Assignment 1 for criminal justice
Summarize the theory of victimization, describing its meaning and core concepts as it relates to the nature of crime.
Identify subcategories of the theory and describe each.
Apply the theory to one (1) real life example or scenario. Briefly explain why the theory applies to the example you identified.
Rational Choice Theory
(This theory is completed for you as an example of how to complete the remaining theories)
According to this theory, crime is a matter of personal choice and the criminal makes a rational decision to commit the crime.
This view is that If a person is motivated, considers the choices, and they believe crime will benefit them without risk. (Siegel & Worrall, 2013, p. 45)
This view is that for the criminal, the profit outweighs the punishment.
One sub-category is the “Deterrence Theory” which aligns itself by indicating crime would not be a “rational choice” therefore not chosen if there was a strong enough fear of punishment, acting to deter the criminal activity. (Akers, 1990, p.2)
One real life case was that of Ariel Castro. This is the nationally televised case of a man who kidnapped and held three (3) women captive in his Cleveland, Ohio home for over 10 years, during which he physically and sexually assaulted, fathered a child and kept these young women captive until one managed to escape 2013. Castro pleaded guilty to 937 counts including murder, rape, and abduction, to avoid Ohio’s death penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole + 1,000 years by Judge Russo, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland where the crimes were committed. After being in prison only 30 days in Franklin County, Castro hung himself in his prison cell, ending his own life. I believe it relates to rational choice theory, Castro made a calculated choice to kidnap the missing teens and commit these crimes for over a decade, while working and interacting in the community. His motivation for the benefit of committing these crimes over a decade was stronger than fear of getting punished.