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CRIM 4

JUVENILE
DELINQUENCY

CHAPTER 4:
THEORIES OF
DELINQUENCY
By : Gillian T. Torlao
John Dominick Collado

EARLY GENERAL THEORIES ON


THE CAUSES OF DELINQUENCY

Demonological Theory
Developed

during the middle

ages.
Based on belief of primitive
people that every object and
person.
The person should not be held
responsible for their actions
when they do evil things
because their body is
possessed by evil spirits

Classical Theory
Postulated

by Cesare Becaria
and Jeremy Bentham.
Consistent with the
UTILITARIAN VIEW People
weigh the benefits and costs of
future action before they
decide to act.
Based on assumption that
people are rational, have free
will, and therefore able to
choose.

Promotes the idea that people choose


criminality the same way when they choose
conformity, that youths commit crime
because they think or imagine that greater
good things can be earned through
conformity. This is because people by nature
are hedonistic.
HEDONISM is a doctrine that pleasure is the
highest good in life and that moral duty is
fulfilled through the pursuit of pleasure.

Classicists have 4 good reasons why


delinquent persons and offenders should be
punished:
General

Deterrence punishment of delinquents


and criminal offenders will strike fear in the
hearts of other people, making them less likely
to commit acts of delinquency or crimes.
Specific Deterrence punishment will strike fear
in the hearts of wrongdoers, thus making them
less likely to offend others again.

Incapacitation

the simplest form of


jurisdiction; Wrongdoers should be locked up.
Retribution this reason objects the idea that
anything good or useful will follow or result
from punishing offenders;
Criminals or delinquents should be punished
because they deserve it; a punishment is
morally right and just in light of the harm
and damage caused by the offense
Punishing criminals has no positive purpose or
no positive effect on the minds and hearts of
the people.

Positive or Italian Theory


Developed

by Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Ferri and


Raffaele Garofalo.
Promoted the idea of DETERMINISM - as a way of
explaining crime and delinquency.
DETERMINISM MEANS THAT EVERY ACT HAS A
CAUSE THAT IS WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED IN
THE NATURAL WORD.
Causes of delinquency could be identified
through the application of the scientific method.
Rejected the idea of classicist that punishment
of delinquent offenders has an inherent positive
value.

Critical Theory
This

theory is much more significant in


criminological analysis on the causes of juvenile
delinquency.
The concept of power, influence, inequality and
conflict guide this theory in exploring and
clarifying the nature of juvenile delinquency.
Blames delinquency on the imbalance of power
within the human society.

Powerful people consciously


or unconsciously create
rules that favor their
lifestyle.
Powerless people have very
few opportunities to
express their social and
political views. Hence, in
order to express or show
dissatisfaction or
disapproval with the
policies made by powerful
people, they attempt to
commit serious acts which
powerful people consider
as crime or delinquent
acts.

BIOLOGICAL THEORIES

Criminal Behavior is a result


of biological or genetic
defect in the individual.
Contemporary biological
theories focus more on
variations in genetic
Other biological factors
focuses in interaction with
the environment, and are
less likely to refer to
biological defects or
abnormalities.

Lombrosian Theory
Developed

by Dr. Cesare Lombroso, a prison


doctor in Turin Italy and known as the father of
Criminology. His job is to examine hundreds of
criminals

This

theory has the following


assumptions;
Criminals have many
stigmata (distinctive
physical features) such as
symmetrical faces,
enormous jaws, large or
protruding ears, and
receding chins.
Criminals are atavistic
beings who look differently.
Having the mentality of
primitive people, they are
incapable of living in modern
society.
Criminals are classified as
epileptic, insane and inborn.

Both criminals have physical quirks; they are


insensitive to pain and characterized by a
lack of moral sense, including an absence of
repentance and remorse, and other
manifestations such as physical argot or
slang, the tendency to express ideas
pictorially, and the extensive use of
tattooing.

Critics on Lombrosos Theory:


Based

only on his findings on criminals. And did


not conduct studies on non-offenders character.
No valid comparison between criminal and non
criminal type.
Also, there is no such thing as a physical criminal
type.

General Inferiority Theory/ Hootons Theory


Proposed

by Earnest Hooton.
Crime is the result of the impact of environment
upon low-grade human organisms and that
criminals were originally inferior people.
Crimes exist because there are some inferior
people who are responsible for them.
Men with mediocre builds are people who tend to
break the law without preference because crimes
are like physical make-up, characterless.
Criminals should be permanently exiled to selfgoverning reservations, isolated from the society,
sterilized to prevent future offsprings.

William Sheldons Theory


Body

type affects a persons entire personality


or temperament. People are classified in three
ways.
Endomorphs- people who tend to be fat, round
and soft, and to have short arms and legs.
Mesomorphs- people who have athletic and
muscular physique; with active, assertive and
aggressive personality. Delinquency exists
because there are mesomorphic men or youths
who are responsible for its occurrence.
Ectomorphs- people who are basically skinny with
lean and fragile bodies.

Genetic Theory
Crime

and delinquency is
committed by people who
have abnormal genetic
structure chromosomal
abnormalities.
DNA is the transmitter of
genetic materials (genes).
Extra Y the transmitter is
responsible for
aggressiveness and thus,
criminal activity. Men with
extra Y chromosomes are
taller and have a 10 to 20
percent greater tendency to
break the law than
genetically normal XY
males.

PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES

These theories assume


that:
Delinquency

is a result of
internal, underlying
disturbances.
These disturbances develop
in childhood and tend to
become permanent features
of the individual character
Since the individual has
problems, he or she must
be the focus of attention if
the problem is to be solved.

Psychogene Theories
Blames

delinquency on impulses
that are rooted in the child rather
than in his environment.
It is easier to change a person than
it is to change an environment.

Freudan Psychoanalytic Theory


Proponent

of this theory was Sigmund

Freud
People develop in a series of stages.
When abnormalities occur, the person is
more likely to experience conflict.
Conflict stems from the persons basic
drive (ID).

Sigmund Freud (6 May 1856 23 September 1939)

4 ELEMENTS IN FREUDS
THEORY
A.

B.

C.

D.

Human nature is inherently anti-social. Every


child possesses a set of primitive anti-social
instincts that Freud called the ID.
Good behavior comes through effective
socialization. Through socialization, the child
learns internal control.
The life-long features of the human
personality originates in early childhood. By
age of 5, all the essential features of the
childs adult personality have been developed.
Delinquent behavior is the result of a
defective superego.

THE 3 PARTS OF HUMAN


PSYCHE (PERSONALITY)
a)

b)

c)

ID- It is the unconscious portion of personality


dominated by the drive (cravings) for pleasure
and by inborn sexual and aggressive impulses.
If left unchecked, it may destroy the person.
Ego- This is the rational part of the
personality; it grows from the ID. It represents
problem solving dimensions of personality.
Super ego- It grows out of ego. It represents
the moral code, norms and values the
individual has acquired. Hence, it is
responsible for feelings of guilt and shame.

The Low- IQ Theory


a)

b)

People with low intelligence are easily led into


law-breaking activities by the wiles of more
clever people.
People with low intelligence are unable to
realize that committing offenses in a certain
way often leads to get caught and eventual
punishment.
Critics on this theory: Low IQs do not lead to
higher rates of delinquency per itself but
merely higher rates of getting caught.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Theory


Juvenile delinquency is caused by immaturity
and hyperactivity.
Grade schoolers usually experience attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder, which is
characterized by:

a)
b)

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Short attention span


Day Dreaming
Sluggishness
Preoccupation
Impulsiveness

Frustration-Aggression Theory
This

theory claims that people who are frustrated


will act aggressively, and people who engage in
aggression are frustrated first.
Frustration is a behavior not a feeling or an
emotion, directed at anticipated goals or
expectations. It develops when a person
experiences the blocking of some goal.
Aggression is a behavior whose goal is to inflict
damage or injury on some objects or persons.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

According to AUGUST AICHORNthe causes of crime and


delinquency is the faulty
development of the child during
the first few years of his life.

August Aichhorn (July 27, 1878-October 13, 1949

SOCIAL CLASS THEORIES

Social Disorganization Theory


This

theory was recognized early in the 20 th century by sociologists


Clifford Shaw and Henry Mckay.
Disorganized areas cannot exert social control over acting-out
youth;
These areas can be identified by their relatively high level of
change, fear, instability, incivility, poverty and deterioration, and
these factors have direct influence on the areas delinquency rate.

Anomie Theory (Greek [other book says


French means LAWLESSNES])
Advocated

by Emile Durkheim
Produced by rapidly shifting moral values. This
occurs when personal goals cannot be achieved
using available means.
Anomie refers to breakdown of social norms and
a condition where norms no longer control the
activities of members in society. In other books,
it is the breakdown of social order as a result of
standards and values.

Strain Theory
It

is a concept made by
Sociologist Robert Merton
Somehow related from
Anomie but its concept
mainly focused on SOCIAL
STRUCTURE not on social
changes.
It contends that certain
classes are denied
legitimate access to
culturally determined
goals and opportunities,
and the results in
illegitimate activities or
rejection of the societys
goal.

Sources of Strain according to Robert Agnew


A.
B.
C.
D.

Strain caused by the failure to achieve


positively valued goals.
Strain caused by the disjunction of
expectations and achievements.
Strain as a removal of positively valued stimuli
from the individual.
Strain as the presentation of negative stimuli.

Differential Opportunity Theory


Delinquent

subcultures, according to Richard Cloward


and Lloyd Ohlin, flourish in the lower-classes and take
particular forms so that the means for illegitimate
success are no more equally distributed than the
means for legitimate success.
They argued that the types of criminal subcultures
depend on the area in which they develop.

THREE TYPES OF DELINQUENT GANGS


(CLOWARD AND OHLIN )

A.) The Criminal Gang


B.) The Conflict/Violent gang
C.) The Retreatist Gang

A.) The Criminal Gang


Emerges in the areas where conventional as well as
non-conventional values of behavior are integrated
by a close connection of illegitimate and legitimate
businesses. This type of gang is stable than the ones
to follow. Older criminals serve as role models and
they teach necessary criminal skills to the
youngsters.

B.) The Conflict/Violent gang


Non-stable and non-integrated, characterized by an
absence of criminal organization resulting in stability.
This gang aims to find reputation for toughness and
destructive violence.

C.) The Retreatist Gang


Equally unsuccessful in legitimate as well as
illegitimate means. Members are known as double
failures, thus retreating into the world of sex, drugs
and alcohol.