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Psychology & Crime: Victims & Offenders

Introduction - Psychology & Crime: Victims & Offenders

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Violent offending involves a diverse range of behaviour from threats and involves minor acts of physical intrusion which severely damages lethal behaviour. The development of social psychological aggression can be used for reflecting the understanding of violent offending from the psychological perspective. Violent offending is being considered as a particular type of social behaviour that may occur through aggressive behaviour (Andrews and Bonta, 2019).

Social Interactionist Theory

The concept of violent offending can be made understood through the social interactionist theory where Felson and Tedeschi (1994) argued about viewing violence as the broader pattern of socially coercive behaviour. The author has further demonstrated three motives of aggression including: (1) controlling the behaviour of recipients; (2) attaining justice and; (3) protecting or enhancing the self-image. This model was proposed by Felson and Tedeschi (1994) which has proven to be very helpful in formulating a wide variety of violent offences. Lack of respect has been considered as the common instigator of violent offending. Social cognitive theory believes and strongly argues that human beings can act purposefully under different kinds of stressful circumstances (Felson, 2018).

Theory of Criminal Behaviour

Violent behavior is most often seen as a part of criminal behaviour, in the same way as the sexual offending is regarded as. But, violence cannot be distinguished from crimes. Instead, violence is considered to be a part of aggressive behaviour, and criminal behaviour. Aggressive behaviour is not considered as an illegal, but criminal behaviour can be (Reyna et al., 2018).

If we observe evidence, or proof for supporting specialization; then for crime related theories, there cannot be any discussion.

Theory of Integrated Cognitive Antisocial Potential

This theory was proposed by Farrington in 1992. The theory which we are looking into is the version of the same theory; which was enhanced in 2003. According to this theory, the approach which is known to be developmental, and life-course criminology, which is totally related with a approach to understand offending, which includes risk factors that apply to each stage of life. Also, it includes how life events are related to people’s anti social potential throughout the lifespan, at each and every individual level (Farrington, 2017).

The main motive of describing this theory was to explain offending in young adults, based in their low socio-economic status. This research was done by a Cambridge study in delinquent development. This study also includes the ideas from the diverse sociological, and psychological sources. The main backbone of this study is the antisocial potential; which is ‘the potential to commit antisocial acts' (Kocsis, 2018). This potential can be different according to time, and people. These variations can be described through various factors that differ from those factors which explain short-term variations in anti-social potential. Both of these factors interact with the strongest committed violent and criminal acts (Farrington, 2017).

Theory of aggressive behaviour

These theories are specially Designed to explain criminal violence. The ‘General Aggression model’ is the most knowledgeable framework for research on causes of framework. This model was proposed by Anderson and Bushman in 2002. It is a model of aggression rather than violence. It also includes a fledgling model which states that on aggression how stable a person can be Due to the exposure of violent media. Recently there is a research that states that Potential relevance of biological media, Impairment in cognitive functions, Hormonal imbalance and lower arousability (Hussin and Ahmad, 2021). To explain this whole team worked with the help of environmental based factors. The general aggression model is a framework which describes the progression of Theories going back to the Frustration aggression hypothesis of the 1930s, which includes social learning theory, and also the social cognitive models. Inside the GAM, there are some of the integrative frameworks, which also combine distance, and proximal factors, to explain a single aggressive event, which was held in 2017 (Hussin and Ahmad, 2021).

The event-based model of GAM is of very much use in respect to violent offences.

Approaches to break violent offending

There are several methods to break and reduce violent offending. Let us have a look at them.

  1. Public health concern- in today's world violence must be seen as a health concern for the whole public. Campaigns and technologies should be used to reach each and every child and family for reducing violence. Each and every citizen should be made to feel important and should be provided care with the help of parenting, interventions, social interventions, campaigns and childhood education (Reyna et al., 2018).
  2. Localised programmes- Localised programmes, seminars, and exhibitions should be organised regularly in each and every city and village of a country, so that people must have knowledge about what are the causes, and results of violent offence. From an early age, children must be explained about violent offending so that they are deprived of this.
  3. Hotspots- Focusing on hotspots and hot people is a great method to reduce violence. Along with this few other measures can also be adopted Like urban upgrading, better urban planning, and situational prevention (Andrews and Bonta, 2019).
  4. Well targeted programmes- well targeted programmes can be created In the hotspots to focus on those populations who commit violent offences mostly. Along with this a treatment plan should also go hand to hand for families.
  5. Prevention- Since the population is increasing day by day in each and every country, along with this crime, and violence is also increasing. So the main focus should be on the conditions and the situations that drive people forcefully to cause a violent offence.
  6. Repressive policies- Focus on the action of law enforcement Should be adopted to approach a Violent offence for crime and security angle (Felson, 2018).
  7. Male violence- There are a lot of laws that are focused mainly on female violent offences, But we must focus that there are a lot of things that mostly lead to violent offending, and harm.
  8. Same issue- The male and the female violence must be treated as the same, and the equal issue. There is nothing such like that the female violence is of more harm than that of the male 
  9. Poverty- A large number of the population among the criminals and the drivers of the violent offence belongs to the families which are in poverty. So we should find out the reasons and employ the persons who in poverty lead the violent offence (Hussin and Ahmad, 2021).
  10. Repression and prevention- local experience programmes and efforts are the main which can deal with the internal respects can deal with the violence offending. To create a system based entirely on repression and prevention is not the basic idea but the idea is that To find the balance and incorporate rehabilitation Along with the re integration policies and funding into security strategies.
  11. Early Intervene- the people who are the drivers of the violent offence must be understood properly and then their interventions should be started at an early age. It is a very important and crucial factor in reducing violence (Hussin and Ahmad, 2021).
  12. History- Slavery dictatorship and many other types of human violence are never treated and dealt with any of the transitional processes. Along with this security should rely on the structures that do not make any sense in fostering the competitions and corruption.
  13. Drugs- Amy type of drug or the person who takes drugs is the most important factor for driving criminal or violent offence. There is a big taboo for the issue of international anti violence developmental initiatives. Most importantly of which includes cocaine and several other drugs (Zammit, 2020).
  14. Inequality- Economic inequality should be considered for reducing violence, and any type of crime in any part of the world. There should be a stability between the high quality child care and, also stability in every type of earnings is of much requirement in reducing violence offence (Viljoen, Cochrane, and Jonnson, 2018).
  15. Non-violent language- people who use non violent language are the biggest drivers of causing violence, and increasing it more rapidly. Therefore, several campaigns and seminars must be conducted to make people knowledgeable about how big the harm is to non violent languages, and words. Also, children at younger age learn the wrong things from these types of languages.

