Book Review: Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory

Book Review: Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory.

Book Review: Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory

The book Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory offers a critical examination of crime and theories that link human beings with a crime. The book explores the various theories that attribute to behaviors or situations that make a man commit a crime. Bohm and Vogel explore numerous theories that put into a better perspective reasons why man indulge in crime. The book has explored some theories including psychological, biological, sociological, and economic and others theories that possibly play a hand in criminal cases. The book helps to enlighten both students and criminal law stakeholders on the connection but crime and the theories that try to explain crime. The book can act as a primary or a secondary text to students and stakeholders pursuing knowledge in criminal and delinquency theories. The goal of the book is to offer a comparatively transitory but complete explanation of crime and delinquency theories.

Bohm and Vogel offer a strong foundation on what theories are; he also explains concepts off scientific theories and the nominal and operational definitions of various theoretical concepts. Explanation of those concepts helps a student to have a wider scope and a better understanding of how various delinquency theories are connected with the crime. He also explores various propositions both linear and non-linear that help in the proliferation of crime. Explanation on those propositions helps a student relate how some concepts can affect a person into engaging in crime.

Bohm and Vogel also use testing of theories to expound on the strength of a theory to explain causes of crime or the relationship between a person and crime. Bohm and Vogel argue that theories that are more powerful should help explain crime at different levels of analysis. That means that the theories should provide an in-depth analysis on how different variables are logically linked to form a meaningful relationship between the theory and the crime. Bohm and Vogel argue that the strongest theory is one that provides a compelling explanation to answer situational, dispositional, systematic, psychological, or biological factors that link a person to the crime. On the other hand. Bohm explains that a weak theory is that theory that only offers one level of analysis to the connection between crime and a person. He asserts that the best way to test a theory to through falsification of the theory. He argues that the strength of a theory should be gauged with its ability to stand the test of falsity. The more the theory stands the test of falsity, the stronger it should be rated.

Bohm and Vogel look into classical and neoclassical theory and their relationship to crime and delinquency acts. Bohm and Vogel give an account of how people used to behave before the age of reason or the enlightenment age. He purports that, people’s behavior was controlled by religious norms where people could be judged according to the revelation of the Holy Writ and the Holy Spirit. He condemns that trend as an illusion based on ignorance where church inflicted fear among believers through the church doctrine and held them into subjugation. People used to associate crime with sins and act that was catalyzed by demonic forces. Bohm tries to bring to light how the enlightenment age helped people understand the world through science and reason. Through the classical theory, people could understand the world and then the world could be changed. Bohm is accused the classical theory failure to understand that the people in the world were divinely ordained. Bohm and Vogel bring to light how the classical theory helped in preventing crime and in liberating people to understand their rights as humankind. Those advocating the theory posited that people had their free will and they could weigh the potential of pleasure against its pain. Moreover, from the rational choice theory, people could consider the risk and the rewards before they commit a crime. Unlike the earlier religious belief, Bohm and Vogel explain how rationality brought by the classical theory helped people understands their situations better. Bohm and Vogel carefully scrutinize the classical and neoclassical theories ability to prevent crime. He argues that, despite those who commit the crime being treated as irrational, some things need to be considered. The fact that rational people contract themselves to society, those with nothing to lose after being contracted to the society can still commit a crime. He pokes holes into the classical theory by giving an instance where a person with no property in the society will not value being contracted into that society since they will have nothing lose and hence can commit crime anytime.

Bohm and Vogel also check into the positivist theories and their contribution in explaining how people link themselves with a crime. Bohms and Vogel accuse these theories of over prediction in accounting for various crimes and failure to explain exceptions. For instance, he gives an instance where the theory relates crime to poverty and fails to account so many poor people who do not engage in crime. He cites generalization of characters in accounting for a crime where individual differences are not taken care of when accounting for crime as a major problem. He concurs with the effort played by the theories, but he states the normative of consensus posited by the theory as another problem. The theory assumes that most people agree with most of the time about the moral values.

Bohm and Vogel also look into details biological theories and how they account for crime. He explores on different studies of human crime, body types theories, hereditary studies, and modern bio criminology. Bohm and Vogel are at loggerheads with the distastefulness of the penalties imposed to stop crime such as sterilization, extermination, and isolation. He terms penalties as inhumane and inappropriate. He also cites generalization of samples and failure by the theories to take care of all people with traits but have failed to expose them as some of the problems with the theories.

Other theories that Bohms and Vogel look into details include the psychological theories, where personality needs and emotions contribute to crime. He has explored how the different psychological theories such a Maslow’s theory, humanistic theory, macro psychological, micro psychological and others.

Robert M.Bohm is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Florida. He is also the author of the book Introduction to Criminal Justice, Death Quest, Demystifying Crime, and Criminal Justice and other Books. Brenda Vogel is a professor of criminology and justice at the California State University, Long Beach. She has also published books in several areas of criminological theories, public perception, public perception of crime, race, and crime, and perception of law enforcement and other area.


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Book Review: Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory