M8D1: Assessing criminological theories
According to Bernard (2010), individual differences between people are a factor that can explain why some people commit crime while other does not. Individual difference between people leads to some people to be aggressive and engage in rule-breaking behaviors in society. These unruly behaviors according to may be as a result of genetic factors that are different in all people. There is a strong connection between genetics and the likelihood of a person to commit crime. Individual genetics from settings of ecological behavior and the macro level context of a community and the social systems may describe why some people commit crime (Bernard 2010). Some of the factors to consider in individual difference are willful antisocial proclivities, feeblemindedness, emotional instability, physical disability mental disability and antisocial personalities. These factors describe why some individuals commit crime while others refrain from doing so.
The second theory according to explains that structural processes of the community are the main leading causes of crime in the community. Structural processes of the community also have a role to play in explaining why people commit crime. The society may be structured in a way whereby people do not have access to means of achieving societal goals (Bernard 2010). Some people in the community do not have gainful employment which serves as a means of getting monetary benefits, these people will therefore engage in crime as a way to achieve societal goals.
Between these two theories (individual difference and structural process) the most convincing theory would be that social and structural processes of the community play a bigger role in explaining causation of crime than individual difference. Individual difference a reason to commit crime is not all satisfying because it does not give valuable evidence as to the link between genetic factors and causation of crime. Structural processes, however, give a valuable reason by stating that circumstances and situations will have a direct effect as to why people will commit crime. People will resort to crime when they are faced with a situation where they do not have sources of employment that will enable them to earn money.
M8D2: The impact of mass incarceration in the U.S.
The United States of America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The country has the highest number of crime offenders serving in the prison systems in the world. The Bureau of Justice Statistics gives an estimate of a total of 730 inmates from a total of 100000 people in the United States. This shows that a more than two million people serve as prisoners from the total population of 310 million citizens. According to Clear (2012), this increasing trend increased number of criminals in the prison system is problematic because of a number of factors. One of these factors is that it decreases the number of people who are productive to the economy. A decrease in the number of able people who take part in the economy may have adverse effects on the economy. The increase in number of prisons makes the government spend more on prisoners hence increasing the costs that the government has to incur. The government uses a total amount of 24000 dollars per year for every prisoner.
According to Clear (2012), there are three main effects that may arise from an increased rate of incarceration. The first main problem is that replacement of co-offenders accounts for the failure of prison systems to reduce crime this is because replacement brings a sustained recruitment process of young people to criminal behaviors. The second effect is that as many people serve I correctional facilities, the power of fear of prison life diminishes hence decreasing the effectiveness of prison systems. People no longer fear prisons and this makes them continue to commit criminal acts. The third effect according to Clear (2012), is that there are certain social factors that occur when people get locked up in prison systems. These include broken families, increase in social disorder and inequality (Clear 2012). These factors lead to the increase of crime in the neighborhoods. This shows that increased rate of incarceration has a direct link in the increase of crime related activities in the United States.
The first theory that can explain the arguments is the social learning theory. As people enter into prison systems, there is an increase in…