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SOC 1500 (173)
Chapter 5

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 1500
Professor
Andrew Hathaway
Semester
Winter

Description
Choice TheoryCrime seen as a rational choiceBehaviour can be deterred thru fear of punishmentBreaks from traditional preclassical approachesEasily adapted to crime control programsChoice theory o Deliquent behaviour is a rational choice made by a motivated offender who perceives that the chances of gain outweighs the punishment or lossIlliegal act is a matter of individual decision makingrational choice made after weighing the potential benefits and consequences of crime Classical theoryCesare Beccaria o Italian philosopher o Wrote on crimes and punishments o International influence in transforming criminal justiceJeremy Bentham o British philosopher and jurist o Advocated utilitarianismView that believes punishment of crime shoule be balanced and fairEven criminal behaviour should be reasonable and purposefulClassical Criminology o People have free will to choose criminal or conventional behaviours o People choose to commit crime for reasons of greed or personal need o Crime can be controlled only by fear of criminal sanctionsCentral concepts o Human NaturePeople are egotistical rational and motivated by pain and pleasurePeople choose their behaviourBehaviour can be modified by fear of punishment o SocietyMust provide the greatest good for the greatest number o Social contractIndividuals give up some freedom in return for social protection o The lawShouldnt legislate moralityMust be written transparent rational and justInnocent until proven guiltyNo torture o PunishmentMust be specified in advanceShould be certain severe and swiftShould be sufficient to deter crimeShould not be excessiveFour main Objectives of punishment o Prevent all criminal offences o Convince determined offender to commit a lesser crime o Ensure that a criminal uses no more force than necessary o Prevent crime as cheaply as possibleApplied Utilitarianism o Declaration of the Rights of ManFrance 1789Law shall inflict only such punishments as strictly and clearly necessary o Charter of Rights and FreedomsCanada 1982Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment Choice theoryJames Q Wilson o Thinking about crime o CriminalsLack inhibitionSeek excitement and thrillsHave low stake in conformity little to loseSome rational will fear severe punishmentOthers irrational must be incapacitated o SoReduce opportunity for crimeUse prisonDoes crime Pay o Most crimes pay less than legitimate work o Profits reduced by costs of crimeLegal costs jail timeo Why
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