Criminality is one of the most complicated concepts in the study of social sciences. Understanding criminal behavior is an uphill task considering that gurus in the field of criminology have yet to reach a consensus on whether or not criminality is a rational conduct. Currently, most criminologists argue that criminals are rational human beings and, considering that, the criminals are usually sober minded people, criminal conduct is a rational conduct since the people committing the offense are sane and know what they want. Apparently, the aims of most criminals have been connected to human wants, usually physical wants. What people have yet to explain is, issue of criminality involving violence. Violence is common in the world of crime. The definition of violence differs from one person to another, with regard to bodily injury. Whether or not, a robber brandishing a gun and not killing or hurting anyone is a violent criminal, remains an issues of contention. Conversely, anything associated with force is described as a violent act. Apparently, all criminologists agree on one thing – when a criminal uses force to acquire something from a person that would not have been willing to give such a thing, or act in a manner that would appease the offender, violence is said to have been used. Essentially, therefore violence and aggression are a result of using force and threats. This paper endeavors to look into how the comprehensive theory on violent and aggressive behavior coupled with criminal profiling can help investigate crimes involving violence.
The Relationship between Comprehensive Theory on Violence and Criminal Profiling
The comprehensive theory on violent and aggressive behavior seeks to understand criminal behavior from various perspectives, family background, and gender being the most prominent. The theory tries to explain aggression as a genetic problem and something rooted in the family. The manner in which an individual relates with and treats other family members can help the investigator understand the conduct of an individual in different settings. This perhaps is the explanation as to why the theory is the most prominently applied approach in explaining homicide. Worth mentioning is the actuality that according to this theory, criminality can be explained from different perspectives, especially where violence is Involved (Richter & Whittington, 2006). For instance, some theorists argue that, in fact, men are far much more aggressive than women are. As such, people cannot expect a woman assailant to inflict injuries so serious on an individual victim.
On the other hand, criminal profiling, also referred to as offender profiling is a concept that has its roots in the 20th century. First used in 1890 in the famous jack the Ripper case, the concept entails studying the criminal mind of an offender. The psychological concept endeavors to unveil the mental setup of an individual that engages in criminal acts. Worth mentioning is the actuality that criminal profiling is a branch of forensic science aimed at unraveling the mystery behind the reasoning of a criminal (Turvey, 2008). Criminal profiling classifies an offender as organized or disorganized depending on the crime scene analysis. Crime scene analysis, a task performed by crime scene investigators – people that are proficient in scientific interpretations of the deeds of an individual. While people consider offender profiling as being too mythical a concept, there is some scientific reasoning behind it. For a long time psychologists have been used informally, by the police, intelligence agencies and the military to understand the thinking of people that were apprehended in times of social upheaval.
Comprehensive Theory on Violence and Criminal Profiling In Investigation
In carrying out investigations, the investigator and the criminal justice system endeavor to understand many things, many among them, the reason why the criminal engages in violence and criminality in general. Secondly, the authorities may want to establish whether the accused is actually the person behind the crime in question. This is because, in reality, not all people apprehended are guilty. They are suspects, who are innocent until proven guilty by the prosecution. While the comprehensive theory on violent and aggressive behavior will help unearth the personality and background of a person, the concept of criminal profiling will help the prosecution establish how to start investigations (Melton et al, 1997). The combination of the two concepts helps the investigator and the intelligence agencies assure that the investigations have started at the right point and that they will end up giving an objective conclusion.
The most critical role of criminal profiling is the fact that it can help the investigating authorities look into the conduct of psychopaths and insane people. This approach helps psychologists and forensic scientists establish whether the offender is sane (Stefoff, 2010). The concept, which is part of crime scene analysis can establish the conduct of an offender and classify them as organized or disorganized depending on the situation at the crime scene immediately after the crime occurring. From the look of the crime scene, investigators can determine whether the aggressor had planned the attack or it was a part of circumstances and was unforeseen. From such investigations, the forensic scientists establish the perfect way to interview the offender. Typically, it is not easy to see through the mind of a psychopath. Psychologists describe a psychopath as an individual with very mysterious character. A psychopath is an individual whose emotions one cannot understand easily. They are usually expressionless, and rarely talk.
Criminal profiling can be quite essential in establishing the state of mind of the suspect as of the time since, it eliminates all inconsistencies caused by pretense and fake emotions. Criminal profiling is arguably the most effective way of determining the mental state of an individual, and this has been ascertained by the substantial capacity test (Turvey, 2008). Through the substantial capacity rule, the criminal justice system can effectively determine whether the offender had the capacity to appreciate a certain degree of criminality as at the time of the crime. The substantial capacity rule embraces crime scene analysis and the post analysis interviews. According to the rule, an individual will be considered innocent if at the time of committing the crime, he was not able appreciate the degree of criminality in his or her deed. It is important to note that treating the insanity defense lightly could lead to poor investigation processes.
