Criminal Justice

Cause of Crime

One of the theories of crime discussed in Chapter 3 was Psychological criminology which posits to give the explanation of causes of crime on the basis of eight-point differences in the level of IQ between the criminals and the non-criminals. Although this is an insignificant gap to be noticed, it is however responsible for making the criminals foolhardy and excessively impulsive. Even the smart individuals who have high levels of IQ are equally vulnerable to idiocy. Personality disorders have also been mentioned by psycho criminologists in the discussions on the causes of crimes psychopaths, sociopaths, as well as antisocial personalities.  Psychological criminology deals with the analysis of behaviour as well as the mental process that re associated with crime.

Psychological criminologists focus on the criminal behaviour of an individual and the procedures of acquiring, evoking, modifying as well as maintaining it. In addition to the mental processes, the psychological criminologists consider the influence of environment and personality as additional factors that mediate the criminal behaviour. Psychological criminologists make use of a variety of perspectives in identification of causes of crimes on the basis of this theory. One of the most vibrant perspectives involves exploration of the link between crimes to the personality of an individual coupled with social, developmental as well as cognitive factors. A revelation from psychological literature indicates the existence of crucial variables in the course of development of characteristics of a person and the criminal inclination is perpetuated by the role of parents in consideration of a number of factors including the practices of child rearing, the level of supervision, neglect, degree of attachment, abuse, the criminal behaviour and antisocial behaviour of the parent (Bohm, 2001).

Interventions that have been proposed under psychological theories have to focus on the individual person, the family, group as well as the entire society. This incorporates early programs of intervention covering education and health with the objective of supporting the healthy development of young people. Positive practices of parenting must also be advocated that have a positive link to decreasing risk taking, use and abuse of alcohol and other related drugs and antisocial behaviours among adolescents (Richard, 2011).

The potential changes in the criminal justice system that are likely to address psychological factors that are responsible for crime would involve implementation of rehabilitation treatment and  counseling programs for the inmates. Treatment interventions that can be initiated in correction facilities so that it is helpful to criminals in this scenario include cognitive therapy that is intended to regain the self control of the victim. Prisoners can also be exposed to reality therapy which focuses on making the criminals to face the reality irrespective of their past criminal record and history. This will facilitate them to be responsible for their behavior by exposing irresponsible temperament associated with delinquency rather than focusing on psychological sickness (Robert, 2011-2012). The use of behavior therapy can also be incorporated in the changes in the criminal justice system as a remedy to crime. The use of behavior therapy should be implemented with sophistication and high echelons of cooperation as well as commitment of the stakeholders in the programs. The transfer of behavior techniques from psychological laboratory under controlled conditions to correctional facilities is likely to be hindered by a variety of constraints because the task is extremely difficult.


Bohm, R. (2001). A Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Richard, W., (2011). Psychological Criminology Taylor & Francis,

Robert, A., (2011-2012). The Administration of Justice Second Edition.