Biological, Sociological and Psychological Criminological Theories

Biological theories

            Biological theories of criminality focus on examining criminal behavior that caused by the biological makeup of a person. The biological makeup of a person include physical flaws such as heredity, neurotransmitter dysfunction, brain abnormalities resulting from trauma or improper development. Some of the studies present biological factors such as genetic, neurological, biochemical and physiological factors (Rutter, 2006). In this case, genetic factors is described as biological factors passed from parents to children through hereditary. Analysis indicated that biological theorists have established better law enforcement techniques and stricter penalties for crime control. As a result, many techniques that are specific to the biological theories of criminality have been developed. For example, psychosurgery can be applied to control criminal behavior. Statistics indicated that more than 40,000 frontal lobotomies was conducted to treat various criminal behavior caused by schizophrenia and depression.

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            Another method that is applied to change the criminal behavior of the individual caused by biological factors is chemical methods of control. For example, two common pharmacological treatment applied in most cases is chemical castration and pharmacological intervention for changing the criminal behavior of the sex offenders and alcohol or drug addicts respectively. Empirical evidence have indicated that the use of chemical castration to control and change the criminal behavior of the sex offenders has been efficacious (Raine, 2002). Also, analysis indicated that criminal justice system orders mentally ill offenders to seek medication in order to change their mental illness. The significant effect of the biological theories of criminality depends on the form of criminal behavior where the offender cannot be rehabilitated and stricter or harsher imprisonment such as executions or any other viable method.

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Sociological theories

            The sociological theories focus on examining the criminal behavior caused by social environment such as society, community, and workplace, peer group, social and family. However, it is important to understand that each social theory is different from others in the sense each theory explain different features of the social environment. Some of the theories provide explanation why social environment causes crimes. For example, why some societies experience higher crime rates than other societies (Diener, 1979). Traditional sociological theories hypothesized that crimes was as a result of lack of social norms and disconnect of an individual from the society. The sociologists have used the term to explain the criminal behavior that resulted from acquiring criminal behavior and values or limited opportunities to achieve aspirations. Therefore, the characteristics of the sociological theories is that society builds wrong doing. This explains the fact that some human activity are considered criminal and are not accepted in the society as a whole.

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            Nonetheless, some human activity are considered criminal by the society and does not cause harm. As a result, these human activities are criminalized without sufficient evidence. For example, crimes such as prostitution and drug use among others (Rutter, 2006). This explain the arguments presented by earlier sociologists that crime is inescapable in the society and therefore criminality should be maintained within reasonable grounds.

            The most viable sociological control technique for these crimes is the creation of equal opportunities in the society so that communities can obtain wealth and goods in all parts of the country. Most of these sociological controls are driven by Federal and States levels of governments. Also, local government play important role in ensuring that equal opportunities are guaranteed to all citizens. For example, some of the social program put forward to control social crimes include urban renewal projects, educational funding, job training and soup kitchen. Other sociological policies put in place to control crimes are empowering neighborhood with projects.

Psychological theories

            The psychological theories focus on examining the influence of family and individual factor on the criminal behavior. Since psychological theories explains the behavior of the offender from childhood to adulthood, it is considered as developmental. Some psychologists perceives criminal behavior one element of a bigger syndrome of antisocial behavior. These include problems in the relationships, lack employment, educational problems, reckless driving, and drug-taking as well as heavy drinking (Holmes, & Holmes, 2008). This form the basis of classifying the antisocial behaviors by the psychiatric. Generally, psychological theories include learning process, decision-making, inhibiting and motivation processes. For example, children are known to naturally avoiding pain, seeking pleasure, selfish and hedonistic. This make them to naturally become antisocial.

            As stated in the above paragraph, the significant risk factors that influence crime are family and individual influence. The family influence can be in the form criminal parents, poor child-rearing methods and broken homes. On the other hand, individual influence mostly relates to personality.            

Some of the methods that have proposed to control crimes associated with psychological theories include criminal profiling (Holmes, & Holmes, 2008). This is the process of identifying person that are likely to commit crime based on the observation of certain behaviors as well as apprehending existing offenders in the society. Recently developed methods for crime control aimed at identifying individual at risk of committing specific crime and changing the behavior of the offenders.

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