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Some criminologists believe that recidivism depends to a large extent on the responses to the initial criminal act of the offender. In particular, it may depend on whether the offender is detected and, if so, how his actions are treated. The possibility of his abandoning criminality or becoming a persistent criminal will depend on the administrative and community responses which will interact to change his attitude for organised criminality. As pointed out by Sir Robert Mark, permanent and determined criminals do not regard the present criminal justice system as sufficiently deterrent. They are aware of the limitations of the police and the system of criminal justice and find crime to be highly profitable and rewarding. In India, professional criminals get the protection of resourceful patrons and get the advantage of slow moving criminal justice system. The need of the time therefore, is to realise that cure for crime lies not only in speedy criminal justice but in certainty of punishment rather than its severity. Penologists have expressed divergent views about the co-relationship between intelligence and recidivism. Goring, the noted penologist in his study on recidivist concluded that with increasing degree of recidivism there is a small but regular regression in the mean intelligence of convicts. Professor Gillin was, however, opposed to this view and observed that Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) has no statistical relationship with the success or failure in crime. Dr. Sutherland seeks to tackle the problem of recidivism from the psychological standpoint. He attributes two major causes for recidivism, namely, (i) Social psychology of the offender; and (ii) Inadequacy of reformative techniques. Commenting on the social psychology of criminal as a cause of recidivism, Sutherland pointed out that urbanised regions are more prone to recidivism than rural areas. The congested dwellings, slums, high cost of living and highly mechanised life in cities and urban places offer sufficient opportunities for offenders to carry on their criminal activities undetected and unnoticed for years. Therefore, criminality becomes a habit with them and finally turns them recidivists. The living in rural areas, on the other hand, is relatively cheaper and simple and offers lesser chances for criminality. That apart, there are almost no chances of escape from detection in rural places due to their geographical limitations; it makes these areas unsuited for crime and recidivism. Dr. Sutherland further concludes that men by temperament are unquestionably more recidivistic than women because of their dominating social status in the society. Some penologists suggest that continued isolation of inmate from normal society due to long stay in prison renders him unfit for a normal life after release. The stigma of Prisonisation makes him shun and avoid the normal society. He therefore, finds no charm in free life and prefers a routine life of a prison to which he is well accustomed. Another psychological reason for non-adjustability of released inmate to normal life is that he begins to feel that the law-abiding members of society look at him with suspicion, distrust and doubt. Thus he suffers from inferiority complex and in an anxiety to overcome this weakness he repeats crime which he considers to be m adventurous task. Yet another potential cause of recidivism is to be found in the fact that criminals by reason of their criminal tendency organize themselves into groups and associations and devote to loyalties and attitudes which tend to persist in the criminal world. The offender who talks of reformation is ridiculed by his fellowmen and at times even aggressive and violent methods are used to prevent him from disassociating with the criminal group. All possible efforts are made to convince him that he can make fortune only by continuing his criminal career. That apart, continuous association of the offender with a particular criminal group inculcates a sense of faithfulness, devotion and loyalty in him for his fellow-criminals. He therefore, feels obliged to help those who helped him earlier in his criminal activities. There are certain .activities in society which are either criminal by themselves or are very close to criminality. Persons who undertake these activities adopt many of the criminal traits as a part of their business routine. For example, hoarding, smuggling, black-marketing, racketeering, tax evasion, bribery, fraud and infringement of trademarks, copyrights or patents, hacking the computer systems etc., are some of the crimes which are customarily followed by the members of business community as a part of their day to day dealings. In India, political grafts, pressure tactics and corrupt practices are widespread and have become so common that offenders committing these offences hardly lose any social status even if they are caught and punished for any of these offences. The pathological personality-traits such as mental disorder, emotional instability, egocentrism and mental conflicts also lead to persistence in criminality among recidivists. In such cases, treatment through correctional processes does not serve any useful purpose because the personality traits of these criminals remain unchanged and they continue their criminal behavior undeterred of the consequences. Inadequacy of correctional measures in treatment of offenders is yet another cause of recidivism. A large number of failures in parole, probation and reformatories certainly reflect upon the ineffectiveness of correctional services in cases of hardened and habitual offenders. These rehabilitative measures prove effective only in selective cases where the offender is specifically recommended for such treatment after careful observation by the experts. It must be noted that in the present context, when unemployment, poverty and economic depression, are rampant, many persons take these correctional institutions as convenient places of shelter where they can be sure of at least two square meals a day. Therefore, they deliberately indulge into criminality to find a legitimate entry into the prison institution where they feel more homely and secure than the outside competitive life in the normal society. Attributing short-term sentences as a potential cause of recidivism, S. Adolph Prim, the noted penologist of Belgium, once observed that "mechanical apportionment of punishment to guilt usually results into short terms of imprisonment and the multitude of minor punishments means the incessant coming and going of habitual delinquents ; it means that prison becomes a hostelry, that the prisoner goes free in good time and remains in a state of war against society; it means in a word that the Judge enlarges, without being aware of it, the records of recidivism."
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An essay on Recidivism Psychological Perspective
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An Essay On Recidivism Psychological Perspective

Words: 1050    Pages: 4    Paragraphs: 16    Sentences: 48    Read Time: 03:49
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              Some criminologists believe that recidivism depends to a large extent on the responses to the initial criminal act of the offender. In particular, it may depend on whether the offender is detected and, if so, how his actions are treated. The possibility of his abandoning criminality or becoming a persistent criminal will depend on the administrative and community responses which will interact to change his attitude for organised criminality.
             
