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Criminology basically refers to the nature, causes, extent and control of individual and society's criminal behavior. Every crime has its social costs which vary from one crime to the other. Crime is a social problem because it deteriorates the quality of life of an individual or an entire society through violent, or even via non-violent activities. Using the Becker model of crime and subsequent punishment, an intellectual framework and common set-of-terms are important in understanding crime and its determinants. It's easy to link crime and policing and that's why localities increase policing when the crime levels are high. This also applies to various institutions seeking investigations on crime acts. It's also important to identify the causal relationship between crime and deterrence (Haynes, 2007).
From the Becker model, it's important to determine the factors that yield anti-crime efforts. One of the factors has been the increased political-economy influence. Most of policies on monetary as well as welfare behavior arise from intricate processes of political nature. Economics of crime focus on deterrence impact but deterrence reasons do not alone explain the distinctions depicted by the bulk of crimes across society and individuals. Inequality in this aspect serves to explain the variation of crime across societies and institutions. Social causes are important aspect in crime rate in most developing countries as compared to developed nations.
Cost of crime is always increasing since it induces self defense and the eventualities of this self protection adds on crime's cost. The substantial costs of crime have made it an important aspect of economics and its one field that has largely been attracted in-depth-research. This has contributed to establishment of important tools like hedonic estimates for real work, use of real estate costs differences in high and low crimes regions that enable assessment of the willingness of individuals in crime avoidance (Carrabine, 2004).
Crime is mainly related to social and economic situation of any country. Developing countries have high levels of crime with poorer countries reporting overwhelming rates of crime. The principal applied in crime identification is that enforcement of law responds to the estimated level of a crime. According to strain theories, a crime is seen as normal in mechanical societies while law is used in organic societies to regulate interactions of different parts of the society. Where the regulation is not adequate crime occurs. Under this strain theory, strain is used to refer to process through which insufficient regulation in society is filtered down to the way people express their needs. This yields pain and frictions as people seek to meet their desires (Haynes, 2007).
Borrowing from Durkheim contributions to social structure theory, there is need for a force to regulate the people's moral needs just like there is always a force to control and regulate physical needs. According to Merton ideology in strain theory, crime rises from imbalance between success inspirations that are culturally induced and those that are induced by structural possibilities of success. This explains why crime more in low class society who are limited in resource accessibility and thereby achievement opportunities. Social structure and cultural emphasis intensifies deviation. Lower social class find themselves vulnerable to the deviation due to economic aspirations tat are unfulfilled. To stabilize such a system rewards should be provided for none-economic pursuits though the strain and stress mar remain operative (Carrabine, 2004).
Where means and odds are imperfectly coordinated the social structure's effectiveness is limited in predictability and regularity. In such a system chaos are inevitable. Merton in the strain theory argues that focus should be given to the disjunction that supervenes between expectations and aspirations. His argument is that individual's behavior is highly related to structural inequality. These aspirations may include income, occupational goals and/ or education. Combined with perceived chances to achieve the goals which are lower, we can get a measure of strain. Income, occupation and education can be used as indicators for goal blockage. For instance, when income expectations override education an expectation there is structural strain. This economic concern helps to show the innovative pattern of crime (Newburn, 2007).
There is common perception of opportunities blockage. This can help predict female and male crime. Merton used reference group to show the mediation between the interpersonal behavior patterns and social structure through deprivation. He argued that individuals compare their lives with others to evaluate conditions in their lives in reference to their peers to realize the fraternal kind of deprivation. This way they adopt what Cohen in the strain theory has termed as a corner-by kind of attitude in which case they accept their fate but many resolve to crime (Carrabine, 2004)
According to sub-cultural theory, some cultural groups may fragment away from what is perceived as mainstream forming their own meanings and values to life. Delinquency in youths from lower class is normally in reaction to middle class norms. Youths from poorer families or areas have limited access to opportunities and they are likely to be tough among other social norms like disrespect to the authority such that their criminal acts conform to these social norms that are founded in a deviant substructure. The criminal activities may provide them with economy benefits that are lucrative and not conventional. Such benefits may include available jobs that pay minimum wages. These remain imaginary solutions assumed by subordinate class. In the case under study, the student comes from a disadvantage background in regard to socioeconomic situation and being in a prestigious school. It's possible that the school's largest percentage is student from at least middle class and this student's conduct may be as a result of deviation from the school or student's social norms (Newburn, 2007).
