Chapter 5 Notes

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Woodsworth College Courses
Jim Davies

Criminology in Canada Chapter 5 Choice TheoryMost young offenders are young males who desist from crime as they mature The bulk of adult offending is committed by relatively few persistent offenders Illegal act is a matter of individual decision making rational choice made after weighing the potential benefits and consequences of crimePeople choose crime simply because they find it rewarding satisfying easy or fun The central premise is the criminals are rational their behavior can be controlled or deterred by the fear of punishmentDesistence growing and intense fear of punishment The Development of Classical TheoryChoice theory the view that delinquent behavior is a rational choice made by a motivated offender who perceives the changes of gain as out weighing any perceived punishment or loss Classical criminology the theory that people have free will choose to commit crime for reason of freed or need and can be controlled only by the fear of criminal sanctions Core concepts of classical criminology based on the works of Beccaria Betham and other utilitarian philosopherso People choose all behavior including crime o A violation of another person is a violation of the social contract o Society must provide the greatest good for the greatest number o The law shouldnt try to legislate morality o People should be presumed innocent until proven guilty with no tortureo Laws should be written out with punishments prescribed in advanceo Individuals give up some of their liberty in exchange for social protectiono People are motivated by pain and pleasure o Punishment should be limited to what is necessary to deter people from crime o Punishment should be sever certain and swifto The law must be rational transparent and just or is itself a crimeo Peoples choices can be controlled by the fear of punishment Beccaria saw people as egotistical and selfcentred needing to be goaded by the fear of punishment fair and certain punishment to deter crime Punishment should fit the crime and that people should be punished proportionately for their criminal actsUtilitarianism a view that believed punishment of rime should be balance and fair and that even criminal behavior must be seen as purposeful and reasonableo Actions are evaluated by their tendency to produce advantage pleasure and happiness and to avoid or prevent mischief pain evil or unhappiness Punishment has four main objectives 1 To prevent all criminal offences 2 To convince the offender to commit the least serious crime possible 3 To ensure that a criminal uses no more force than is necessary4 To prevent crime as cheaply as possible
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