Reviewing Faculty Of Development And Society Criminology Essay

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Noting is as prominent and ubiquitous in the society which requires great attention compared to crime rates. It is uncontestable and undeniable that there are many factors, in which to a very large and reasonable extent are responsible for this happening. As a matter of fact, different views on the reasons for the occurrence of crime have been developed and different theories on criminal behavior have been postulated by various scholars overtime.

In analyzing competing theoretical perspectives and arguments that delve into the case study, it is pertinent to note that different facts and views has been assumed which can be use to explore the causal factors of crime or criminal behavior in the society. It is best explain in using the theory that focus on the society and its environs.

In the mid-eighteenth century, criminal behavior was view as a result of genetic and personal characteristics. It was focus on the individual, publishing the idea of crime as a rational choice. This period analysed perpetrators of crime from the view of people who has free will to chose how to act, people whose behavior is presumed to be caused by internal and external factors beyond their control, going through the perspectives of empirical evidence in "atavistic" criminal tendencies, which believes criminals are born, down to the societal factors such as poverty and the rest, hence the emergence of the Chicago school of Criminology.

The early twentieth century saw the birth of the Chicago school which is also known as the "Ecological School" focused into moving ahead the plain assertive classical views of crime. This school brought the idea of using socialization as a yardstick to explain criminal behavior. This theory opines that people are not giving birth on the basis of evil or good, but the social situations, people and other external factors influenced that shaped their actions and behavior.

The case study justified the environment in which this family grew up and it connotes the danger of a "tough neighborhood ". It is very clear that, there is something that nearly all the members of this family has in common, which is the environment in which they all grew up. The environment is noted to be a tough area, in which drugs and other deadly deals were way of life which they have grown with.

In assessing or judging this theory in relative similarities with scenario identified in the above case study, The Chicago School of Criminology believes that crime or criminal behavior is not perfectly view as an individual pathology, but it is reasonable when viewed as a social problem ( J.Robert Lilly et al 1995)

The theorist of this school put forward that it is reasonable having the thought of the city as several concentric zones emitting from the city centre, with the zones having different social and economic characteristic and different adaptation to social circumstances by the people living in those different areas. ( Sandra Walklate 2003)

The question of why individuals commit crimes has been the quest in which the early criminologist venture into and what can be linked to explain the causal factor that spur any individual to wake up and venture into commission of crimes. However, this was totally a different works relating to scholars at the University of Chicago, as the study of criminology in United States has its root deepened in urban settlements and communities. They centered their works and interest on why cities have higher crime rates than smaller places, and also why some neighborhood and communities within cities has persistently been infested with higher crime rates and delinquency than the others. (Charles R.Tittle, 2000)

A basic theory explaining collective levels of social control was formulated based on the works of previous criminologist from Durkheim ({1893}1933) to the works of Shaw and Mckay(1969) opines that some cities are discovered to have higher rate of crimes than smaller places as a result of higher numbers, heterogeneity, and rapid inhabitants movements, turnover hinders people to establish closely knitted relationship which could help in restraining misconduct. It is view that the rate of crime in a society or any neighborhoods reflect within city variation in diversity and turnover of inhabitants. The economic depreciation was viewed to be a causal factor for large population size as a major structural variable affecting intercommunity processes.

In further views of the criminologist, cities experiencing higher crime rate will also be noted with weak organization filled with unconventional role models that set off criminal motivation. (Charles R,Tittle, Supra) .This situation makes large amount of the inhabitants highly motivated to commit crime or delinquency and ability to act on liberty. In using Shaw and Mckay (1969), influential theory of community social disorganization to explain similar picture of the environment in the case study, the general hypothesis is that low economic status, ethnic heterogeneity, residential mobility and family disruption leads to community social disorganization.

In the analysis made by Glueck (1950) linked delinquency and criminal behavior to dysfunctional family background by comparing 500 well behaved school boys from a "good" family background with 500 institutionalized delinquents from care and foster homes .The authors found out that sixty six percent of the delinquents had a criminal father or brother, compared to thirty two percent in the "goodies" control group. Bowlby (1944,1979) in his views believed that rejection from maternal deprivation could be linked to childhood antisocial behavior and delinquency.

