The Miseducation of Criminologists

Subject: Law
Type: Argumentative Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 932
Topics: Criminology, Crime, Criminal Psychology, Social Issues

The article Miseducation of Criminologists by Wright et al. has an impact on the thoughts that individuals carry about criminal behavior. In the contemporary world, many people believe that criminal acts have a significant association with, lack of opportunities such as employment, an unjust criminal justice system, and a biased economic system. In addition, scholars associate the criminal behaviors with the exposure of individuals to violence aired on the programs in the media (Wright et al., 2008). This study intends to examine how this article influences the thoughts of people about criminal behavior.

Today, there is no enough knowledge about the link between the biological factors and criminal behavior. This knowledge gap hinders people from expanding their thoughts and considering other factors that might indeed cause crime. For instance, the criminology students hardly receive education or training on genetic sciences or biological factors that might influence the criminal behaviors (Wright, et al., 2008). This fact further elaborates on the reason as to why courses about the biological crimes hardly exist. Criminologists mainly single out the groups of criminals mostly based on their lifestyles.

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For instance, research conducted by Wright et al. indicates that the criminal behavior is approximately 50-60 percent heritable (Wright, et al., 2008). In addition, Crimes related to judgment impairment caused by alcohol or drugs also indicate that the behaviors are because of genetic influence. In conclusion, other than the lifestyle factors such as unemployment contributing to crimes like burglary, it is evident that a person could be born a criminal. In other words, it is possible that the criminal behavior could pass from generation to generation biologically. Criminologists, therefore, need to fill this knowledge gap by encouraging more training and education about biological crimes.

Reasons for the Decline of the Crime Rates in the 1990’S

The sudden decrease in the rates of all kinds of crimes in all regions of the United States of America that occurred in the 1990’s raises queries that many scholars attempt to answer. During this period, the homicide rate dropped to 43 percent. This rate is the lowest level of this type of crime that America has ever experienced. Furthermore, crimes like the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) violence decreased by 34 percent, and the property crime indexes fell by 29 percent (Levitt, 2001). This essay aims at identifying the reasons as to why there was a decline in crimes during the 1990s.

Research shows that factors such as the implementation of the innovative policing strategies, increased imprisonment, aging of the population, increased number of the police, alterations made in the crack cocaine market, stricter gun control laws and a strong economy influenced this decline (Levitt, 2001). The legalizing of abortion is  a factor that resulted in the reduction of crimes during this period. However, this factor has been debatable. The decrease of crime emerged 18 years after the state legalized abortion. Levitt in his studies suggests that the rate of offenses dropped because of the abortion of the potential criminals.

However, this is not the fact as the rate of murder crimes committed by young people between the ages 10-17 years had been on the rise. There was an 86 percent increase in the killing offenses by this group. On the contrary, the rate decreased by 18 percent for the criminals between the ages of 25- 34 years. Considering the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1970, the youngest person in the latter age group was born in 1966 (Sailer, 2005). In conclusion, from this calculation, it is evident that legalizing abortion was not a primary factor that contributed to the decline of the rates of crime. Violence at home is one of the main contributors to the increase of young murders whether the children are directly or indirectly involved.

Learning Disabilities and Crime

Criminological research shows that there is a high connection between learning disabilities and crimes. These two aspects have a direct correlation to each other in the sense that, there is an attribution of high rates of crimes to increased learning disabilities. The learning disabilities are one of the leading causes of failure in schools. Failure makes the students feel frustrated, and as a result, they become aggressive consequently committing crimes.

The effects of learning disabilities and crime are indirect because learning disabilities they can control it to prevent the youth from committing a crime whereas a committed offense is punishable by the courts. Events such as students’ empowerment can help to prevent students with learning disability from committing crimes. The administration of the ADHD (Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder) to help enhance the attention span of students is among the core strategies used in an attempt to curb the challenge of learning disabilities. However, there has been an issue concerning overdosing of ADHD and administering it to the youth who do not need the medication. Research shows that this problem arises from the inappropriate evaluation of the young people and the treatment pressure from the society (Newmark, 2015).

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The overdosing and incorrect diagnoses of the ADHD have resulted in an increase of its prevalence where reports to be 11 percent in the contemporary world. This result shows an escalation of the rate from between 3-5 percent recorded three decades ago (Newmark, 2015). In conclusion, physicians must be able to understand that ADHD diagnosis is contextual in the sense that a child portraying neurodevelopment diseases might have ADHD or not. Therefore, the physicians must be able to exclude other conditions that may show symptoms similar to ADHD-like learning disabilities. The child’s environment both school and home matter a lot during an ADHD diagnosis.

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  1. Levitt, S. (2001). Understanding Why Crime Fell in the 1990s: Four Factors that Explain the Decline and Six that Do Not. Quarterly Journal of Economics. Retrieved 16 March 2017, 
  2. Newmark, M. (2015). A True ADHD Epidemic or an Epidemic of Overdiagnosis?. Psychiatry Advisor. Retrieved 17 March 2017, 
  3. Wright et al,. (2008). Lombroso’s Legacy: The Miseducation of Criminologists. Journal of Criminal Justice Education. Retrieved 16 March 2017
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