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theories of criminal justice Essay

  • Submitted by: parkerevanj
  • on December 9, 2008
  • Category: College Admissions
  • Length: 1,194 words

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Below is an essay on "theories of criminal justice" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Ever since history and law have been written down, the question of why criminals do what they do has always been difficult to answer. Explanations ranging from physical appearance, genetics and social environment have all tried to help answer the question. Over time, more explanations as to why criminals do what they do have changed and evolved. It doesn’t matter what your opinion as to why criminals do what they do, every circumstance is different. The documentary “High on Crack Street” makes every viewer wonder just what made these somewhat “normal” people turn into what society would see as social deviants.
In early history, determining what made a criminal do what he or she does was usually targeted at physical appearances. Early sociologists said that you could determine if someone was a criminal by features in the face like a strong jaw, or deep set eyes. They never set out to answer the question as to why they committed criminal acts;   all that public officials did was charge someone who “looked” like a criminal as guilty and the reasoning was that they had the physical appearance of a criminal. Other methods of determining if someone was a criminal was to burn their skin, and if they became infected they were innocent, or to cut veins in their arms and if they bled purple they were innocent and red if they were guilty.
Over time, the validity of cruel and outrageous methods of determining what makes a criminal began to dissolve, although stereotypes of how criminals look still exist today.   With the beginning of discoveries of genetics, scientists began to research what makes people do what they do, and are their actions a direct result of ancestors behavior being passed on. Many people are convinced that the reason criminals do what they do is because of their relatives. This can be proven false in many instances where someone has a relative who is a true criminal and has done terrible things, and they are very well spoken in the community and have...

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