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Criminal Behavior and Social Frustration

Essay by   •  October 30, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  692 Words (3 Pages)  •  852 Views

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Q1: Task Description: From the perspective of victims of crime, what do you think is the impact of categorizing criminal behavior and evaluating criminal behavior in terms of social frustration causing the criminal behavior?

From the perspective of victims of crime, there are several possible outcomes from evaluating criminal behavior in terms of social frustration causing the criminal behavior. The immediate reaction of the victim might be that social frustration is an excuse for breaking the law that is unfair to family members and peers who are also frustrated or unfairly disadvantaged but do not break the law. This reaction may be related to perceptions of the role of psychology, biology, and personal agency (Owen, 2007) in human behavior. Frequently, the victims of crime are socially deprived as well as the perpetrators (Harrell, 2007). They may not be aware of political, social, or structural considerations impacting their community. Moreover, they might ask themselves, why do affluent, socially successful individuals (not socially frustrated) commit violent crimes if crime is a result of social frustration? Perhaps, feelings of frustration are sometimes irrational. Even attributing crime to psychological disorders has been viewed as making an excuse for criminal behavior that somehow enables the criminal to escape punishment.

The latter concept really encompasses the broader idea likely possessed by the victim, the feeling that if someone harms me or my loved ones, they should be punished to achieve justice or fairness. Most people are subject to this perception of justice and fairness. This feeling is expressed in the concept of retributive justice in which punishment, if fair (reasonable and proportionate to the violation), is considered a morally acceptable response to crime that is psychologically satisfying to the victim (Perry, 2006). Moreover, victims might feel that if criminals are not punished, they will not be deterred from committing the crime again.

However, in some cases, victims of crime, often depending on the severity, welcome a restorative justice approach. Restorative justice emphasizes the needs of victims, offenders, and the wider community, rather than meeting legal standards or punishing the criminal. In this approach, victims welcome perpetrators’ efforts to assume responsibility for their crime by repairing the damage they have done, such as expressing regret, asking for forgiveness, returning stolen property, or performing community service (Weitekamp, 1992). According to Sherman and Strang (2007), restorative justice that promotes communication between victim and offender yields the maximum rates of victim satisfaction and criminal responsibility. Restorative justice can be viewed as benefitting the offender, the victim, and the community, as well as deterring future crime (VORP of Nashville, 2011). Benefits to the victim include feelings of empowerment, expressing their own frustration,



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