The majority of offenders make sensible decisions. If offenders are driven by societal pressures, they are still making a logical decision to commit the crime; they evaluated personal and situational considerations prior to committing the crime. Therefore, most criminals are not psychopaths.
However, there is a minority of criminal offenders who are not considered mentally competent to stand trial or be sentenced because they suffer from severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Even among this minority of incompetent offenders, only a small proportion will go on to commit more crimes if released from jail. The rest will be readmitted to hospital if they fail to take their medication or are unable to find work after release from prison.
In general, it can be said that the majority of offenders are acting rationally in choosing to break the law. But because there are some individuals who cannot control themselves and others who will not consider the consequences of their actions, we should not conclude that all offenders are necessarily suffering from poor judgment.
According to rational choice theory, crime is calculated and purposeful. All criminals are rational agents who make intentional decisions while attempting to maximize the rewards of their current circumstances. Thus, crime is a form of behavior determined by an individual's goals and motivations.
The most important factor in determining whether or not someone will commit a crime is whether or not it increases their chances of success. If there are other people around or not, if you know what you're doing or not, if you have a gun or not - the list goes on and on - then crime becomes less likely.
After considering all of these factors, some crimes may be more likely than others. For example, if I know that there isn't anyone around and the thing I want is easy to take but hard to get back, then I might be more likely to steal something if I knew it would only cost me time and effort rather than risk my life or get caught.
In conclusion, crime is rational because it increases one's chances of success. Whether or not someone will commit a crime is dependent on many factors including whether or not it's worth the risks involved.
Another facet of rational choice theory is that many offenders base their actions on confined or limited reasoning. For example, they may use heuristics (or rules of thumb) when making judgments or decisions about potential situations that might arise during their crimes.
Heuristics are simple rules of thumb that allow us to make judgments quickly and easily. Examples of heuristics include assuming that people like you are more likely to have done something wrong if you do something wrong yourself, or that someone who harms others will be harmed themselves. Heuristics can lead to incorrect conclusions most of the time, but because they save time it's difficult for people to stop and think through each situation carefully before acting.
Offenders who act on the basis of limited thinking are usually in a negative environment where risks are minimized. They may also lack important resources such as education or information that would help them make better decisions.
When offenders use limited reasoning they're following what's called "cognitive miserliness". Cognitive miserliness is the tendency to make judgments based on limited information and then not revise those judgments once new information comes in. This can lead individuals to misinterpret facts and events, which can cause them to make poor decisions.
What characteristics characterize a logical criminal? They consider the prospective advantages and disadvantages of their activities. There are several reasons that keep criminals from being discouraged as a result of legislation and penalties. Many of these variables are dependent on criminals' psychological processes, such as believing they would not get detected. Other factors include the nature of crime, which may be more attractive than other options available to them, or even simply because they want money or items not worth losing sleep over.
Criminals are different from other people in that they have no regard for society's rules or morals. This is why it is so difficult to discourage them from breaking laws. However, there are some methods used by police departments that may help reduce the number of crimes committed. The following are examples of how police tactics have changed over time:
Police use of force - Police officers must use force when and where necessary to defend themselves or others. Not all uses of force are equal. It is important to understand the reason(s) behind an officer's decision to use force. For example, if an officer believes that his or her life is in danger, then it is reasonable to use deadly force to prevent injury or death. However, if the officer perceives that the suspect is merely trying to avoid arrest by fleeing, then the officer should use non-deadly force to stop the suspect.
The use of force is usually justified based on the circumstances at hand.