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  1. #1
    explcdt8's Avatar
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    Medical Model (Criminological 'theory')

    So one day I was in the Criminal Justice library at school and picked up a book about neurology and crime. After laughing through most of it, basically, crime is all genetics, no choice or enviornmenta factors. I came to a part that really got me concerned.

    It says that crime should be handeled as follows: after the police arrest someone, they do not get a jury trial, rather, they get an evaluation by a psychaitrist and have a treatment plan drawn up. They are then released to the community, and if they committ another offense, then they are locked up.

    Okay, for one, you still need a trial to make sure the right person got arrested.

    Second, brain chemistry does not explain all crime

    Third, handing someone medication and saying your free to go, as long as you take it, doesn't really do much to help protect people.

    After reading this, I wished these authors would come give a talk at the school, so I could voice my opinions about their 'research'.

    OFF TOPIC:

    I also almost questioned someone who said GPS implants should be put into sex offenders. Okay, I really don't have a problem with sex offenders, I do have a problem with the slippery slope it will cause, same with parents IMPLANTING chips in children. Attaching a GPS bracelet/backpack thing is different, INVASIVE MEDICAL PROCEDURE that requires SURGERY to remove at 18, much different (not to mention all of the other concerns)
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  2. #2
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    Was there a question somewhere in there?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaV View Post
    Was there a question somewhere in there?
    +1

    I've never heard of this medical model and I have a BS in CRIM and will soon have a MA in CRIM.

    OK that's not entirely true. While I've never heard it called the "medical" model it's close to whats known as the Positivism school of thinking.

    Positivism: The perspective in criminology that sees human behavior as determined by internal and external influences, such as biological, psychological, and/or social factors. (Albanese 2005: 35)

    Can you guys tell that I'm sitting here working on my graduate research project and I have like 8 CJ & CRIM text books next to me :D

  4. #4
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    I guess it is part of the positivism school of thought. It basically says that there is no such thing as free will, and crimes are caused by genetic factors, or differences in brain chemicals/mental illness; therefore criminals need treatment not punishment.

    As for a question, I wanted to find out whether or not you think this theory is valid, and to the fact that the authors of this book basically want to take away constitutional rights (the right to a trial).
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    For the most part Positivism has been disproved.

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    Moved since this isn't about federal LE.


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  7. #7
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    If it's genetics, why do a higher percentage of poor people commit violent crimes than wealthy?

    My experience and education tell me the problem is much more sociological than anything. People usually have their basic moral values about the age of 7 or before.
    I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was, and now what I'm with isn't it. And what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grampa Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat_Doc View Post
    You just gotta realize he is hard of hearing and cranky, and try to speak up more clearly next time and make it perfectly clear what you were saying so there is no misinterpretation. You gotta try not to get mad at the old guy, recognizing the issue at hand.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by explcdt8 View Post
    So one day I was in the Criminal Justice library at school and picked up a book about neurology and crime. After laughing through most of it, basically, crime is all genetics, no choice or enviornmenta factors. I came to a part that really got me concerned.

    It says that crime should be handeled as follows: after the police arrest someone, they do not get a jury trial, rather, they get an evaluation by a psychaitrist and have a treatment plan drawn up. They are then released to the community, and if they committ another offense, then they are locked up.

    Okay, for one, you still need a trial to make sure the right person got arrested.

    Second, brain chemistry does not explain all crime

    Third, handing someone medication and saying your free to go, as long as you take it, doesn't really do much to help protect people.

    After reading this, I wished these authors would come give a talk at the school, so I could voice my opinions about their 'research'.

    .......
    If you laughed through most of it you probably didn't get much out of it I think. Now, you don't say who the authors were which makes it difficult to pinpoint their ideas. From memory this biological approach to crime causation was a big hit in the 1980s and 1990s (it seems that theories of crime come into fashion for a while and then go out again). I'm not up to date with current thinking but a few years ago I read some material written by a British researcher who was looking at a mix of influences and not a single cause. I have no idea where her research led her.

    I do agree that their idea that the police always get the right person is ridiculous, there has to be an independent trier of fact.

    They're trying to medicalise crime and I agree, it's not always the case that brain malfunction causes someone to violate the law. There are many influences.

