Causes of Crimes, Theories and Crime Behavior

Subject: Law
Pages: 3
Words: 838
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College


Criminology requires a person to understand the reason that makes people commit crimes. It provides a platform on which mechanisms of solving and handling criminal behavior. In the past years, various theories, which are related to causes of crime, have emerged. Besides, researchers continue to explore these theories. This approach can be adopted to reduce the levels of crime (Farrell, 2010). The government has made a significant progress in relation to the issue of crime justice.

Theories of Understanding of Crime Behavior

Relational Choice Theory

Research shows that individuals often react to fulfill their interests. In most cases, people make crime-related decisions after they have evaluated all the risks involved. This forms the foundation of the relational choice theory (Farrell, 2010). Relational choice theory encompasses the repercussions of criminal behavior. A person is liable for punishment if they are found to have committed a crime. The risks are often weighed against rewards in relation to criminal behavior.

Social Disorganization Theory

The physical and social environment of individuals affects the behavior of a person. An environment with fraying structures will enhance criminal behavior (France, 2006). Besides, there is a likelihood of high levels of unemployment in that area. Furthermore, the area might have a mixture of commercial and residential assets. This is likely to attract idlers and people with ill motives who might engage in criminal behavior.

Strain Theory

The society encompasses people with similar aspirations. However, they are not often exposed to equal opportunities. This may make some individuals fail to meet the expectations of the society in a genuine and acceptable way (France, 2006). In some situations, aspects such as delayed gratification and hard work may not work in relation to the process of achieving goals. Therefore, people may be tempted to engage in crime so that they can accomplish their goals.

Social Control Theory

Individuals can engage in crime whenever there is lack of social controls. In fact, avenues to issue guidelines to people might be lacking in an area (Farrell, 2010). The social control theory explores the various avenues and institutions, which are established to regulate human behavior, in the society. Some of these include churches, schools and families.

Social Learning Theory

Researchers have established that companies play crucial roles in influencing criminal behavior. Most people often commit a crime because of influence by their friends or colleagues (Walsh, 20111). This is always experienced when people with good conduct interact with those who have immoral behavior. Thus, peer influence affects behavior changes. In fact, they break the law because of the influence of others.

Labeling Theory

This theory proposes that some individuals have the authority to determine actions which constitute criminal behavior. Once a person is branded a criminal, the society might have a different opinion on them. Also, the person might lose their property. This may compel the person to engage in criminal behavior.

Biology, Genetics and Evolution

Researchers have noted that various factors, which are related to health and physical orientations, subject individuals to criminal behavior. Some of these aspects include mental illness, poor diet and damaged brain chemistry (Walsh, 2011). The combination of these elements can lay a foundation for criminal behavior in an area. Furthermore, the same has been linked to crimes in the society.

Causes of Crime

Various factors make individuals engage in criminal behavior. Some of these factors encompass education aspects, political aspects, family values and economic issues. Some of the reasons why people engage in crime are jealousy, anger, pride and greed amongst others. These issues are linked to the theories to illustrate behavior associated with crime.

Some crimes are often well-orchestrated, whereas others are not. Planned crimes encompass maximizing benefits and reducing all risks (Farrell, 2010). In fact, criminals consider crime life as a life filled with riches. They believe that crime attracts excitement, immense reward and admiration. Research shows that success in crime is associated with some of the most dangerous occurrences.

Advancements in Criminal Justice System

Several changes have been witnessed in the criminal justice system of different nations. These changes are characterized by crime regulations. This has seen offenders receiving the required attention. In fact, mechanisms have been established to look at the welfare of crime offenders.

The changes that have been made in the criminal justice system have been accomplished beyond the institutions, which are concerned with criminal behavior regulation (Farrell, 2010). Some of the changes include decline in rehabilitation, which had proliferated in the 1950s and 1960s. There has also been the development of expressive justice and punitive sanctions. This has provided a platform on which public views can be heard.

In conclusion, people commit crimes for various reasons. Some of the reasons are beyond their control because of their surroundings. Researchers have established several causes of crimes alongside theories. In addition, the government has made remarkable progress in the field of crime. This has ensured that cases of crime are handled in an effective manner. In fact, this has seen a reduction on the levels of crime in some societies.


Farrell, G. (2010). Situational Crime Prevention and its Discontents: Rational Choice and Harm Reduction versus Cultural Criminology. Social Policy and Administration, 44(1), 40-66.

France, A., Homel, R. (2006). Pathways and Prevention: Concepts and Controversies. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 39(3), 287-294.

Walsh, A., Yun, I. (2011). Race and Criminology in the Age of Genomic Science. Social Science Quarterly, 92(5), 1279-1296.