In relating crime causal factor to sex offenders, there is disparity between the reality of formal sexual practices and informal social control of sexual deviation. (Heitzig, 1996)

Part Two

It is without doubt and an undeniable fact that, the last four decades have witnessed various developmental changes which has gradually cut across the socio-economic and political aspect of the society. This contemporary era has been identified as the late modernity as a result of the significant transformations from the earlier modernism through different stage of interwoven development which includes transformative dynamic of capitalist production, globalization, new insecurity of employment, secular changes in the structure of families and homes, changes in social ecology and demography, social effect of electronic mass media, the democratization of socio-cultural life and the rise of individualism.(Garland and Spark,2000:199) This contemporary period has to a very reasonable extent serve as an eye-opener to how crimes or criminal behavior are being viewed or perceived.

Prior to this period, it is pertinent to note that crime or criminal behavior captured from early to eighteenth century was always put before the secular courts or church courts. In focusing on sex crimes, the idea of sex offences has developed slowly over a period of time in history.

The perception of sexual offending is frequently viewed as somehow inherently different to other types of offences and those committing the act are seen differently by the public as they take up a special place in the society. Sexual crime has become a subject of discussion on every tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, where offenders are described as 'monsters', 'beast' and 'sex villain (Terry Thomas, 2005). However, what is termed as sex offences varies as a result of culture and legal jurisdiction, but there are serious types of sexual offending; rape, sexual abuse of children (mainly stranger),and sexual murder. It is important to note that, the identified offenses are not the only serious crimes, but they served as the most feared as they shape human perception.

Sexual offenses has been viewed over the years has something dangerous and precarious but, it was not really pronounced as it is now in contemporary time. In the early twentieth century, sex offenders are seen as pathetic, sad and creepy set of people, they are referred to as sexual psychopath as they view their behaviors to be rooted in psychopathology. (Karpman B, 1954). In the recent times most individuals described as sexual psychopaths in the last century would not be adequately considered as psychopath today, even though some set of sex offenders could be said to be psychopath, most are not which makes all psychopath not sex offenders.

The legal views of sexual psychopathy and sexual predator in the past and present are not the same with the traditional or contemporary psychological meaning of psychopathy. (Jacqueline B.Helfgott, 2008)

The perception of sex offenders has changed from the stereotype of the 'sad man in the grubby raincoat' roaming about in the street corners to a 'monster', 'beast' that need to be caged forever or sent to death (Daily Mirror,1998). In the four walls of prison, 'ordinary' offenders tend to harass and bully the sex offender, they are hated and despised even by professionals assigned to work with them.(Sampson A, 1994). It is a worst case scenario to offences relating to children as offenders are treated with disgust and hatred. Communities are concerned by the dangers and risk posed by any child sex offenders as the perception of stranger danger lingers deeply embedded in their consciousness.

The term pedophile has come to symbolize sexual offending against children by adult or older adolescent, which reinforces the stereotype of predator in a constricted and unhelpful fashion (Nash, 2006). Pedophilia is viewed to be a psychological disorder that creates experiences of sexual preferences for prepubescent by adult (W.H.O). Classification of those that can be perceived as pedophile has created rising discussion as it is not helpful for those charged with assessing risk and it is important to make a distinction between those who really offend against children, so that relevant risks can be measure accurately for whom they are most appropriate.

Sexual offenders, especially children sex offenders termed 'pedophiles', has in the recent time creates a widely recognized thought in every individual, even to the people classified as dangerous and risk. This has then over time shaped the reaction and perception of every societal member to a level of consciousness to be observant or vigilant of any individual known or being said to be sex offender. It is now perceived as a real contemporary folk devil and evokes fear and loathing in equal measure( Nash Supra). They are viewed as dangerous threat to the society and the fear of risk they may pose cannot be accurately pictured. The fact that the awareness of dangerous people and dangerous behavior seems to be at everyone major agenda and the frequent showing on every newspaper continuously creates the fear that somewhere in the society resides the home of a dangerous person. The concern of who is to be identified as dangerous individual rest on the mind of every individual. Most individual believes what makes a dangerous person is the classic stranger predator, 'who commit very serious sexual and violent offences against helpless individuals. In a relative term, average individual when asked who is a dangerous person believes it to be a stranger, in which sex offenders are those whom we know and those that lives in the same area with us.

