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NCJ Number: 50819 Find in a Library
Title: PSYCHOLOGY AND CRIME
Journal: BULLETIN BRITISH PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY  Volume:30  Dated:(AUGUST 1977)  Pages:-280-283
Author(s): R V CLARKE
Corporate Author: British Psychological Soc
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: British Psychological Soc
Leicester, LE1 7DR, England
Home Office Research Unit
London, England SW1
Sale Source: Home Office Research Unit
Romney House
Marsham Street
London,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A SUGGESTED APPROACH THAT CONSIDERS SOCIAL AND SITUATIONAL FACTORS IN THE STUDY AND PREVENTION OF CRIME IS EXAMINED.
Abstract: TRADITIONAL TRAIT THEORIES OF CRIME VIEW PARTICULAR INDIVIDUALS AS BEING GENERALLY DISPOSED BY PERSONALITY TO BREAK THE LAW. HOWEVER, AS A DISPOSITION TO OFFEND MUST VARY WITH THE NATURE OF THE OFFENSE FOR ANY INDIVIDUAL, PERSONALITY TRAITS CANNOT BE THE SOLE DETERMINING FACTOR FOR CRIMINAL OFFENSES. THE INFLUENCE ON BEHAVIOR OF THE TYPE OF CRIME AND OF PARTICULAR SITUATIONAL CONTEXTS IS STRESSED. ELEMENTS CONTRIBUTING TO THE OCCURRENCE OF A CRIME BEGIN WITH EARLY ENVIRONMENT, UPBRINGING AND HEREDITY. LIVING CIRCUMSTANCES, ASSOCIATED WITH SOCIOECONOMIC/DEMOGRAPHIC STATUS AND CRISES OR EVENTS, EXPOSE SOME PERSONS MORE FREQUENTLY TO PARTICULAR TYPES OF CRIMINOGENIC SITUATIONS; E.G., THE INNER-CITY RESIDENT WHO IS UNSKILLED AND LOSES HIS JOB MAY BE MOVED TO EXECUTE A ROBBERY. A PERSON'S COGNITIVE AND PERCEPTUAL PROCESSES CAN ALSO INTERACT WITH OTHER ELEMENTS TO SET THE SCENE FOR A CRIME; MOTIVATIONAL STATES (BOREDOM, ANGER, ETC.) MAY ALSO AFFECT THE DECISION TO COMMIT A CRIMINAL ACT. THE EXISTING SITUATION CAN ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A CRIMINAL PLAN: A POORLY LIT STREET, AN UNLOCKED CAR, OR A SELF-SERVICE STORE CAN PROVIDE AN APPROPRIATE OPPORTUNITY FOR A PROSPECTIVE CRIMINAL. THESE ELEMENTS PROVIDE A FRAMEWORK FOR EXPLAINING THE OCCURRENCE OF CRIMINAL EVENTS AS DISTINCT FROM THE DEVELOPMENT OF PERSISTENT OFFENDING. EXISTING EVIDENCE OF THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF PENAL TREATMENT HAS CAUSED ATTENTION TO FOCUS ON CRIME PREVENTION. MOST OF THE ELEMENTS IN THE SUGGESTED FRAMEWORK PRESENT LIMITED POSSIBILITIES FOR INTERVENTION; HOWEVER, SITUATIONS MAY BE MODIFIED BY REDUCING THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CRIME; E.G., COMPULSORY STEERING LOCKS ON ALL AUTOMOBILES CAN ELIMINATE SOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAR THEFT. ALTHOUGH THIS TECHNIQUE MAY NOT MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO CUT EVERY CATEGORY OF CRIME, PARTICULAR OFFENSES CAN BE REDUCED. A DIAGRAM OF THE FRAMEWORK IS PROVIDED. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Juvenile delinquency factors; Motivation; Socioeconomic causes of delinquency; Theory
Note: ARTICLE BASED ON A PAPER DELIVERED AT THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC MEETING OF THE DIVISION OF LEGAL AND CRIMINOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY ON MARCH 18, 1977
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50819

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