Alternative Perspectives in Criminology
Imagine your supervisor has been asked to speak at a national convention on the future of criminology. Your supervisor has asked you to help gather information on alternative perspectives in criminology. You have been asked to research the following:
One additional perspective of your choice.
Write a 350- to 700-word report on each of the four perspectives including support for or against the perspective from two peer-reviewed articles from the University Library.
Format the paper consistent with APA guidelines.
Submit your paper.
Critical Criminology is a term that covers several criminology theories and it tries to bring a different perspective on how to look at and approach criminal activities. Crimes still remain a challenge in the United states and it is a talk of media houses and social media. Despite many attempts to bring better ways to deal with criminal activities, there are still many challenges faced. Hard punishments are still being witnessed. Critical criminology brings ways of understanding and controlling crime. It radically studies crimes, forms of victimization and criminal justice. Critical criminologists take keen interest in how factors such as racial, ethnic, gender, sexual inequalities and class affect crime and the criminal justice systems (Michael L., 2015). They are bound by the belief that inequality brings crime. Most ideas in critical criminology are influenced by the writings of Karl Marx.
Critical criminologists believe that the less fortunate are punished more that those well-off in the society. They also argue the minor crimes committed by the vulnerable are given more attention that the ‘big’ crimes committed by those in power. Willem Bonger (1916), wrote that the lower class individuals are criminalized and heavily punished compared to the upper class.
Critical criminology advocates for better ways of life for the disadvantaged. There has to be reforms which better the living of the vulnerable. Society should be humane and more conducive for all. Social injustices have to be gotten rid of. Rules and regulations should apply equally to all. Cases of unequal distribution of resources and power can easily pave way to violence and criminal activities.
Critical criminology has important points to look into especially the lack of equality in the justice system brought about by social classes (Curtis, C. 2003). It outlines important things that the vulnerable go through in the society. Despite the fact that it sheds light on important social issues, it does not explicitly explained the way forward in handling crimes. What can be done to ensure that the poor are uplifted? How can the society ensure equal resource and power distribution? How can judicial systems ensure fair treatment in courts? The authors, however, leave important facts which if considered, can ultimately reduce crime.
In restoration justice, the justice system focuses on bringing together the victims and the offenders to make peace. The criminal justice acknowledges the fact that crime is not just about punishing the offender because they acted against the government laws and regulations but looks at the damage that the crime brings to all those involved. It looks at the experiences of the affected and how best they can be brought to an understanding. Reconciliation occurs one on one between the victims, the offenders and the reconciliation makers. The justice system acknowledges that a healing process has to occur since crime affects the society, hurts the victim and even the offender. Every party involved is hurt differently.
Crime negatively affect human relationships and create rifts among community members, friends, relatives and government. What is often over-looked is the fact that both the victim and the offender both go through painful circumstances. Failure to resolve the issues may create a permanent rift and unending hatred between the two. It is therefore crucial to acknowledge and respond to the needs of the affected while making the offender to be responsible for the offenses committed.
The process of restoration considers the victims who are directly affected (primary victims) and those who are indirectly hurt (secondary victims), such as the immediate family of the primary victims. Those directly affected in most cases sustain different forms of physical injuries, psychological and emotional torture and property loss. If ignored, the effects resulting from such kind of suffering can last forever (Gerkin, P., Walsh, J., Kuilema, J., & Borton, I. 2017). The primary victim feels that they are wronged and their rights violated. They need to see the wrong deeds being condemned and justice done to them. The secondary victims such as the family may want replacement of lost property. The community also demands peace and security. The process also distinguishes the injuries directly caused by the violation and the injuries that were already there but have been in the process of violation provoked. The victims and the offenders are made to fully participate in the healing process and it encourages the offender to understand the hurting results of their actions, not to make them feel guilty but to pave way to the healing process (Hermann, D. H., 2017).
Unlike retributive or rehabilitative justice that leaves the offender to repay the victim, restorative seeks to make right what was done wrong. However, for the sake of community safety, incarceration can be done only when necessary. In order to hold the offenders responsible, a form is restitution is decided upon by the court. Often the offender is required to pay the victims for the losses they have incurred. Restoration justice appears to me as one of the best justice systems because of the following reasons:
The offender acknowledges their wrong doing
Harmony is restored among the victims
The offenders compensates the victim
Offenders are not just deemed as law breakers who deserve punishment
The freedom to ask and be asked questions during the reconciliation process gives both parties to express themselves
Community is considered for peace and safety.