  9. #9
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    This is just another take on the nature vs. nurture debate. From my readings, I believe that it's not one or the other. Of course, I have always been partial to the stress-diathesis model in Psychology which states that if someone has a predisposition to something say, PTSD, and they suffer a traumatic event, they are more likely to then develop PTSD. But then again, this doesn't really explain criminal behavior.
    I assume that these theories are examining violent offenders and not petty thieves.
    Last edited by Jennifer; 12-02-08 at 07:26 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by retdetsgt View Post
    If it's genetics, why do a higher percentage of poor people commit violent crimes than wealthy?
    some wealthy would say it's genetic.
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  11. #11
    explcdt8's Avatar
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    oscarmitre

    Quote Originally Posted by oscarmitre View Post
    If you laughed through most of it you probably didn't get much out of it I think. Now, you don't say who the authors were which makes it difficult to pinpoint their ideas. From memory this biological approach to crime causation was a big hit in the 1980s and 1990s (it seems that theories of crime come into fashion for a while and then go out again). I'm not up to date with current thinking but a few years ago I read some material written by a British researcher who was looking at a mix of influences and not a single cause. I have no idea where her research led her.

    I do agree that their idea that the police always get the right person is ridiculous, there has to be an independent trier of fact.

    They're trying to medicalise crime and I agree, it's not always the case that brain malfunction causes someone to violate the law. There are many influences.
    I haven't had a chance to reply before now, but, I do agree with you. I don't think that you can medicalize crime, for a variety of reasons.

    Personally, I think crime works like this: genetic factors may serve as predisposition, enviornemental factors or free will serves as impetus to actually commit or not commit a certain act. Although some seem to forget that correlation =/=cauation and predispositon=/=actual effect

    As far as modern theories, I think we are either on multiple causes, or back to sociological/community oriented policing causes. I just saw an article today that says the mere presence of grafitti in a neighborhood leads to more larcenies. It was in a newspaper, so I didn't see the research, but it seems to reek of correlation=/= causation
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  12. #12
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    I think the medical model refers to the way we in the social sciences (like criminal justice) have tried to demonstrate our scholarly abilities to be more in conformity with the hard sciences (where research is a bit more easy to measure).

    As far as the presence of grafitti in a neighborhood leading to more larcenies, it may seem like a stretch but that's a rephrasing of the broken windows theory, which described an examination of community response to the order maintenance approach. The premise is:

    "If the first broken window in a building is not repaired, then people who like breaking windows will assume that no one cares about the building and more windows will be broken. Soon the building will have no windows. Likewise, when disorderly behavior--say, rude remarks by loitering youths--is left unchallenged, the signal given is that no one cares. The disorder escalates, possibly to serious crime."

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/198203/broken-windows

    See also
    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/crime/safehood.htm

  13. #13
    ruby0711's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    This is just another take on the nature vs. nurture debate. From my readings, I believe that it's not one or the other. Of course, I have always been partial to the stress-diathesis model in Psychology which states that if someone has a predisposition to something say, PTSD, and they suffer a traumatic event, they are more likely to then develop PTSD. But then again, this doesn't really explain criminal behavior.
    I assume that these theories are examining violent offenders and not petty thieves.

    That theory is being blown out of the water by ALL of the current research coming out of Iraq....it was also blown out of the water with the research on Vietnam Vets...Korean Vets...WWII vets.

    No one has a 'predisposition' for PTSD, PTSD is CAUSED by a traumatic event. There are also many different levels of PTSD...the DSM 5, coming out soon, will detail more PTSD sub-types.

    Be weary of ANY researcher who pin-points causation with just one factor, whether it be environmental or biological....us psych people have not figured it out yet....we are not even close.
    ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by oscarmitre View Post
    They're trying to medicalise crime and I agree, it's not always the case that brain malfunction causes someone to violate the law. There are many influences.
    That almost sounds as if you believe that most violations of the law are 'brain malfunctions'. AFAIC, I see it quite differently. Any 'medical malfunction' that "causes" someone to break the law is quite rare. Most acts, lawful or otherwise, are conscious and deliberate.

    Then again, I could have misinterpreted your statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby0711 View Post
    No one has a 'predisposition' for PTSD, PTSD is CAUSED by a traumatic event. There are also many different levels of PTSD...the DSM 5, coming out soon, will detail more PTSD sub-types.
    How does this explain those that do not develop PTSD after a traumatic effect? The DSM tries too hard to categorize disorders. Look at Schizophrenia. Mental illness is not mutually exclusive.

    Be weary of ANY researcher who pin-points causation with just one factor, whether it be environmental or biological....us psych people have not figured it out yet....we are not even close
    I agree with you here.
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