Crime Theory

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This paper on crime theory has illustrated the extent to which the theory of Sutherland: differential association; through environmental, peer influence, and strain theory by Robert Agnew can prove the sources of criminal troubles of Jimmy and factors that may be important in his history to understand the reason for his criminal behavior.


The theories of Differential Association and Strain posited by Edwin Sutherland and Robert Agnew respectively, explains with clarity the source of an individual's criminal problem and factors that are vital to understand his criminal behavior. A perfect understanding of Jimmy's criminal behavior, would enable specific recommendations to be made to deter him quit delinquency.
Edwin Sutherland explains why any individual gravitates toward criminal behavior. (Sutherland, 1937) He argues that criminal behaviors are learned in the same way that all other behaviors are learned. Criminals learn criminal deviant behaviors such as motives, drives, rationalizations and attitudes. Deviance is not inherently a part of a particular individual's nature.
Further, he asserts a person's association with others who are delinquent will increase the likelihood of becoming and remaining delinquent. (Sutherland, 1974) In this view, peers can be crucial role models for the development of values and beliefs favorable to law violation. Though he agrees that strain has a part to play, he does not seek to know why people become criminals. From the foregoing, and in relation with the case in issue, his assumption on the one hand will be that the source of Jimmy's trouble is association; peer influence. ...
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