What constitutes a theory of criminal behavior? Why should we study theory? What role does theory play in the criminal justice system?

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Theories of criminal behavior attempt to explain the rationale of the offender and or sociological factors that lead towards a lifestyle of deviant behavior. For example, Lombroso, the "father of criminology" used what he called the positivist approach to study the causes of crime. This approach relied on the scientific...

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Theories of criminal behavior attempt to explain the rationale of the offender and or sociological factors that lead towards a lifestyle of deviant behavior. For example, Lombroso, the "father of criminology" used what he called the positivist approach to study the causes of crime. This approach relied on the scientific method to quantify and measure behavior and social conditions associated with the behavior.

Enrico Ferri focused on causes such as climate, age, and population density to determine the causes of crime.

We study theories today for the same reasons these men studied them years ago, to try and pinpoint why the criminal acts and behaves the way he does.

 

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