Criminological Theory

There are so many areas involving criminology.  Crimes, ages, strengths, strategies, and even capitalism are all a few of the key aspects related to criminology.  This paper will briefly discuss several of these topics as they relate to specific areas in criminology.  The first topic that will be discussed is the Marxist theories as they relate to crime.  Although some of his theories are questionable and not always agreed with, he did contribute a great deal to the field of criminology.
Marx believed that there were five main perspectives that related to crime and its make-up.  These topics were police and the judicial system, socialism and capitalism, legal matters, social class, and inequality.  A deeper look into these topics will show how they all tie in together to give a different perspective on the outlook of crime.  The police and the judicial system are often viewed as one in the same insofar as they are both on the same side of the fence.  Police officers and members of the judicial system have all been sworn by oath to uphold the law for which it stands.  There is the occasional officer who takes a bribe or a judge, who agrees to scratch someone s back in return for a future favor, but these instances are few and far between however, they do occur.  Marx believed that if the rules were upheld, this would automatically serve as deterrence to criminal behavior.  This means no bending of the rules for celebrities, friends, family, or anyone.  The law is the law. Sentences would be for a specified amount of time and there would be no time taken off of a sentence for good behavior.  If the criminal were capable of good behavior, then they would not have been incarcerated in the first place.
The second perspective in Marx s theory to crime is socialism and capitalism.  Capitalism, according to Marx, is an open door to crime.  Capitalism allows too much freedom of choice and not enough order within society.  Socialism provides boundaries and required conformity within society.  Crime and punishment may seem more harsh in a socialist government, but in comparison to a capitalist government, it would be an improvement and less costly.  Capitalism is feeding upon itself.  It has turned into nothing short of organized chaos.  The prison systems within the United States are overcrowded and costing the tax payers more and more to keep the re-offenders locked up.  If America were to incorporate a Marxist theory of crime, much money would be saved and prospective criminals would be deterred from committing any crime.
The third theory references the legal aspect of crime and the fourth theory of crime references the class of individuals as they relate to committing or having committed crimes.  In some ways, these theories are intermingled.  Depending on what social class the criminal or alleged criminal is from, it will have a great bearing on what type of legal representation he or she will have.  If someone is financially able to afford their own attorney, then their chances are greater that they will not serve any time in jail or their charges will be dismissed.  If someone cannot afford their own attorney and is appointed a public defender, then their chances are greater that they will serve time in jail, get community service, and get a hefty fine.  Unfortunately, that is how the judicial system works.  This is not to say that all public defenders are useless, but for the most part, the deals are made with the prosecutors over cocktails after work.
The fifth and final theory in Marx s perceptions of crime is inequality.  Not everyone is viewed nor are they treated the same.  Racism is still alive and well in many of America s courtrooms even though it is against the law. African-American males make up over 13 of America s prison population today.  Women are sentenced to prison far less than men are.  This is largely in part because so many women are single mothers, and it would cost the state more money to put the children in foster care.  No matter how it is sliced, the judicial system is becoming more along the value of a dollar than it is the actual law it represents.
As everyone gets older, their priorities change.  For instance, a six year old boy s top priority is either riding his bicycle or playing with a new Wii gaming system.  Now consider what the priorities are of a 60 year old man.  A sixty year old man s priorities may consist of being able to just get out of bed in the morning, taking medications, going for a walk, or having a visit with his grandchildren.  The priorities and acts of enjoyment are completely different but they both bring happiness to each one respectively.  Which individual would be most likely to steal from a store, the six year old boy or the sixty year old man  Most would agree by answering the six year old boy would be more likely to steal from a store.  Believe it or not, the sixty year old man is just a capable of stealing as the young boy.  Why  Well, look at the rising costs in health care.  Some elderly individuals have to choose between buying their medications, that are needed to survive, or paying for heat or for food.  Desperate times are calling for desperate measures.  It is a shame to think that some of the men that fought during WWI and WWII for this country have to steal loaves of bread or cans of soup from grocery stores just because they cannot afford to buy groceries after paying for their medications.  Who is robbing who here  The pharmaceutical companies are making a killing off of the illnesses and ailments of the elderly.  At some point in time, America should just give the elderly their medications at no cost considering it is them who helped get America where it is today.
Integrated theories are a combination of several criminology theories put together to form a more effective theory,  Social control, strain, and social learning can be combined to construct the pattern for deviance.  Crime and culture form an integrated theory.  Specific cultures react different ways to certain situations.  Structural conceptual assimilation provides the necessary model needed to understand how the integration of theories works.  Social learning and social control work together to better educate the community about laws and how they pertain to each individual.  Ignorance is no defense in a court of law, therefore community policing can be used to better inform the community of the laws and how to not only obey them, but also how to take an active role in making sure that the laws are enforced.  Neighborhood watch programs are an example of how integrated theories can work.
When a serial killer is being investigated, there are several methods used.  One method is criminal profiling.  Special forensics experts are used to make a composite of not only what the criminal may look like, but they also devise a psychological profile as well.  This is done in an attempt to predict the serial killer s next move.  Strong leadership is a necessity as the development of a Task Force Organization is needed once the identity of the serial killer becomes known.  Resource augmentation is another factor for organizing a Task Force Organization as the resource augmentation allows for the expansion of the unit if need be.  Communication is key during any investigation as this allows for officers and leaders to brief all involved officers, but it also allows officers to provide updates while out on the street.  Analytical tools utilizes the concepts of the crimes while a medical examiner or coroner relies on evidence produced from an autopsy in relation to any information that may provide leads to the investigative team.  The administrative team and the resource finance team work together to keep information up to date and logged into the database.  Finally, training is expected of every officer periodically.  This ensures the task force that everyone is physically up to carrying out their duties on the job.  Following an arrest of a serial killer, there are special processes that each member of the team and task force must undergo.  These include debriefing, counseling, a mental health evaluation, and time off from work.  A stressful investigation over a period of time requires one to take a step back in order to regain their composure and move forward.
Officers and members of law enforcement have many different jobs that protect and serve the community.  Officers work diligently with their superiors to create and enact programs that once implemented, better serve the community.  As a citizen, each community member has the job of following the law and helping law enforcement by reporting crimes when they occur.  If everyone would work harder to work together, then crime levels would drop, and it would become a safer place to live.


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