Free Essay About Deviant Behavior And Social Control

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Crime, Social Issues, Law, Theory, Criminal Justice, Victimology, Control, Adolescence

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/20

Deviance comes from the root word deviation or to deviate, which generally means to go against. However, deviation, within the context of sociology, and of criminal justice and law enforcement may pertain to a different thing. Specifically, it pertains to an action, a behavior, or even mindsets that violate or go against the established social norms in a particular community or social group; the same principle can in fact be applied to any act or behavior that violates laws and acts that are being implemented and enforced in a political territory or a state. The objective of this paper is to discuss the developmental theory of crime in relation to the topics of deviance (both social and legal) and social control. The author of this paper argues that the developmental theory of crime plays a key role in determining an individual’s tendencies to commit crimes.
There are numerous theories and models that professionals in the criminal justice and law enforcement field can use to analyze or even describe certain situations and even individuals. Just like theories and frameworks in other fields, there are traditional and contemporary theories and frameworks that professionals in the industry may choose from. In most cases, the contemporary theories and frameworks turn out to be the most widely used because they usually are a product of the failures and errors of the traditional theories and frameworks. In this case, the developmental theory of crime can be considered as a traditional theory of crimes. It was first introduced by Terrie Moffitt in 1993 as a result of his work on the dual taxonomy or naming mechanism of certain offending behaviors.
In her work, he attempted to explain how certain developmental processes, even the ones that are generally considered as normal part of an individual’s growth and development process, could distinctively shape an individual’s tendencies to be a law and norm-abiding citizen or a criminal or a delinquent offender as in the case of youths who cannot be held legally accountable for even the serious crimes that they may have committed. Moffitt’s thesis revolved around the two main types of antisocial behaviors that most offenders in society exhibit. According to her, there are adolescent limited offenders and there are life course persistent offenders. Adolescent limited offenders are those who exhibit tendencies to commit crimes as a result of their antisocial behaviors and other behavioral, emotional, or even intellectual impairments, if not conditions, during their years as an adolescent. The life course persistent offenders, on the other hand, are those who exhibit tendencies to commit crimes as a result of their antisocial behaviors starting from their childhood and up to their adolescent years. Some extreme cases of life course persistent offenders fail to adapt to society’s expectations of them that they continue to commit crimes and exhibit antisocial and impulsive behaviors (some of the most important indicators of criminal offense tendencies in other theories of crime) even up to their years as adults.
Evidences from literatures suggest that crimes that have been committed as a result of an individual’s lack or low level of self-control, antisocial behaviors, and even impulsivity are often results of biological factors such as but may not be limited to hormonal imbalances brought about by normal perturbations in an adolescent person’s endocrine system and other body organ system; immature perceptions about the consequences of criminal activity and being prosecuted and even incarcerated as a result of one’s criminal offenses; and even poor socialization skills. This is why Moffitt, along with other proponents of traditional theories of or about crime which well includes the developmental theory of crime, supported the idea that individuals who have committed crimes as a result of lack or low level of self-control among other possible light causes would tend to have lesser tendencies to commit crimes as a result of the same set of factors they encountered during the time they have higher tendencies to commit crimes as they age towards adulthood. This is because most, but definitely not all, individuals often experience dramatic changes in their bodily mechanisms, some of which have been discovered to have direct correlations with an individual’s tendencies to commit crimes. In the case of hormonal imbalances, for example, hormonal imbalances are only common among individuals in their puberty stage and adolescent years.
As a person ages, the hormones in an individual’s body normalizes until it reaches a point of equilibrium and relative stability, unless of course that individual suffers from the effects of an external event that renders his body unable to respond to the normal changes that he must encounter as he ages. Another example would be in the case of immature perceptions about the consequences of criminal activity and poor socialization skills. In these two’s case, literatures generally support the idea that as an individual ages, he becomes more mature; that is, more emotionally, psychologically, and intellectually capable of adhering to the established norms, expectations, laws, and policies of society.
