exam 22.docx - Exam 2 Material Chapter 4 Rational Decision...

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Exam 2 Material Chapter 4: Rational Decision Making - Crime is a rational decision to break the law - History 1. 1 st : Religious beliefs and norms used to really guide the definition “crime” Used to assume they were demon possessed, a witch, etc. 2. 2 nd : Social Contract People follow the rules because they understand the difference between right and wrong Rational enough to understand that greed, revenge, etc have negative effects So they agree to give up their own selfish interest with the idea that others will do the same 3. 3 rd : 1600-1700s Jeremy Bentham Embraced the view that human behavior was the result of rational thought and thought processes How do you make a rational decision o Weighing the costs and benefits Pituitary calculus? o Pleasure vs pain How do we eliminate criminal behavior o Make the costs worse than the gain Cesare Beccaria Go-to for classical criminology: Basic Elements o People have free will (choice) o Crime promises a huge pay off o People make choices based upon perceived rewards and punishments o Punishments must be severe, certain and swift to convince criminals that “crime does not pay” o By the end of the 19 th century, the popularity of the classical approach declined o By the mid-20 th century, positivistic views gained mainstream acceptance Poverty, IQ, education, home life believed to be true causes of criminality Wanted to reform the punishments for violation of law o Punishment must be proportional to the seriousness of the crime; if not, people would just commit more serious offenses o Suggested that the extremely harsh punishments of the day and routine use of torture were inappropriate and excessive
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Core ideas o People choose all behavior o We seek pleasure (hedonistic) o Our criminal choices can be controlled through punishment 3 tenants of punishment o Severe o Swift o Certain He is credited with the end of inhumane punishment and the beginning of proportionality of punishment - 4 reasons why we punish people 1. Prevent all criminal offenses If all people are rational, this would work 2. Convince criminals to commit less serious crimes Not all people are rational 3. Ensure a criminal will use no more force than is necessary 4. To prevent crime as cheaply as possible History - Classical 1. By the end of the 19 th century, the popularity of the classical approach declined 2. By the mid-20 th century, positivistic views gained mainstream acceptance Poverty, IQ, education, home life believed to be true causes of criminality - In the mid 1970s, we see a return to contemporary choice theory 1. A renewed interest in the classical approach to crime 2. 3 assumptions We have free will to make decisions We are rational, thinking individuals We are hedonistic (seeking pleasure over pain) 3. Rehabilitation failed to prevent future criminal activity 4. A significant increase in the reported crime rate, as well as serious disturbances in the nation’s prisons, frightened the general public -
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