              As pointed out by Sir Robert Mark, permanent and determined criminals do not regard the present criminal justice system as sufficiently deterrent. They are aware of the limitations of the police and the system of criminal justice and find crime to be highly profitable and rewarding.
             
              In India, professional criminals get the protection of resourceful patrons and get the advantage of slow moving criminal justice system. The need of the time therefore, is to realise that cure for crime lies not only in speedy criminal justice but in certainty of punishment rather than its severity.
             
              Penologists have expressed divergent views about the co-relationship between intelligence and recidivism. Goring, the noted penologist in his study on recidivist concluded that with increasing degree of recidivism there is a small but regular regression in the mean intelligence of convicts. Professor Gillin was, however, opposed to this view and observed that Intelligence Quotient (I. Q. ) has no statistical relationship with the success or failure in crime.
             
              Dr. Sutherland seeks to tackle the problem of recidivism from the psychological standpoint. He attributes two major causes for recidivism, namely,
             
              (i) Social psychology of the offender; and
             
              (ii) Inadequacy of reformative techniques.
             
              Commenting on the social psychology of criminal as a cause of recidivism, Sutherland pointed out that urbanised regions are more prone to recidivism than rural areas. The congested dwellings, slums, high cost of living and highly mechanised life in cities and urban places offer sufficient opportunities for offenders to carry on their criminal activities undetected and unnoticed for years. Therefore, criminality becomes a habit with them and finally turns them recidivists.
             
              The living in rural areas, on the other hand, is relatively cheaper and simple and offers lesser chances for criminality. That apart, there are almost no chances of escape from detection in rural places due to their geographical limitations; it makes these areas unsuited for crime and recidivism. Dr. Sutherland further concludes that men by temperament are unquestionably more recidivistic than women because of their dominating social status in the society.
             
              Some penologists suggest that continued isolation of inmate from normal society due to long stay in prison renders him unfit for a normal life after release. The stigma of Prisonisation makes him shun and avoid the normal society. He therefore, finds no charm in free life and prefers a routine life of a prison to which he is well accustomed.
             
              Another psychological reason for non-adjustability of released inmate to normal life is that he begins to feel that the law-abiding members of society look at him with suspicion, distrust and doubt. Thus he suffers from inferiority complex and in an anxiety to overcome this weakness he repeats crime which he considers to be m adventurous task.
             
              Yet another potential cause of recidivism is to be found in the fact that criminals by reason of their criminal tendency organize themselves into groups and associations and devote to loyalties and attitudes which tend to persist in the criminal world. The offender who talks of reformation is ridiculed by his fellowmen and at times even aggressive and violent methods are used to prevent him from disassociating with the criminal group.
             
              All possible efforts are made to convince him that he can make fortune only by continuing his criminal career. That apart, continuous association of the offender with a particular criminal group inculcates a sense of faithfulness, devotion and loyalty in him for his fellow-criminals. He therefore, feels obliged to help those who helped him earlier in his criminal activities.
             
              There are certain . activities in society which are either criminal by themselves or are very close to criminality. Persons who undertake these activities adopt many of the criminal traits as a part of their business routine. For example, hoarding, smuggling, black-marketing, racketeering, tax evasion, bribery, fraud and infringement of trademarks, copyrights or patents, hacking the computer systems etc. , are some of the crimes which are customarily followed by the members of business community as a part of their day to day dealings. In India, political grafts, pressure tactics and corrupt practices are widespread and have become so common that offenders committing these offences hardly lose any social status even if they are caught and punished for any of these offences.
             
              The pathological personality-traits such as mental disorder, emotional instability, egocentrism and mental conflicts also lead to persistence in criminality among recidivists. In such cases, treatment through correctional processes does not serve any useful purpose because the personality traits of these criminals remain unchanged and they continue their criminal behavior undeterred of the consequences.
             
              Inadequacy of correctional measures in treatment of offenders is yet another cause of recidivism. A large number of failures in parole, probation and reformatories certainly reflect upon the ineffectiveness of correctional services in cases of hardened and habitual offenders. These rehabilitative measures prove effective only in selective cases where the offender is specifically recommended for such treatment after careful observation by the experts.
             
              It must be noted that in the present context, when unemployment, poverty and economic depression, are rampant, many persons take these correctional institutions as convenient places of shelter where they can be sure of at least two square meals a day. Therefore, they deliberately indulge into criminality to find a legitimate entry into the prison institution where they feel more homely and secure than the outside competitive life in the normal society.
             
              Attributing short-term sentences as a potential cause of recidivism, S. Adolph Prim, the noted penologist of Belgium, once observed that "mechanical apportionment of punishment to guilt usually results into short terms of imprisonment and the multitude of minor punishments means the incessant coming and going of habitual delinquents ; it means that prison becomes a hostelry, that the prisoner goes free in good time and remains in a state of war against society; it means in a word that the Judge enlarges, without being aware of it, the records of recidivism. "
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