Many of the different approaches to dealing with crime are developed within those frameworks from the various assumptions and values which hold sway within that particular nation. It is more likely that, for countries or systems that believe a criminal is a product of his or her environment, money will be spent on rehabilitation and treatment with much less emphasis on custodial sentences. For those who believe people are responsible for their actions and intend to commit crimes (indeed intention, or mens rea, is required in all systems in order to convict someone of crime), the emphasis is likely to be on punishment, generally not specifically intended to address rehabilitation, such as custody. Clearly these concepts require a great deal of unpacking which will be done in the course of this essay. The key thing is to examine the various explanations as to why people commit crimes, be they biological psychological or sociological, and what sorts of criminal systems such approaches generate.
It is quite imperative to begin this analysis by acknowledging the variety of definitions of crime as used by various criminal justice systems all over the world. The variety of such definitions has been brought about by the modern society whereby some people differ on what is good and what is wrong. In relation to this, some crimes are said to be acceptable in some circumstances by some groups while others, non-criminal, actions are believed unacceptable. What then ringers in our minds is who has the power to define the term crime However, the term has had a number of definitions. To start with, a crime is said to be an act prescribed by law and is subject to punishment. It can not only be an act, but also an omission which is failure to act where law enforces a duty to act. It is worth noting that in the recent times, crimes are not only being restricted to acts and omissions that can violate that rights of other people, but also those which can either harm the perpetrator himself or the conduct is regarded as morally culpable. This kind of crime is referred to as "victimless" crime. Nonetheless, victimless crimes usually underscore the key difference between criminal and civil law in that a criminal law states that a crime is an offense committed against public welfare while civil crime is an offence committed against private interests. According to oxford dictionary, a crime is an act liable to be punished by law and as being prohibited by law or detrimental to the general public. Crime is also defined in relation to social, biological as well as psychological perspective. In general terms, a crime is a wrongful act that the judicial system considers it worth, in the interests of the public, to stifle it, for its repetition would harm the society at large. Additionally, it is worth noting that majority of the jurists opt for the term "offense" when making reference to the term "crime".
In the British criminal justice system there are two opposing models with regard to deciding how to deal with criminals. The first is a due process model. This states that an individual can never be deprived of basic human rights no matter how horrible a crime he or she has committed. Even to put someone in prison is to take away a person's inalienable right to liberty and there must be many appeals and thoroughly scrutinised process to ensure that