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Thread: crime and punishment and the circumstantial criminal

  1. #1 crime and punishment and the circumstantial criminal 
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    I'm interested in learning about the solutions available concerning the circumstantial criminal; the person who commits a crime based on certain circumstances and is branded a felon forever and possibly succumbs to that life style as a result of the barriers placed before him or her in the form of the euphemism, "collateral sanctions". I understand the 'victim stance' in criminology but don't think that's applicable here.

    I don't possess your language nor skills and experience in dealing with crime. I can only relay what I know from years and years of oppressive conditions as I lived them as well as the others I lived with. In prison we distinguish prisoners: inmates, convicts and prisoners. Inmates need the prison system because without someone telling them what to do they would be loss. Convicts are those who make a career out of crime, and prisoners are those who do not want to be in prison and would do nearly anything to get out. We started focusing on offenders in prison for drug offenses and property crimes because they were the easiest to analyze. Based on hundreds and hundreds of hours spent on this topic we all agreed that the majority of prisoners are just victims of a circumstantial crime which, if the cause wasn't present, the effect wouldn't take place. We already know criminologists have also analyzed prisoners based on their crime and the reasoning behind it, but we never heard anything about how to resolve those issues from continuing both for those currently in prison as well as those who will follow.

    So criminologists, with your diploma tucked nicely on the wall, what have you say about solutions to easy problems? And how are these solutions implemented in the community or even the penal system and do they work? Finally, wouldn't the problem really be the issue of society and government instead of crime and punishment? Isn't crime and punishment a subjective issue or product of society and government? With the domestication of plant and animal, property crime appeared. If you examine the history of Ohio you'll find instances where people committed 'crimes' only to survive. At one point in Ohio history, poor people use to line the street by the penitentiary hoping to get some scraps the prisoners didn't eat; surely if poverty was that bad some people by necessity engaged in what others would consider criminal offenses.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I appreciate any intelligent responses because those are the ones in which provide me with knowledge and knowledge is king.


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  3. #2  
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    All the countries of the world has the obligation to protect its citizen against crime and criminal offenders. If a person violates a penal law, he or she should be punished accordingly. Crime generally in most jurisdiction is committed intentionally or unintentionally, but even unintentional crimes are punished. The law may be harsh but it is the law, the circumstances surrounding the commission of the crime may be taken to mitigate the criminal liability resulting in the decrease in the years of imprisonment. Once a person is convicted, his or her record stays with him forever.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    wouldn't the problem really be the issue of society and government instead of crime and punishment?

    Im no criminologist but I think its the case. Its easier to say its illegal to fall off a balcony, than changing the environment that lends itself to it and installing a fence. Changing society and government is probably the best solution but its difficult and subject to resistance by those who benefit the most from what ever society is like (slavery was probably opposed by the slave owners, who had more influence than the average slave).
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Why doesn't the criminal need to change? Circumstances of birth may put one in a place where becoming a criminal is an expectation but I would wager that almost every felonious act is committed by those who know it is wrong to do so. I see the OP as portraying the criminal as a victim (of circumstances). If criminals know they are seen as victims in our society, then perhaps they don't see themselves as lawbreakers, but more like people exacting revenge for their plight.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    I work a humble job and live in humble circumstances, but I see Mercedes', Jaguars, Bentleys, Porsches, Maseratis and sometimes Rolls Royces around me. Just because I don't have one, doesn't mean that I am a victim of circumstances and that going out and stealing one isn't my fault. An adult is expected to follow the rules of society, know right from wrong, etc. Someone who has committed a crime and then turns around and "cries poor mouth" gets no sympathy from me. I've had a significant amount of experience with people in prisons, and the serious ones own up to their behavior.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    As expected in today's world, the culture makes it difficult to prevent problems with adequate changes, people don't want the society to change the same way slave owners didn't want society to change and like it just the way it is, you might as well try to foster progressive policies in the middle ages. People have a simplistic individualistic point of view without seeing the big picture and don't want to change society because from their individual perspective there's no environmental problem (If "I" don't fall off the balcony why should there be a fence, the environment is just fine the way it is, no fences, people just need to not fall off, simple, just dont fall off. If "I" don't have cancer right now at this minute why should anyone tone down the industrial use of cancer causing chemicals?, etc). Criminals just need to stop committing crime, its easy, just don't commit the crime, simple, alcohol's problem, make it illegal like the prohibition, and those who use it are criminals, they just need to not do it and just put them in jail if they do, simple and easy.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    As they say in prison, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime."
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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