Over the years, crime rate has been on the rise. The increase in crime rate has resulted in criminal behaviours becoming one of the world’s biggest challenges. Most governments have invested heavily in measures to combat crime, but at times, the investments resulted in no effect or have had little effect.
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The failed efforts have prompted research about the root causes of criminal behaviours in hominids. The outcomes of the analytic studies have attributed criminal actions to genetics, psychology, and environmental factors.A child brought up in an environment with high crime cases may have his or her morals corrupted. Children living in a drug-infested zone tend to engage in drugs-related criminal actions because of peer influence (Alper, 1995).
The biological composition of an individual is also one of the major determinants of a person’s behaviour. In some families, the insanity has been identified to be hereditary and the genes causing insanity transfer along a family line. Some people also tend to be naturally antisocial so their intended thoughts or actions may be camouflaged. This poses a serious threat as they at times end up committing a crime without an indication (Alper, 1995).
In various cases, insanity has been used as a defence against criminal actions. This has also led to the intervention of psychiatrists, to determine the mental condition of criminals. In various federal states, the law postulates the mental status of a criminal or offender to be a cogitated factor in determining criminal responsibility. An example of such a law is the Anglo–American law, which avers that a lunatic cannot be held legally responsible for a crime committed while in an unstable mental state (Huckabee, 2000).
Initially, the insane plea laws had been lenient as the defendant just required to prove beyond doubt that at the time of the crime, he or she remained insane. Over time, the various standards and laws set to determine the sanity of an individual have been determined to have a loophole that has enabled criminals to go unpunished. This has cost many families their loved ones besides even the United States of America losing key leaders (Huckabee, 2000).
In a case study about the death of President Reagan, Hicnkley was acquitted of the shooting. This led to condemnation from the public, prompting a revision of the insanity plea edict to avoid criminals from avoiding punishment. The revisions of the law helped reduce criminal impunity.
Furthermore, the revision catered for the rights of those who killed unwillingly or because of insanity. A psychological disorder affecting John may have prompted him to shoot Reagan and the other officials. John later claimed to have done it as a way of expressing affection for Foster (Huckabee, 2000).
The United States of America government in combating these crimes introduced laws where one could be declared guilty but mentally ill thus have to receive mental treatment through institutionalisation. After institutionalisation, offenders are taken to a facility that helps them correct behaviour.
On the other hand, if a person is acquitted of insanity, he or she has to be released once it has been determined that he is of no harm to the public. Though factors like the environment and a person’s upbringing contributes to criminality, biological composition stands also as a key factor contributing to criminality. Individuals with genes that predispose them to crime should be treated through ways that discourage the replication of bad genes.
Alper, J. S. (1995). Biological influences on criminal behaviour: How good is the evidence? British Medical Journal, 310(6975), 272-273.
Huckabee, H. M. (2000). Mental disability issues in the criminal justice system. Springfield, Ill.: C.C. Thomas Publishers Ltd.