Positivist criminology's vision was to become so advanced that criminologists could differentiate a criminal before they committed crime. Positivism emerged in the late 19th century and endeavored to utilize scientific methodology to explain crime and criminals. Early positivist thinkers such as Cesare Lombroso 1836-1909, who originated the theory of `criminal type', suggested that criminals had physical attributes that could identify them. This crude evaluation of criminals has evolved, positivist scientific approaches now, center on the root causes of crime while an individual may commit offenses they suggest that the causes lie in social conditions. This paper will discuss Control Theory, while focusing on social control, informal controls and why is it that some individuals do not commit crime, in answering that question this paper aims to answer the question Can we predict which infants will grow up to offend?
[...] This paper will focus on the argument that while, individuals may commit offenses; the ingrained causes of crime lay in social conditions, social conditions may have enough influence on a child that, he or she may grow up to offend but, is it possible to predict which infant will be effected by social conditions thus predicting its future criminal habits. Very unlikely but, the understanding of the characteristics of an infant's social condition is a plausible position with which to begin. [...]
[...] So finally in answer to the question `Can we predict which infants will grow up to offend' my answer would be no, although I am in agreement with many theorists that, there are many factors that contribute to children growing into offenders I believe we are all individuals thus we act and react to situations uniquely therefore to identify one area and suggest that it could predict which infant will grow up to offend is implausible. Reckless stated “that if a boy is really rotten down to his biology, then there is little that either outer or inner containment can do to prevent the beast from rising” Reckless 1956. [...]
[...] (Farrell 1988) The question `can we predict which infants will grow up to offend is not as straightforward as first considered, the claim that `good parents raise good children' is not always true, some things are simply beyond our control, conversely, `bad parents do not always raise bad children'. Although Hirschi et al offer many explanations as to why some individuals do not commit crime, the rationalizations of constrained individuals by social controls, does not fully explain why individuals do commit crime therefore, it is unable to be utilized in the prediction of who will commit crime. [...]
[...] If we were to take as face value the concepts of Nye Reiss, Reckless, Hirschi and Gottfredson, the question ` Can we predict which infants will grow up to offend', would seem straightforward to answer, the lack of family structure is a clear indication of deviancy, so, a simplistic way to control crime would be to control how society socializes their offspring. The promotion of `family' is highly political and the suggestion that families who lack time or commitment to their children are in fact growing tomorrow's criminals is highly inflammatory and contentious. [...]
[...] However in agreement with Bentham, control theory argues that individuals do not commit crime because they are subject to controls, the control that the cost will be higher than the benefit. Gottfredson recognized that people seek pleasure and avoid pain and that we are egotistical (originating from Durkheim's theory). He suggests that most individuals do not commit crime because they are subject to controls, moreover, like his predecessors he considers formal controls such as state controls, which, mainly focus on controlling crime with imprisonment are less effective than social control or physical controls an example of physical control is limiting one self to a few alcoholic drinks as not, to have a hangover the next day. [...]
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