The thought of identifying an individual as dangerous has been on over the years from the Victorians period. They view the whole classes of people, the poor and the dispossessed as the 'dangerous class' (Terry Thomas 2005).Furthermore, the twentieth century, strictly attributes dangerousness to mentally derailed people. It was in the last four decades that experienced the period at which criminal behavior is linked or called dangerousness. In the words of Bottoms (1977), linking dangerousness and criminal behavior, called it the 'renaissance' of dangerousness.

Risk and dangerousness are used in an interchangeable manner by individuals; it deals with the quality of the behaviors and the certainty. The risk of sex offenders are being assessed based on getting information about the individual, putting it together which must be the within social environs or community. The major perception given to any sex offenders now in the contemporary time is that, they are being identified as object of 'dangerousness'' and it is expedient for the society in all aspect to curb their actions and reduced the risk they may caused to the people. However, various ways are used by therapist to test the dangerousness of sex offenders, and assessing the risk of reoffending, one of which includes Abel assessment.

This societal issue has generated to the height at which it has turn to a major social concern and it has to a very large extent influenced criminal justice legislation and policy and also practices in social and health services.

Delving in to legislative aspect, which is the law aspect guiding sexual offender, in the early 1980s, the position of the law on sexual offender was which that cannot be differentiated from other offences. The onus of differentiation and the criteria of classification rest on individual and an open debate (The Howard League, 1985).

However, there are two positions of the law in which as the civil side of the law protects and regulates the activities of individual or sexual offender in prevention of not committing the act at first , the criminal law recognize a sexual offence or civil orders that has been breached, which is then used to convict and sentence the offender.(Terry Thomas,2005 Supra). There are various laws on sex offences which have been enshrined in both the Criminal Justice Act of 1991 for England and Wales, and another listed in the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act of 1995 for Scotland to serve as guideline to the courts in sentencing any serious case of sexual offender. This Act focused on dangerousness based on the realistic approach, as it was shapely built on percentage, which means that height of the offence will determine the severity of the sentence. The position of law in convicting sex offenders was a bit loose as there are loopholes which assist some sex offenders got acquitted. In developing the law by covering the gaps and issues pointed out, brought about the passing of Sex Offenders Act 1997, which initiated the sex offenders 'register', the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the crime and Disorder Act 1998, the Criminal Justice Act 2000; which innovated the Multi-agency Public Protection Panel (MAPPP), the sexual Offences Act 2003.

In the process of managing and curtailing high risk, prospective dangerous offenders in the community quite number of criminal agencies has been created, one which include National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

In looking at the West, America has experienced numerous notorious, well-circulated cases in the last three decades which has triggered the speedy concern of the public and political authority on the threat created by serious sex offenders in the community. Legislative authority enacted the 1994 Crimes Against and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act (Wetterling Act) which requires state to form registries of serious convicted sexual offenders on children or any sexual offences and to form more rigorous registration requirement for them. This Act which is also known at federal level as Megan Law was amended in 1996 allowing law enforcement agency to release the information of any registered sex offender to the public, as it will help in public protection and safety from any future risk. In 1998, the final amendment was done to the Act which requires offenders address or information to be kept updated. Jessica Florida law of 2005, which is designed to punish and reduce the ability of sex offenders to re-offend. In 2006, Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which set sex offenders into three tiers and mandates their updates based on the category of tier. The failure by any sex offenders to register or updates their information will be charge for felony.

In the United Kingdom, relating the position enshrined in Megan law is the Violent and Sex Offender Register (VISOR) which was created as a database of records for offenders that are meant to register with police as stipulated under the Sexual Offences Act of 2003. It is designed for offenders jailed for more than twelve months on violent offences and unconvicted people that are viewed to be at risk of offending. The idea behind it, is giving access and relative information of any sex offenders to the police, National Probation Service and the HM Prison Service by the National Policing Improvement Agency of the Home office. The concept of the Sarah's law is also closely knitted to the Megan law.

It is pertinent to note that, the law has gradually developed itself in all aspect, covering all loopholes, and making sure all reported sex offenders are convicted on the appropriate grounds.

The position of the media cannot be ruled out as it has contributed immensely in spreading the awareness of the presence of the tagged ' dangerous' and 'risk' posing individuals in their society. Nash (2006:11) simply put that, shocking but sensationalized stories are widely put on pages of national newspapers, which spurred the government to introduced strict measures in solving the problem and putting sign of relief for the public. However, in the process of creating awareness, the mistakes of the media on a clearer picture of offenders, has resulted in damaging a house of a pediatrics taken to be a pedophile by the angry mob in the "naming and shaming" pedophiles campaign.

