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Can we predict which infants will grow up to offend?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Control theory
  3. Involvement in crime
  4. Family as the most important source of social control
  5. Nye's concept of social control
  6. Internal (personal) beliefs, commitment attitudes and perceptions
  7. Discussion on `bonds' of social control. through Travis Hirschi's book `Causes of delinquency'
  8. Gottfredson ideologies
  9. Individuals who have low self-control are drawn to criminal activity
  10. Family - the main vehicle of socialization
  11. Robert Agnew's arguments
  12. Conclusion
  13. Bibliography

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. [...]

[...] To go against one's conscience can results in feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse. Juveniles, as well as adults, want to avoid such negative feelings. Therefore, according to the theory, those who have strong internal controls will be less likely to commit delinquent acts in order to avoid feeling guilty Indirect control relate to identification with parents and other non- criminal Persons'. In relation to delinquent behaviors, children who are strongly attached to their parents tend to care about what they think and therefore avoid behaviors that would upset or offend them. [...]

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