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Causes of Crime

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Laws and regulation are essential parts of government system. Any act seeming contrary to the legal codes and regulations is termed as crime. Crimes often prescribe convictions, rehabilitation, in some circumstances, caution or enforcement.  Different societies define crime in different ways with regards to various locations, situations, and stages of crime. It is vital to note that every crime violates legal codes and laws; however, not every violation of the legal codes may be treated as a crime (Cote 12). Today, crimes are associated with public offenses as opposed to those wrong doings to the private parties. Most countries have more than one crime problem, for example, burglary, assault, robbery, and homicide. Most offenders have been associated with self-destructive and alienated representatives of underclass. However, most crimes are connected with the high class individuals who work in large corporate businesses. All crimes can be categorized into personal and property crimes. Personal crimes include offenses against people while property crimes are committed with an aim to appropriate one’s property (Cullen and Agnew 21). Legal and social frameworks define crime as the set of assumptions forming part of a case including causes, objectives, and consequences of the criminal act.

Types of crimes

Each type of crime comes with different demographic profile and sociological phenomena. For instance, white collar crimes are often committed in the occupational context. They are committed by people from the high class and, in most cases, include evasion of tax, insider trading, and embezzling money. These crimes are always directed at violating the laws that regulate income tax. They often generate a little concern in the mind of the public since they are done secretly (Crossman). In terms of amount, white collar crimes seem to be rather highly consequential to society than other types of crime. On the other hand, they are the least investigated among all crimes. These crimes are committed by non- physical means and through concealment of the act. Serious white collar crimes are often complex, requiring numerous hours and money to unravel. They, therefore, do not equate in any sense to the street crimes in terms of discovery, tabulating, and reporting means. White collar crimes can be either occupational or corporate.

Organized crimes are committed by groups which are structured perfectly. Their main actions include distribution of illicit goods and services to other members of society. Organized crimes are associated with the mafia, prostitution, illegal gambling, trade in drugs, money laundering, and smuggling of weapons. The crimes are organized in the sense that they operate in similar lines as other legitimate businesses by taking on corporate form (Demerica). The illegal businesses are also controlled by senior individuals just like in the corporate places. They enjoy profits and serve clients similar to businesses; they also have workers who manage the daily activities of business.

Homicide crimes include the actions of killing humans, for instance, murder. The act may take several forms including some forms of unintentional killing. This crime is often determined by the state of mind of the offender as well as the stature of the crime. For example, murder is intentional and is subject to a capital punishment. However, if the offender is considered to be mentally unstable, execution may be out ruled (Briggs). Criminal homicides can be involuntary or voluntary manslaughter, and they are often differentiated from the homicide. In some cases, suicide can be considered a homicide when one assists in the process.

Causes of crimes

The crimes involve people who can never be expected to engage in criminal activities; it is a reason why a crime remains undetected for long. The crimes can result from deep debts, explained by the strain theory, where a person of high status gets him or herself into deep debt than is affordable. This is often taken through a scheme of getting fast and large net cash without the need for return. White collar criminals are characterized by good living; hence a crime does not always plan or lead to mismanagement of finances (Briggs). Maintenance of such lifestyles becomes hard with fewer finances thus opt for stealing. Strain theory suggests that an individual may not meet his demand through working hard hence opts for fast means like committing a theft or another crime.

Greed is another cause of white collar crimes, where those possessing large amounts of money become greedy and look for more applying to the easiest possible way. This cause is explained by the rational choice theory, where an individual has a self interest in getting rich thus steals (Crossman). Such crimes involve the use of wit and not criminal weapons. Strain theory is associated with serious expectations, when society expects one to have a certain status which is not applicable. Family and friends may expect more than an individual can provide. In this case, one may opt for stealing money to maintain the expected status. Bad economy causes fright about the future leading to people committing several crimes. These high society people steal in the name of taking measures to secure their future.