Part Three. Managing Sex Offenders in the Community: (A joint Inspection on Sex Offenders) 2005 Her Majesty Inspectorate of Probation. (HMIP) and Her Majesty Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)

It became evident that, sex offences or sex offenders have silently penetrated into the society and it has resulted into creating harm and damage in the home of victims. The society saw the need in proffering drastic reductions, if not total annihilation of the treat caused by any sex offenders in the society.

As a result of uneasiness caused by the presence of a sex offender in the society and avoidance of any future risk or danger from the offender, also the mayhem that could result from societal members having knowledge of the presence of a sex offender in the community, the government foresee the importance of having an arrangement in managing the risk posed by sex offenders in the community by the responsible authority. Hence, the emergence of Section 67 of The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000.The rising dominance of public protection issues in the criminal justice and making it a major issue in the political sector made it apparent for a grounded legislative enactment, which delve into arrangement for the assessment and management of risk in the society.

This report was conducted on a developed joint inspection framework by the Home Office through Andrew Bridges (HM Chief Inspector of Probation), and Sir Ronnie Flanagan CBE MA (HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary) 2005. It looks into a schedule of questions which was made for different individuals and groups. The scope and methodology of this report (inspection) explore into the work of Professor Kemshall et al 2005 on "Evaluating the effectiveness of sections 67 and 68 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act (2000) in strengthening the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements" which comprise result of a comprehensive questionnaire involving all areas of probation and police in England and Wales on issues relating to MAPPA. The advance evidence for the report came from five police and probation areas and it covers strategy and approach, implementation and planning, people, processes and procedures. The European excellence model adopted for the report is generally use by all probation areas, a tool of self -assessment for the organisation. There are list of twenty certified sample cases from each area having identified and gender represented. Police and probation officers are made to select from the case and embark on a joint work in managing the case. Interviews are being conducted using the senior and middle managers from the two agencies, representative of SMB, probation case managers and police officer working on the case were called to partake in the fieldwork. (Methodology, 3.1 - 3.6)

The major essence of this report was to look in to the progress of Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), if there has been a positive development and whether the reason and purpose of its implementation is being realized and to what extent of effectiveness has it realized the essence of its purpose. It also focuses on the police and the National Probation Service on how valid and efficient is their intervention in the joint management of sex offenders in the community. The report also intend to bring out good practice and it recommendation will be channeled to how best the arrangement could developed in realizing the target of managing the sex offenders in the community.

The Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements came into existence through the implementation of The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000, having started effects on 1 April 2000. This Act made a statutory provision (sec.67), a requirement that placed a duty on the Police and the probation officers as responsible authorities, to create arrangements for assessing and managing the risk posed by sexual, violent and any other offenders who may be seen to cause serious harm to the public. It develops into the MAPPA process, with a formal obligation to produce an annual report. (Nash M, 2006: 204) The HM Prison Service was included into the responsible authority by the provision of The criminal Justice Act 2003, which also appoints lay advisers to sit on Strategic Members Board(SMB) who has a tactical oversight on MAPPA and compelling numerous of agencies to cooperate.(Terry Thomas 2005:169 supra)

It is apparent that sex offenders should be managed perfectly in the community and both the police and probation services were the responsible authorities saddled with the duty to make it happen as it will create a high critical situation in the public if it is not realize. The predominant reason of criminal justice system having connection with risk labeled individuals and making an arrangement such like MAPPA is based on a straightforward motive, which is instituting measures to avoid any further harm which may involve another person falling victim of them in the future. This position made it relative for MAPPA to have a stated duties encompassed into the reason for their creation and consistence check on how effective are they performing their roles in the society.

In managing dangerous offenders, it was legislatively outlined for MAPPA the three stages process in which offenders can be categorized, but it is essential that offenders living in their society are identified.

Category 1: Register Sex Offender Category 2: All offenders who have received 12months custodial sentence or more in prison for a violent offence and whilst they remain under probation supervision Category 3: Any person that is viewed to have a risk of serious harm to the public, who has received a conviction and whose risk would be better managed in a multi-agency setting. (Section 67- 68 of Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000)

The legislation required that, the agencies should conduct a risk assessment of each offender and allocate them to a tier of multi-agency management which is known as level one to level three.