They start to realize that by committing crimes and getting caught and then incarcerated multiple times bring them virtually nowhere and actually lead to no yields as opposed to being a law abiding citizen and a follower of the expectations and norms that society, via the government, has imposed; that in order to appreciate the real meaning of life, one has to be able to know the social values of being a law abiding citizen of the world; and lastly, that being a criminal or an offender has consequences.
In the case of the developmental theory of crime, it helps professionals in the criminal justice and law enforcement industry classify the people they are dealing with. Basically, those who have been chronic committer of crimes (those who have been so used to committing crimes since their childhood) have a poorer prognosis (i.e. the life course persistent offenders) compared to those who have only started to commit crimes during their adolescent years (i.e. the adolescent limited offenders). Nonetheless, regardless where an individual falls in this dual taxonomy or classification of criminally offending behaviors, every subject should be given a fair chance to change.
One of the movies that have been released that shows the principles of the developmental theory of crime is the movie entitled The Released. The Released is a documentary film that was released in 2009. It emphasizes the lives of mentally ill repeat offenders who have been released from prison but are showing signs of struggle in making a life for themselves outside the prison where some of them stayed in form years or even decades.
Within the context of the developmental theory of crime, it can be said that the subjects featured in the documentary film The Released can be classified as life course persistent offenders because a significant number of the subjects they featured have been chronic offenders of the law; that is, they have repeatedly violated the rule of law for reasons like suffering from an irreversible mental illness or any condition that limits their ability to exert social and self-control, numerous times and repeatedly.
Social and self-control are some of the most important factors that professionals in the field of criminal justice and law enforcement consider as indicators that an individual have decreased tendencies to commit a crime. That is, individuals who have a high level of self-control and social control tend to have lesser tendencies to commit a crime than those who have low levels of these two.
This has, in fact, been proven in numerous studies that examined the correlation between self-control and social control and people’s tendencies to commit a crime. In summary, the developmental theory of crime perfectly fits the case of the subjects that have been discussed in the course and even the subjects of the individuals that have been featured in the documentary film The Released.
Another interesting film that features an interesting theory about crime and offending is Cheaters. The film is based on a story, a true one, of an entire high school team from Steinmetz who decided that they wanted to cheat in the United States Academic Decathlon (UCAD) by obtaining a leakage of the exam for the UCAD state finals from one of the main characters’ friends ahead of the exam itself. One particular theory of crime that comes to light in this case is the self-control theory of crime which is also called the general theory of crime. Basically, it is a one-dimensional theory that considers an individual or in this case, a group of individuals’ self-control as the single and most important indicator of tendencies to commit a crime or any delinquent behavior.
The Interrupters is another film that focuses on crime and violence in a Chicago neighborhood. It portrays the life of an activist group named Cease Fire who decided they wanted to intervene in the youth riots and other streams of violence going on in a Chicago neighborhood they were closely watching. The theory that applies in this case is the developmental theory of crime, particularly that of the adolescent limited crime or offender, mainly because the individuals involved in the issue the activist group was grappling with were youths and adolescents.
Using the dual taxonomy or classification feature that has been introduced by Moffitt when she first introduced the developmental theory of crime, professionals working in the criminal justice and law enforcement industry would tend to have a more systematic way of categorizing and describing their subjects—whether their current subject is an adolescent limited offender or a life course persistent offender. And based on their assigned category, the subjects would receive the treatment or whatever due process or procedure they need and deserve. All in all, the use of the developmental theory of crime would be of great help in most criminal justice and law enforcement processes.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 20) Free Essay About Deviant Behavior And Social Control. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-deviant-behavior-and-social-control/
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Free Essay About Deviant Behavior And Social Control. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/free-essay-about-deviant-behavior-and-social-control/. Published Dec 20, 2020. Accessed May 17, 2022.
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