Why Do We Have Crime?

Attempting to figure out why humans engage in criminal or delinquent conduct is likely to not produce a single solution. We have researched socio-economics, physical or sexual abuse, drugs, parental criminal involvement, and parental lack of education as some reason why there is criminal activity or delinquent conduct. This is my review of The Personal, Interpersonal, and Community-Reinforcement (PIC-R) Perspective.

Psychologically, if there are rewards for the criminal behavior, then criminal behavior will continue. No matter how small or large the reward, there must be a reward. There are many types of personal rewards such as not getting caught or the adrenaline rush of committing a crime. Physical rewards may come in forms such as property or money. If the rewards decrease, the criminal behavior decreases. Rewards will only reinforce the behavior. We perceive punishment will be the intervention that stops the behavior.

Yet the rewards could also come in the form of peers. Peers will enable or protect some deviant behavior because they could also benefit a reward. Peer-pressure that is placed on some individuals is great. That force alone could make a person commit crime in some instances. Obtaining the gratification or reinforcement for criminal conduct from the peer community is rewarding to the person committing the act. The admiration and respect given by those peers means great achievement and continued criminal behavior.

The environment in which an individual is in could reinforce the deviant behavior or punish it. Without being caught, charged, and convicted of a crime, I contend that the individual will continue to commit crime on a regular basis. There is no intervention to stop the rewards from coming so they will continue. Andrews and Bonta explain that a person may justify their actions, claim no responsibility, or even dehumanize their actions to self-reward (Andrews & Bonta, 2010). Intervention may also come in the form of community supervision or treatment. Those that are at a high risk of offending would need an intensive treatment (Dowden & Andrews, 2003).


Andrews, D., & Bonta, J. (2010). The psychology of criminal conduct (5th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Dowden, C., & Andrews, D. (2003). Does family intervention work for delinquents? Results of a meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 45(3), 327.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s