Social Learning Theory
With facts at hand, the defending lawyer is able to get what has transpired concerning the crime that a person has committed. One reality about the job is that as the case is unfolding, one has to undergo a serious process of analyzing the case to identify the loopholes in the event leading to the crime to ensure that the criminal is not charged. Thus, as an assistant lawyer, one has a lot to discover and much to determine to get an accurate picture of the circumstances related to the crime at hand. The first thing in defending a criminal or issuing a legal advice is the intake call. This is where my input comes in. Thus, I assist lawyers in bringing out arguments that criminal behaviors are usually learned from the society and instead of punishing an individual; they should be enrolled to behavior change programs as efforts are made to ensure that the society as a whole is restructured to eliminate the structures that support the development of criminal behaviors.
The organization operates based on the social learning theory. By definition, learning is a lifetime process of transforming experience and information into attitude, knowledge, behavior and skills. According to the social learning theory of crime, crime is not a natural phenomenon. It is an activity that people learn by interacting with peers and other members of the society. The third factor is reproduction of the image. The final factor is motivation, which implies having a good reason to imitate. Bandura argued that reciprocal determinism, that is, the behavior of a person and the social environment cause each other (Bandura, 1978). Therefore, social learning theory argues that people become criminals through vicarious learning. People learn the criminal behaviors from family members and peers (Nicholson & Higgins, 2017).
The second law was the inferiors imitating the superiors. The law meant that the superiors are usually imitated by inferiors in the society. This is evidenced by the past cases in which crimes started in big cities before being imitated in the rural areas. The third law stated that the new methods normally replace the old methods in a similar way that old fashions are substituted by new ones. Tarde referred to this law as the law of insertion. This led to the development of the sixth principle that if a person interacts with people that believe that crime is a favorable activity; the person is likely to become a criminal (Holland, 1984). The seventh principle is that the differential associations can vary based on intensity, frequency, duration, and priority.
The eight one was that the process of learning involves all the mechanisms used in other forms of learning. The final principle is that even though criminal behaviors are expressions of values and needs, the criminal motives and behaviors are not explained by the same values because non-criminal behaviors are explained by similar values and needs (Holland, 1984). Even though the theory has weaknesses and faults, various scholars have supported it due to its influential power. The fourth principle is that for learning to occur, reinforcement contingencies must be available. The fifth principle is that the frequency and type of learning are dependent on the norms used to apply the reinforcements. The sixth principle is that criminal behaviors are functions of the norms that are discriminative to criminal behaviors.
The final principle is that reinforcement of a criminal behavior is a key determinant of its strength (Akers, 1990). The social learning theory was later developed after the ideology of imitation was added to the differential reinforcement theory. This implies that social structure affects the concepts of social learning. Bearing this in mind, the four dimensions of social structure play a key role in providing the context upon which the concepts of social learning and the actual process of learning occur (Taşğin, 2014). Analysis of agency practices My direct supervisor is an attorney, his name is……… The name of his company is Woodard Law Firm LLC located in………. In order to become an attorney, you have to obtain a BA degree and then enroll in a Juris Doctor Degree law school which usually will take a minimum of three to four years.
In addition, each potential attorney has to pass the bar exam to obtain their license in their particular state. With this argument, the blame is usually shifted from the criminal to the law enforcing agencies within the society for having failed to come up with mechanisms for eliminating crime supportive structures in societies. It is usually argued out that various criminal behaviors such as violence, the breaking of law, and portrayal of antisocial behaviors do not just appear in an individual. They have to be learned from the members of the society that the criminals being defended have considered to be role models as they grow up. The learning of criminal behaviors must be supported by reward systems. The notable reward systems for criminals include the criminals who are seen as role models having an admirable lifestyle, crime being praised as the easiest way in which a person can get what he or she wants, and lack of mechanisms for punishing minor and major crimes within the community.
Therefore, the law enforcing agencies must take responsibilities of creating societies where crime is not tolerated. When these agencies fail, the outcome is crime, which must not be punished by jailing but must be addressed through the rehabilitation of criminals and establishing structures that address criminal behaviors at their earliest stages within societies. Conclusion and recommendations Social learning theory is an important theory that informs how lawyers defend criminals in a court of law. It is rooted in sociology and psychology and offers various ways that are useful for crime prevention. Some of its principles such as imitation and reinforcement show how the social structures within the society shape the behaviors of individuals. However, caution should be taken to ensure that this form of representation does not motivate more member of the society to continue engaging in crime.
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