The German philosopher Karl Marx believed crime and deviance were defined by the ruling class and used to control the working class and protect their own property and power base they made rules to stop you taking their wealth and power and if you disobey you are punished. Every institution from schools and churches to prisons the police and the justice system are all designed to force you to conform. Marx argued that the criminal justice system focused primarily on crimes of the working class such as burglary that cause very little harm in relation to white collar crimes committed by large corporations which can result in mass losses of life. Marxists see crime as a natural ‘outgrowth’ of capitalist society.
Basically Marx argued that capitalism was criminogenic, in that our economic infrastructure is so pervasive in all forms of our life, social relationships, beliefs and values etc that it causes crime. The capitalist model outlines maximisation of wealth as the prime objective of life. So crime is just a natural adaptation of the capitalist model of wanting more than you need. Capitalism encourages you to seek out wealth as a means of happiness but your social situation makes this impossible so the logical conclusion is to just to take it. Although Marxists still see criminals as parasites because they feed off the system without obeying its rules even though they might agree with them.
Anarchist criminologists on the other hand romanticise criminals as more adaptive than regular people because they see these rules put in place and they choose to ignore them and choose to reap the benefit of them i.e their property is protected by law but they can still steal yours. So as long as they are not caught they prosper, as they have adapted to use the law and go around it. They see the laws put in place as a veil and they choose to lift that veil and pretend to live within the law but instead doing whatever they want.
Maladaptive behaviour is different because whereas adaptive they live within in the law and then choose to go around it maladaptive is your basic criminal that is non-conformist. They are people that have developed behaviours which are not socially acceptable because they have been reinforced in the past, so they might live in a bad area or be surrounded by a deviant/criminal family.
A small child may learn to swear because the first time they swore, adults laughed or responded with shocked attention. The child soon learns that swearing gets some response the behaviour is not adapted to fit in with the norms of society, so it is maladaptive. If the child was ignored or punished when they swear then the swearing would probably stop very soon as it did not give them any reward.
Habitual criminals have maladaptive behaviour; they are rewarded with the proceeds of their crimes and lots of attention if it goes to court. It also is rewarded with free board and lodging in prison, and prisons institutionalise people so they become reliant on the system and further lose the ability to conform to normal life.
Marx. K, Engels. F (1894) Das Kapital
Schmalleger, F. (2012). Criminology today: An integrative introduction (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.