I would describe my personal criminological theory as the Classical Theory, and why I think it fits is because people have a choice about everything that they do including the choice to commit the crime. There’s no excuse to commit a crime no matter how easy or advantageous the score of that crime is. For example, classical theory could define a potential rapist who chooses to rape women in order to satisfy his sexual needs. It can be said that instead of raping random women in order to satisfy his sexual needs, he can just get a prostitute for whatever he wants as long as it is under the cloak of darkness (away from the prying eyes of the police). I would use the concept of the classical theory to describe the occurrence of crime. As I previously mentioned, people have choices about whether or not to commit a crime, and the fact that they choose to commit crime because of some benefit that they think they stand to reap connects to the classical theory. It can be said that the occurrence of crime as well as why people commit crime is clearly based on what criminals think they stand to benefit from committing a criminal act, and the occurrence is tied to short term pleasures vs. long term goals.
Case in point, the first time offender breaks into a jewelry store and robs the place; he succeeds because the jewelry store cameras have not worked since the second day that the store opened. The criminal knows this so he goes back to the store to continuously rob the store to get whatever he can carry with the intent to pawn it, so that the criminal can use the money from a pawn to do things like buy food for his family. Or, buy medicine for his sick mother even though that is so cliché or just do it for the thrill of it. An occurrence of crime can happen based on the fact that the criminal chooses to steal because they can get away with it depending on his victim, and/or because he knows that the advantage of stealing to get stuff from a pawn. Or, their lack of concern over their theft far outweighs their concern about getting caught by the police. People who consistently commit crime choose to do it by choice, and that alone.
One of the variables I would consider is experimentation, the criminal chooses a different crime so as to see which one they would get caught doing and which crime they would not; similarly making himself a jack of all trades criminal. Case in point, the first time offender attempts rape then try to make some quick cash by robbing a convenience store. However, it is very rare for a person to commit a crime by choice, and to move onto another crime within that same night or within that same hour for that matter. Another example, if that particular criminal was concentrating solely on one aspect of crime instead they change up their pattern so they do not leave any trace(s) of predictability.
For example, the criminal needs money so what he does is he goes to a private party and robs the people there. Once he’s finished, he decides to close the night out by going to his ex-girlfriend’s house to try to get sex from her through rape or colorful coercion. Next, he goes to the bar to be alone whether it is to mull over the choices he made that night or the massive amounts of benefits he reaped committing the crimes he did. The object of these criminal acts is the inconsistency, and randomness; the criminal did these things to implement a non-pattern so he cannot be so easily figured out despite the bad choice he made to commit the crime. The assumptions on which my theory is based is that the criminal had motives behind choosing to commit a crime, by that I simply mean that the criminal felt motivated to commit these crimes based on the things he wanted which can be the x-factor in him committing the crimes to begin with. For example, it can be said that a criminal’s motive behind going to his ex-girlfriend’s house even though he’s supposed to be over her is because he wants to coerce her for sex even though going to her house was not part of the plan at all. However, his motive was to clearly get money out of her in some way that basically since he could not then he tried to get sex instead.
Another assumption on which my theory is based is that the crimes are all random acts of fulfilling needs such as wanting money even though the criminal has plenty of it, this falls into the jewelry store scenario. The criminal’s reasons for robbing such an antiquated jewelry store are because he just wanted some extra money in his pocket to fuel his “wealth” and assuage his boredom, there are some people who resort to robbery so as to assuage their boredom even though they are independently wealthy or doing very well money-wise, but the do because they are so tired of their routine.
With a criminal’s choice to commit these acts of crime, it can be said that they are obsessed and by that I simply mean that the reward of that crime is what keeps them from stopping it as a whole. For example, take the ex-girlfriend scenario. If the criminal is going to see his ex then it can be said that because she lets him have his way, he’s obsessed with raping her. She is not calling the cops because she, as he does, gets off on the slave/master relationship.
The methodologies I would use to evaluate the criminal’s choice of crimes is that I would do an assessment on the criminal so as to figure out why he is doing what he’s doing, talking to the police is not the answer because they will not release the information. Another methodology I would use to evaluate the criminal’s acts is psychology or more on par, get inside the criminal’s mind because that could also tell me what caused them to snap and commit the crime. A lot of times the reason people resort to crime is because they snap, or are forced into it because of how society or how people close to them make them feel. So as a result, they do it to prove a point to the world and to themselves. Ultimately, the correlation between why people choose to commit the crime vs. their lifestyle is pretty close and exact which gives them the motive and reason to want to commit the crimes in the first place.
Theories of crime and delinquency (chapters 6-7. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sheldensays.com/theories_of_crime1.htm
Briggs, S. (2013). Important theories in criminology: Why people commit crime. Retrieved from http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/important-theories-in-criminology-why-people-commi.html
Understanding criminology theories. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.criminology.com/resources/understanding-criminology-theories/