There are two issues interrelated in exercising punishment, the social costs involved in a crime and the returns to crime for the individual criminal. Social costs help us gauge our resource allocation in fighting any crime. Knowing the returns enable us to sufficiently determine its prevalence. For example, social and economic inequality may influence crime through increased crime returns' by the rich. Crime can be reduced by reducing it benefits or by raising possibility of being caught or punishments cost. According to different opportunity systems theory, crime and deviance can take different aspects and forms. Inaccessibility of legitimate and illegitimate opportunities form a logical extension of crime, illegitimate opportunity in this case is not merely a chance to commit a deviant act but it's also an opportunity to express and learn people's beliefs in order to support ones sub culture (Tierney 2006).
Crime may arise as an inner variable that serves to stabilize an individual's inner conflict thereby recruiting him to a particular subculture through withdrawal from legitimacy. It's therefore important that institutions learn to distinguish between a crime and deviance. Withdrawal from legitimacy can yield serious crimes (Carrabine, 2004). According to the classical thought, punishment under adequate severity can help deter people from crime. In that case, the penalties or costs should outweigh the benefits of the perceived crime. The punishment severity should be proportional to the committed crime. A more certain and swift punishment to the student in this case would be a little more effectual in dissuading him from his criminal conduct. The teacher has noted that he is active but uneasy to calm. It's also the student's interest that he continues with his studies based on his economic situation. As the vice principal in charge of discipline I would determine punishment while still upholding the principal and the student's interest but if the student proves uncontainable in school I would suggest other none-economic ways of pursuing his aspirations besides education (Haynes, 2007).
Some criminal activities should be taken to court. According to economics of crime, prisons play a role of deterrent role, although they may in some situations incapacitate criminals or rehabilitate them. Its good to appreciate that crime's propensity do not reduce with prison. It's been argued that prisons in most cases serve to train criminals and incapacitate them by reducing their ability to legally be employed. Rehabilitation is normally possible in cases of prolonged imprisonment. Incapacitation and deterrence depends on criminal heterogeneity. Where there is more heterogeneity imprisoning a criminal may reduce crime levels (Carrabine 2004).
According to the Rational choice theory punishment should be swift and certain and where this is proportionate to crime it serves as a deterrent for crime. As a vice principal in the school I would optimize enforcement of school laws. Criminals often weigh the benefits and risks/costs involved in a particular crime and that's why they will always consider the time, situational factors and place when they are considering committing crime (Tierney, 2006).
Crime reduction measures for the school should be devised e.g. I would enhance target hardening for students, increase the likelihood that one is caught through increased surveillance that can help reduce crime. As a vice principal in charge of discipline, its important to work in collaboration with teachers and security guards to ensure that all the crimes committed are recorded and each punishment is strictly swift and certain, with the target set for the punishments should be strictly met (Newburn, 2007).
It's important to assess crime among professionals or people who are generally productive. Where such people commit random acts of crime it's hard to engage them in incarceration. Crime in such a case becomes more professional and any incarceration procedure yields social gains whereby such individuals become incapacitated. In estimating the adequacy of punishment the crime amount should be tested of its elasticity and compare that with the level and size of punishment (Haynes, 2007).
I would advocate that punishment be determined both randomly for small crimes and in a predetermined manner for serious crimes like fights. I would introduce policies that are in line with the crime, such that when the student commits a particular act of crime, the kind of punishment strategy administered is clear. Such laws need to be made known through training on students and other stakeholders, such as teachers and the community in order to enhance enforcement. For instance, for any fight crime the student will have to tidy up a given number of classrooms within a given time (Tierney, 2006).
These policies would be sourced from various sources. According to Becker model the opportunity cost of time determines engagement in criminal activity and as this opportunity cost declines the level of crime increases. In such an institution it's good to engage the student in order to gauge his view on the various criminal acts. Some times such students find themselves in criminal acts as a way of dealing with their frustration and such cases can not be managed through punishment but may rather require counseling by the school psychiatrist. Such options have always yielded favorable results in students' behavior. It would also be imperative to reduce idle time for students. The student may also be involved in drugs and in such cases he will perfectly do any kind of punishment and not feel the pain. Such cases need to be handled uniquely in what we may call offender survey (Tierney, 2006).