Organized crimes are structured in a hierarchical manner reflecting levels of specialization and power. They are mainly caused by societal controls as explained by the social control theory. The laws and regulation placed on society against certain activities make such groups disregard the rules and commit crimes (Cote 16). Organized crime problems may be created by implementing laws that prevent acquisition of certain goods and services desired by some people. They, therefore, opt to obtain them through illicit means. Organized crimes may also rely on the strain or anomie theory, where a given group may not possess the abilities or opportunities as other members of society. Thus to be similar to others, a group may engage in criminal acts so as to acquire similar social status. Organized crimes can also be related to social disorganization theory as evident among the ethnic groups in America. The groups experienced treatments that made them unable to progress and succeed. Such groups then opted for criminal activities, which were prompted by social circumstances of their lives. People trigger the need for the good life that is possible only through criminal activities. Strain theory is also applicable in the organized crimes, where a group of people may have similar aspirations as others, but their lifestyles are different due to lack of opportunities. In order to become like other members of society, the group might turn to criminal acts, which will uphold their societal statuses (Briggs).

Homicide crimes are in most cases associated with the biological, genetic, and evolution theory, according to which a person with mental disorder and evolutionary aspects of criminal behavior commits a homicide with no apparent reason. Homicide crimes can also be viewed in terms of attainable costs and benefits. Rational choice theory explains committing crimes out of personal interests. The expected benefits after killing a person give an offender the urge to commit a homicide. The expectations at this point are great, but the chances of being caught are also high. However, homicide criminals always hope not to be caught and believe in getting away with a crime (Hagan 26). Criminal homicide to a rare extent is associated with the social learning theory involving motivation of an individual to commit a homicide through the people one associates with. Such people believe that doing as others do will make them prestigious.

Legal responses to crimes

Understanding the causes of different crimes and criminological theories associated with them is crucial particularly when responding to the crimes. Legal responses to different crimes are vital, and proper caution and thought must be put during convictions and responses. Considering the white collar crimes, understanding the economic status of society at a given time enables one to be ready for criminal acts since many people wish to secure their future in cases of economic meltdown (Demerica). Acknowledging different status of people in a corporation and the possibility of these people committing a white collar crime is significant in determining their legal punishments. For instance, embezzling money so as to satisfy personal interest with regard to the financial status of colleagues is irrelevant. On the other hand, embezzling money to cover a huge debt is kind of relevant. Therefore, legal responses with a focus on the causes of these white collar crimes may be different. The behaviors of two criminals are also different in the sense that one with a personal interest is greedy while another with deep debt is thoughtful.

Causes of organized crimes can also facilitate the decision made for legal actions against offenders. Organized crimes resulting from social disorganizations may be considered as ways of surviving since society does not provide equal opportunities for its members. Some people live in comfortable environments while others live in inhumane situations. Such groups are bound to engage in criminal activities just to acquire comfortable life. Hence, organized crimes resulting from social disorganization may be associated with light legal responses during a criminal activity. On the other hand, organized crimes caused by social learning or social control is subject to cruel legal responses since the act of crime is personal and has nothing to do with how the society treats a group (Crossman). Such group may be considered to be passive in attaining responsible success opting for fast and easy way out. Criminal homicide is subject to various legal responses depending on a perpetrator of the crime. Biological aspects may render an individual who is mentally sick, which in most cases is associated with homicide crimes. Such a crime is believed to be unintentional since an offender is not mentally stable. In this case, the legal response can be light, and there may not be any convictions. Rehabilitation may be the only possible legal response in this situation (Hagan 30). However, if an individual’s homicide act is driven by evolutionary motivation of committing the crime, the response by legal authorities may be cruel since the crime is considered to be intentional. Legal responses to crimes are determined by the factors attributing to people or groups committing the various crimes.  The responses also vary in degree of cruelty with regards to the situation, location, and perpetrator of a crime.


Crimes are committed every day by different people due to different situations. Most crimes are associated with the societal status of an individual. Crimes also come hand in hand with certain legal responses for which a perpetrator must be prepared when committing a crime. However, the legal responses vary depending on the type of crime, status of offender, time and location of committing the crime. There are many types of crime such as organized crimes, white collar crimes, and homicides. White collar crimes are unique considering that they are committed by individuals from high class of society and, in most cases, involve the use of wit rather than criminal weapons. The offenders in this situation are always intelligent and getting them is often hard and takes many years before realization. Organized crimes are structured like the corporate businesses and involve planned incidences of crimes. Homicide, on the other hand, entails killing of people, resulting from various causes of biology, evolution, and society. The causes of these crimes can be explained by certain criminological theories, for instance, strain theory, social disorganization, social learning, social control, rational choice, biological, genetics and devolutionary theories. The legal responses subjected to the perpetrators of these crimes vary with numerous factors significantly.

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