Level one deal with normal inter-agency management of the offender in the community. Level two states that as a result of various parties involve, the offenders' management will be discussed in the Multi- Agency Public Protection meeting. Level three is one which is relatively the same with the position of level two except that representatives of the senior management will be in attendance and greater resources are expected to be consumed in the management of the offender. The offender in this particular category are portray to be the people posing the highest level of risk to the society and usually necessitates a particular case conference to collect unusual agency resources and guarantee a tactical coordinated risk management plan. In this meeting agency are mandated to share necessary information and it is usually a press strategy.

This report was also conducted on the basis that, in the last few months, National Probation Directorate has been of a deep concern in making sure there is improvement in the assessment and management of the labeled high risk of harm offenders. The improvement process on Assessment and Management of Risk of Harm Action Plan, this was managed by the Improvement Programme Board which focused on some issues brought developments within the National Probation Services.

The report saw the introduction of a sound reliable system given to the probation areas for immediate implementation which is the Offender Assessment System (OASys) .This system is particularly designed for the probation services and also used by Her Majesty's Prison Service as a tool to measure the risks and needs of the criminal offenders under their supervision. It is designed to make an accurately trained and suitable person mostly a Probation Officer to:

assess the possibility of any offender to be re-convicted

distinguish offending related needs with the inclusion of essential personality characteristics and rational behavioral problems

assess risk to serious harm, to individual and other related risks

assist with the management risk of harm

relates the assessment to the supervision or sentence plan

point out the need for further specialist assessment

determine change during the period of supervision / sentence

Clinical evaluations are made by staff of offenders as it contains some computer -based forms, by which sentence and supervision plans for the next period of supervision are noted on a periodic basis. It usually sixteen weeks for offenders within the community and less for imprisoned offenders.

The awareness on the Public Protection Manual for the police by the Association of Chief Police Officers also contributed to why the research was conducted.

It is without doubt that managing the risk in the community are issues that require much attention and considerable solution. However, the report shows that both the police and the probation staff were clear of the duties and responsibility saddled on them in protecting the community from sex offenders. The probation staff viewed their role as primarily reducing the risk of harm and the possibility of re-offending by sex offenders. In other to realize this duty, it involves monitoring, assessment, referral to programmes and accommodation schemes. The probation staff manages the sex offenders in the community by making known of triggers that may increase sex offenders' chances of re-offending. The police officers saw keeping up to date with visits to sex offenders, reviewing risk on every visit, attending MAPPA meetings as their role.

The report shows that, even though there are much contribution in improving the assessment and management of high risk of harm offenders, there are still many areas that still needs to improve upon.

In management of sex offender's cases, the report states that, there is lack of integrated and account case management of sex offenders in the community as the delivery were poorly coordinated and inconsistent. In a specific probation area, a particular risk assessment for sex offenders was used by some case managers and it shows not been validated. Different reports on OASys being weighty and time taking and result from sample cases were out rightly poor. The report discovered that the unsatisfactory outcome is as a result of slow pace in the completion of reviews and assessment and at times they were not even completed.

The report also revealed lack of clarity on some best number of sex offenders' cases, which ought to be managed by individual officers, using impromptu approach to resource allocation. The report believes that a police officer should be able to clarify the reason, frequency and the legal basis of visiting sex offenders at home. It further put forward that any visit should be based on the use of Risk Matrix 2000 and Offenders Assessment system (OASys) where applicable as there are differences in the number of times a police officer should visit a sex offender in the year. It would have been a clear advantage in relating to value for money, perfect efficiency in coordination of resources and proper management of the case if there were coordinated contact with the individual sex offenders by the police and probation staff.

Delving into how effective and achievable were the role of the Strategic Management Board (SMB) in monitoring and assessing the operation of MAPPA, making a link with other public protection arrangements (ACPCs, CDRPs, and LCJBs). SMBs are mostly senior managers from police, probation and of recent the prisons. They ought to give direction and prioritize the activities of MAPPA, but it reflects that most SMBs were slow in development and had only been functioning at the basic level for the past few months. The perception at which SMBs is being view is, one which was formed but yet to perform.