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CRIMINAL MOTIVATION Why did he do it? One of the biggest questions asked in this country today. What was going through his mind? Sometimes a person does not even think about what they are doing before they do it, and a crime is committed. But what about the other people that do think about it? Do they sit around and seriously think about what they are doing? What makes them decide that the risk is worth taking and committing a crime? There are many different interesting theories on why a criminal did what he did, and I am going to try to explain a few. Just what is a person thinking when they decide to become a criminal? I would like to start by just giving the names of a few theories that I know of. There are free will theories, which are crimes that are committed because of someone exercising their free will. Next there are biological theories, theories which suggest that a person is criminal since the day that they are born, due to their genes. There are also psychobiological theories, which say things like environment and physical trauma can make someone into a criminal. Psychological theories suggest that crime is the result of a rotten mind or wrongful behavioral upbringing. Also there are sociological theories which state that the structure of society create the crimes, as well as social-psychological theories, which state that crime is due to association with bad people and inadequate social roles. And finally there is the conflict theory, which says that regular social life needs conflict. I am sure that there are many more theories but these are the most important. The first and earliest theory on what makes a criminal came from the classical school. They said that crime is caused by the individual's exercise of his or her own free will. The best possible deterrents to crime with this theory were swift punishments that counter any gain that the criminal obtained. This school of though has remained around and has even re-emerged into the neoclassical criminology. The next theories were all biological, as is the name of the school. In this theory all crime is genetically based. If you are a criminal, it is said in your genes. Phrenology came from this theory, which is the study of the head to determine a person s behavior. Also things like somatypes, which study the shape of you body to explain you character traits and behaviors, and atavism, which said that features on a criminal s body are similar to those of a earlier stage of evolution. Most of the theories in this group fell through as they were continually disputed. The psychobiological theories are by far the most interesting from my point of view. These theories deal with environmental factors and hormone imbalances. If the environment of a person is different than that of a normal person, such as a child being adopted or raised in a foster home, criminal actions tend to be more predominant than their fear and avoidance of punishment. Since they have not as much fear of punishment, then it does not matter to them if they are caught and dealt with. Things like a diet and allergies are said

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