Managing risk associated with violent offending

Detect early signs of mishaps- There are always signs that a person might get agitated to an extent that he/she takes violent actions. These signs must not be ignored. It is better to consult for help and get the thing sorted. Violence can become a part of behaviour and these early signs if detected and treated at the right time can prevent malicious acts. If possible, the person needs to be handled with utmost caution. It is imperative to detect these early signs to mitigate the risk of violence. There are different measures that the victim can take such as backing off from argument or calling for help from a trusted person (Farrington, 2017).

Take action at first incident- Most of the incidents are not the initials, there are moments and smaller incidents which are ignored. These smaller incidents must be addressed intelligently by people and must be stopped immediately. People think that it's just one time and it will never happen again, or it is rare so it does not count in being an issue but these are incidents that build up the behavioral pattern. Actions are needed at these stages. Maybe, filing a case is not necessary, but therapies are and these actions must not be ignored. So, it will be beneficial to take action at the initial stage to prevent more serious issues (Farrington, 2017).

Promote fundamental rights and laws against violence-  It has been seen that people have little knowledge about their rights and laws that protect them from physical violence and verbal abuse. It is important for people to know why violence is illegal and what punishments are decided by the law. These must be strictly implemented so at least people become cautious and know what is right and wrong. It will make the person committing the offence think twice (Kocsis, 2018). If fundamental rights are promoted extensively, people will become more conscious about the ill practices happening with them or around them, for which they can take action or get help from third person. Individuals must at least know that there are laws (Viljoen, Cochrane, and Jonnson, 2018).

Acknowledge Social injustice and inequality- If its happening on a significant scale, there is possibility that social injustice and inequalities might have caused violence to evolve in the surrounding. People become violent when they are suppressed or become victims of biasness. It is better to treat the root cause rather than letting the violence flourish (Kocsis, 2018). If unemployment is on rise, these cases are witnessed to rise as well. So, it is quite obvious that social issues and suppressions cause violent acts to exist and grow in the society. For this reason, the government needs to keep a check on such activities that mark injustice and biased behaviour of upper class or elite class on lower classes (Zammit, 2020).

A fastrack cell for hearing grievances of victims- The most important thing is to address violent incidents promptly and take actions within a short duration. This is essential as it will protect victims and also inculcate confidence in them to speak against violence. A fasttrack cell that takes the matter seriously and actively tries to resolve the matter and punish the offender is needed. This way, there will be a sense of fear among offenders and when they will understand that their actions can lead them into deep trouble, these cases might reduce. These fasttrack cells will also mark stringent control over such activities and greater confidence of the public in the judiciary system. All these measures will enable risk management to become concrete and channelize the impact towards reduced cases of violent offenses (Felson, 2018). 

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Andrews, D.A. and Bonta, J., 2019. The psychology of criminal conduct.

Farrington, D.P., 2017. The integrated cognitive antisocial potential (ICAP) theory. In Developmental and Life-course Criminological Theories (pp. 105-124). Routledge.

Felson, R.B., 2018. A social interactionist approach to violent crime. In Oxford research encyclopedia of criminology and criminal justice.

Hussin, Z. and Ahmad, S.R., 2021. Masculine Identity and Aggressive Behavior among Illegal Motorcycle Riders from Social Learning Theory. Asian Journal of Research in Education and Social Sciences, 3(2), pp.127-135.

Kocsis, R.N. ed., 2018. Applied criminal psychology: a guide to forensic behavioral sciences. Charles C Thomas Publisher.

Reyna, V.F., Helm, R.K., Weldon, R.B., Shah, P.D., Turpin, A.G. and Govindgari, S., 2018. Brain activation covaries with reported criminal behaviors when making risky choices: A fuzzy-trace theory approach. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147(7), p.1094.

Viljoen, J.L., Cochrane, D.M. and Jonnson, M.R., 2018. Do risk assessment tools help manage and reduce risk of violence and reoffending? a systematic review. Law and Human Behavior, 42(3), p.181.

Zammit, D., 2020. " Euripides''Electra'is a study in criminal psychology." Discuss this statement, supporting your opinion with reference to the text. Classicum, 46(2), pp.41-43.

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