Peacemaking criminologists argue that human life faces different forms of suffering brought about by activities such as war, violence, sexism and racism. They believe that crime is one of these kinds of suffering and human beings living is characterized of. Criminal activities expresses this kind of suffering. Peacemaking criminology is a branch of critical criminology and is based on principles from humanists, religious and feminist traditions (Pepinsky H., 2013). It is remembered that critical criminology analyses the kind of treatment the poor and the vulnerable are subjected to. There is inequality in the justice systems and in the distribution of power and resources. The poor are given hard punishments for light crimes while the upper class do light punishments. Peacemaking criminology advocates for the uplifting human living through eliminating suffering since crime is like any other form of suffering in the process of living.
The criminology authors believe that it is upon human beings to take steps into looking for peace. It advocates for peaceful prevention and response of law-breaking and socially harmful activities. Such activities depict malfunctioning communities. It believes people must come together to restore peace through democratic bodies and institutions. Emphases are put on resolution of conflicts, justice restoration and rehabilitation.
Since the authors argue that crime is directly connected to human suffering, putting an end to crime can only be realized by ending suffering. As such, poverty, abuse, alienation, harassment, sexism and racism among other things must be dealt with (Moloney, J., 2009). Peacemaking criminology also argues that the state also contributes to crime through enforcement of harsh rules and regulations. State policies such lengthy court sentences and death penalties as social controls make people become rebellious. Restorative justice has to be encouraged instead. A nation cannot eliminate crime if itself is rooted in poverty. The key points in peacemaking criminology include:
Crime itself is suffering and can only be eliminated through ending suffering.
Peace brings to an end both crime and suffering
Personal transformation fosters realization of peace.
Humans can be transformed if economic, political and social structures are changed.
Rehabilitative justice focuses on enforcing corrective measures on an offender. It beliefs that the offender is triggered by certain circumstances that makes them to participate in criminal offenses. As such, instead of subjecting them to court sentences, they ought to be taken to rehabilitation centers where they are given treatment and therapy sessions (Goodman, P., 2012). The argument is based on the fact that the criminal offenders suffer from some kind of mental illness.
The circumstances that can make to engage in criminal activities include neglect, abusive family members, access to weapons, influence from peers and exposure to violent environments among others. It is believed that such individuals ought to go through counseling and therapy to become crime free when they return to the society (Berenji, B. et al., 2014). Rehabilitation centers are equipped with professional counselors and therapists who are trained to offer such kind of services. The centers also offer activities that enable the offenders to built their skills in and which can help them when they are out. Parents and community members get actively involved in ensuring that the offenders are assisted to become crime-free.
There are two types of rehabilitation measures. In the first one, the offender is taken to a rehabilitation center after they have been taken to court and convicted of a crime. The other form of is an ongoing process of rehabilitation that occurs right from home and extends to schools at an early age. Behavior is closely monitored and any instance of violence is corrected early enough through counseling before the victim reaches states of committing serious crimes. The two forms presents important judicial justice alternative corrective measures but the later is more effective since violence is detected at an early age. For the first one, it is not a guarantee that the offender will stop committing crimes after rehab especially when when they are used to.
Berenji, B., Chou, T., & D’Orsogna, M. R. (2014). Recidivism and rehabilitation of criminal offenders: A carrot and stick evolutionary game. PloS one, 9(1), e85531.
Curtis, C. (2003). An Exploration of Critical Criminology and the Policy Making Process. Race, Gender & Class, 144-162.
Goodman, P. (2012). “Another Second Chance”: Rethinking Rehabilitation through the Lens of California’s Prison Fire Camps. Social Problems, 59(4), 437-458.
Hermann, D. H. (2017). Restorative Justice and Retributive Justice: An Opportunity for Cooperation or an Occasion for Conflict in the Search for Justice. Seattle J. Soc. Just., 16, 71.
Gerkin, P., Walsh, J., Kuilema, J., & Borton, I. (2017). Implementing Restorative Justice Under the Retributive Paradigm: A Pilot Program Case Study. SAGE Open, 7(1), 2158244017691562.
Michael L. (2015). Critical Criminology
Moloney, J. (2009). Peacemaking Criminology. Undergraduate Review, 5(1), 78-83.
Pepinsky H. (2013). Peacemaking Criminology. Critical Criminology.