprudence but one time this jurisprudence is in topographic point, many wrongdoers will be deterred from perpetrating offense. However, in go throughing the new jurisprudence, the legislative assembly should besides set into consideration the conditions in the prisons to guarantee that the captives are non treated in inhumane ways.

Part II:

Social Disorganization Theory and Neighborhood Violence

Social disorganisation is a criminology theory that explains the causes of changing offense rates in different locations. Harmonizing to this theory, force in vicinities is caused by deficiency or hapless public presentation of communal establishments such as schools, household and churches that were in the past responsible for promoting good societal relationships among people. The theory bases its statement on the dislocation or disappearing of peculiar dealingss among people in the society ( ncjrs, 2003 ) . Good relationship among social members in a peculiar country is expected to be organized when different people in the society participate in different activities organized by those who represent communal establishments such as the household caputs, local heads and curates. Social organisations are believed to construct strong societal bonds among people populating in the same geographical part. The theory was ab initio designed to mention to miss of organisation in vicinities but it has been used to do mention to fluctuations bing in larger contexts such as states.

With mention to societal disorganisation theory, there are differences between public, parochial and societal degrees of societal control which can explicate causes of force in vicinities. When interpersonal bonds among different people populating in the same country are non tight, this leads to high personal societal control. Parochial degree of societal control is referred to as the relationship between the occupants of an country and establishments such as schools and churches. The interpersonal relationships might be strong even when there are weak relationships in parochial systems. Public degree of societal control is the other societal control degree which is independent from the other degrees. These different degrees of societal control explain why we have neighborhood force in countries that are characterized by stableness and strong ties among people populating in the vicinities ( Burfeind & A ; Bartusch, 2010 ) .

Social disorganisation theory goes on to explicate that alterations in the behaviours of young persons in vicinities are as a consequence of alterations in their fond regard to others, perpetrating themselves to ordinary ends and take parting in conventional activities. When the bond between the young persons and the society is strong, it is likely that force in vicinities will be reduced. If the bond is weak, force in vicinities additions. A interruption down in societal establishments or hapless public presentation of the establishments explains the cause of force in vicinities.

Restrictions of Social Disorganization Theory

Although societal disorganisation theory has attempted to explicate how dislocation of societal establishments causes force in vicinities, the theory has a figure of restrictions. This theory has been criticized by different bookmans who have advanced dissentient sentiments. The first unfavorable judgment laid against this theory is that the vicinities that are categorized as disorganized may non be devoid of societal organisation. The critics of the theory have suggested that people who live in vicinities and portion common ideal signifier stable informal associations. They go on to explicate defects that occur in societal organisations should non be taken to intend deficiency of societal organisation.

The 2nd restriction of the theory is that it can be misdirecting since there is ever order associated with societal life regardless of whether it is organized in force or non. In add-on, societal disorganisation theory can merely be understood in a round manner. The theory offers different accounts of vicinity force which wage attending to societal conditions of the people, the societal establishments and the bonds that exist between persons and the establishments ( Burfeind & A ; Bartusch, 2010 ) .

The 3rd restriction of the theory is that it explains causes of vicinity force by associating them to miss of appropriate restraints. This renders the theory inadequate because it is expected to explicate the presence of attitudes towards force that are expressed in the absence of the restraints. The theory makes an premise that neighborhood force occurs of course when social restraints are non strong ( Miller, 2009 ) .


Break down of societal establishments is a major cause of vicinity force that has been cited by societal disorganisation theory. Harmonizing to the theory, when the relationship between people populating in a peculiar country and the societal establishments in the country is strained, this loosens the bond between people and the establishments. The possible consequences of such an case are an addition in neighborhood force and offense in general. However, the theory has been criticized by some bookmans who have pointed out that among other things deficiency of societal establishments does non needfully intend societal disorganisation because like-minded people have informal associations.


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