The choice theory Research Paper
The criminal to be has a decision to make after evaluating the opportunities that present themselves for a particular offense: Jail time, fines and imprisonment against the payback of adrenaline shots in the blood, status, and money. The criminal to weigh the factors and depending on which factors carries the most weight, then the criminal may decide to commit a crime or forgo it. The involvement of mind to decide whether to or not commit a crime is a sane choice. The theory is used in explaining why criminals plan on committing violent crime at night and not during the day? Why an offender commits a property crime after caring out investigations for some time? Why does a criminal offender in an enterprise crime hide illegal activities behind legal activities? And finally, why does a person go for a drink in a local pub instead of drinking it in the streets in public order crime? The paper will also address prevention strategies that choice theory encourages to eliminate or reduce crime.
Theory Some theories have been formulated to aid in understanding, explaining and help change criminal activity. According to William Glasser, the choice theory states that all people behave, which is a choice and people are motivated by an urge to satisfy basic needs which are: power, survival, freedom, fun, and love. The most valuable is belonging and love where a people become connected and close to others they about are a requirement for satisfying all other needs. Glasser points out seven habits that play out in a different role in the choice theory. The seven caring habits replace the deadly habits and the external control mechanism. The external control mechanism of most people in the world is vicious to relationships, and destroys the capability of a person getting satisfaction in a relationship hence resulting in a disconnection (Foster 185).
People decide to commit a crime by evaluating the benefits and costs without a thing on the damage that their actions will have on other people or the relationships that they have (Simpson 43). The difference between the two theorist lies in the way William goes into deep details in explaining how choice theory affects the relationships while Bruno gives an overview of how the theory is aimed and self-interest. The basic principles of choice theory are: people are sane, and they can judge a situation in a rational way, all people have interests where different persons have different interests and the interests of an individual define his needs. Due to the nature of living several options are available and people have to make choices, the choice that people make influence the utilities.
The last principle says that person makes a choice is a sane way to increase their utilities, an individual does not have power over the outcome of his choices. However, the theory is based on assumptions without clear evidence of how the level of logical thinking various when an individual has a decision to make. The offender only seeks to maximize his interests and does not have a reflection of other people. The limitations of choice theory are that it can only work well when all the individuals are well connected and visions established which is a challenging thing to do, the achievement of choice theory can be realized mainly through a process that does allow biases in the system. In any given society individuals chooses their behaviors depending on their own needs and the prevailing environment.
The major strength of the theory is the encouragement for individuals to have independence; a choice that is made has consequences hence people should be aware of the consequences (Hirschi 112). In the illegal drug trade where youth traffic drugs; the youth know that drugs are illegal, but on the other hand it is a profitable business undertaking. Choice theory observes the both the illegal and legal a youth has an individual decision. The youths weigh the criminal opportunity, the capability of success, individual gains and the possibility of getting apprehended and prosecuted (Loughran 92). According to Jack Katz, youth perpetuates crime because of the excitement and do not have to gain money from the criminal activities. Katz points out cases of graffiti and vandalism where no gains are derived from criminal activities rather only self-exaltation and adventure.
The criminals have enough time to research, plan and commit a crime. When committing the crime, the criminal is sane and can make a sound decision. Thus it is a choice that the offenders make logically. Public order crimes are acts that are not in line with the community moral values and social behavior. The moral values of any society are the acknowledged standards of what is deemed wrong or right. Public orders crimes are viewed as illegal and threaten to erode the morality of social norms. The criminals who are involved in public order crime do not think about the society and how their actions are going to affect the people around them, the significant thing that they think of is how to get rich faster.
Enterprise crime is one in which illegal undertaking are featured in a business, a legal business with some elements of illegal activities. Enterprise crimes include white collar crime where institutions and people illegal activities profit via legal business dealings; cybercrime where perpetrators use modern technology to execute criminal activities; and organized crimes where organizations and peoples illicit activities gains through illegal business ventures (Ruggiero 259). Taking an example of a restaurant that sells fast foods in town. Criminals who are known should be closely monitored, and their activities tracked to know their intentions before they commit a crime. In prevention of the violent crime, the theory recommends the establishment of severe punishment for a crime that the when a logical person evaluates the cost and benefits, the offenders abandons his motives; this is done by making the criminal act difficult enough that the benefit is not worth the risk.
In a crime against property, choice theory advice on installation of closed circuit television (CCTV) that will help in surveillance on the property of and help in recording of the criminals, properties should be fitted with anti-burglar alarms that can help alert law enforcers on possible criminal activities when property owners have traveled. Enactment of strict laws to deal with perpetrators of crime against property as it was in the case of violent crime. Public order crimes sometimes referred to as victimless crime has serious implication on the future generation of a country. Finally, the prevention measures suggested by choice theory are effective to mitigate criminal activities. Works cited Belknap, Joanne. The invisible woman: Gender, crime, and justice. Nelson Education, 2014. Brents, Barbara G.
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