Using the Comprehensive theory on violence and criminal profiling in investigation is a good way to jump start investigations where there is absolutely no lead to apprehending suspects. If, for instance, a homicide takes place and no one is suspected by all normal metrics, criminal profiling will be used after the comprehensive theory of violent behavior has been applied in understanding the tendencies of the family members to be violent. Apparently, in a homicide where there are no suspects, both concepts have to be employed in equal measure. This means that the concepts will be employed in a complementary manner, with the comprehensive theory of violence and aggressive behavior bringing out the behaviors of the family members and criminal profiling trying to establish a match between the situation at the scene and the conducts of the family members (Ward & Siegerd, 2002). This way, the prosecution, through forensic analysts will evaluate and establish a starting point for the investigations.
Yodanis (2004), attempts to establish the relationship between rational human wants as part of the criminal violence. In explaining such relationships, the scholar associates criminality with the most common forms of violence. For instance, gratification is, as explained by many criminals as a rational need for pleasure and physical satisfaction. As much as the rational human being may fail to understand why a person would violently want to selfishly satisfy their wants, rapists that have been rehabilitated explain that some personality disorder motivates them to engage in such acts. A self-confessed rapist explained that he never at any time planned to ambush a lady for forceful sex. Instead, while driving, he could tremble and shake all over at the sight of a lone girl. What went through their mind at the time of the rape is something that they cannot explain. As such, understanding them may not be easy without proper profiling and comprehensive analysis.
Ward and Siegerd (2002) explain that violence can be because of gender inequalities, culture, and restoration of honor. Many people may not understand that culture is a serious contributory factor to violence. In the Middle East for instance, wife beating is a norm. Similarly, in Africa, some communities have yet to realize the wrong in family violence. In investigating crimes with violence, especially those dealing with family violence, the investigator may want to understand the culture of the offender and the victim. In gaining such understanding, the investigator may use the comprehensive theory of violence and aggression. Some cultures as well consider violence and aggression as ways of restoring or gaining power and honor. Such things are the most unjustified practices and should be shunned as a way of putting to an end criminality.
The relationship and main similarities between the comprehensive theory of violence and criminal profiling lie in the fact that both concepts focus on the character of an individual and the likelihood of such an individual committing violent crimes. Apparently, the two concepts are complementary in cases where the suspects are unknown or not around the scene. This is the primary reason why the most mysterious crime mysteries have been unraveled by crime scene analysis and profiling of the offenders. Criminal profiling has been criticized because it is not a real science. The critics have however been countered by such arguments as the use of finger print tests. Finger print science is among the most accurate of investigative sciences as it is a matter of bio-data and nothing estimated. For this reason, Stefoff (2010) has described criminal profiling as a precise tool used in criminal investigations involving physical engagement.
Approaches and Tactics Can Be Employed To Reduce Violent and Aggressive Behaviors
Aggressive behaviors have been associated with the social background of an individual. By social background, the most important aspect is upbringing. The most important and effectual way of reducing violence and aggression in society is changing the manner in which children are brought up. Psychologists explain that eliminating such things as corporal punishment from schools and home settings (Richter & Whittington, 2006). Aggression is learned and never an aspect of nature, unless the aggressor is a mental retard or a person that has a personality disorder. As a way of curbing the rising cases of violence, parents are advised to ban such things as violent videos, movies, and games.
Additionally, Yodanis (2004) argues that the most effectual method of dealing with violence in the case of adults is through policy changes to the effect that violence becomes an issue of public concern. This may entail such efforts as community policing and other activities aimed at making violence a concern of all members of the community. Educating the public on the immorality in family violence and all the consequences associated with such an act is a good starting point in combating violence. Other criminologists argue that deterrence is the most effective way of ending violence and aggression. They, therefore recommend severe punishments for all those found violating the anti-violence laws. Such punishments will discourage such behavior in society.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that the primary similarity between criminal profiling and the comprehensive theory of violence and aggression is the reality that both deal with the personality and background of an individual. As such, they are complementary in nature when it comes to making investigations effective. Criminal profiling helps establish a starting point for investigations, especially where such investigations appear impossible due to unavailability of suspects. Both concepts are critically important in investigating homicide and related crimes. These concepts are most important when the crimes are felonies relating to assault and physical injury of an individual. Apparently, violence and aggression are becoming primary menaces in the community with the youth sinking deep in drug abuse and children increasing their preference for violent games and movies. Among the primary ways of rooting violence out of the community are such tactics as deterrence, proper upbringing, making the issue a public concern and fighting drug and substance abuse.
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Stefoff, R. (2010). Criminal profiling. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.
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