August 23, 2020 in Research

Drug Subculture and Criminal Behavior

The drug subculture has a significant influence on criminal behavior. Numerous studies on this relationship have found that the rate of crime for individuals during periods of addiction to narcotic drugs was six times that of periods of non-addiction.

The drug subculture mainly influences criminal behavior in three ways. The first way can be explained using the pharmacological model, which suggests that intoxication effects, such as cognitive-perceptual distortions and disinhibition, result in criminal behavior. According to the economic motivation model, drugs influence criminal behavior by the way of attempting to support drug habits through committing income-generating crimes. They include selling drugs and burglary. Thirdly, there is a link between violent crime and the structure of drug distribution which leads to crimes such as “turf” wars among drug dealers.

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Alcohol also plays a role in commission of certain crimes. The effect of alcohol can be explained by the pharmacological model due to disinhibition, which results from intoxication. The type of crimes that result from excessive alcohol intake are violent crimes rather than crimes involving property. Research has shown that there is a link between alcohol intoxication and aggression, especially when provoked. Thus, alcohol intoxication is linked to crimes, such as assaults and homicides.

In drug rehabilitation, the treatment approach that shows promise is the long-term residential technique that has been found to reduce the incidence of drug use and predisposition toward criminal behavior a year after treatment. The approaches that yield little benefits are short-term techniques as drug users fall back into the habit.

Crack cocaine is considerably more lethal compared to powder cocaine. It is more concentrated in comparison to its counterpart; thus, it has stronger and more lasting effects on the user. The dealers of either crack cocaine or powder cocaine should receive similar penalties despite the difference in the effects of crack and cocaine, as these are different versions of the same drug.

Forensic Psychologists

It is possible to reconcile the traditional and forensic roles of physiologists by applying the therapeutic jurisprudence model (TJ Model). The ethical implications linked to the role of the forensic psychologists in the criminal justice system involve implementing the law to increase psychological well being, using the law to enhance a prosocial lifestyle, capitalizing on general well being, and balancing the needs of the community against those of an offender. When dealing with diagnosis, assessment, expert court testimony, and profiling, the ethical role of a forensic psychologist is to be beneficent through accepting of their responsibility to do well, non-malfeasance by accepting that there is no need to cause harm, being fair by considering individuals by their actions, and autonomous by being respectful of the free actions and thoughts.

While working in the criminal justice system, a forensic psychologist owes “allegiance” to the people psychologically and psychically affected, specifically the subject, the community, and the victims. The forensic psychologist should consider the needs of both the victim and the offender using the collectivist approach, because there is a possibility that for the offender’s treatment to be effective the therapeutic approach applied should be in consideration of the needs of the victim. By considering the community and the victim while treating the offender, it is possible to lower the risk level of a similar incidence.

The dangers lie with not offering the offender suitable and sufficient assistance when needed. For instance, by denying an offender treatment and instead sending him to prison when they are in a dire need of psychological assistance puts the offender, his victim, and the entire community at risk. It is, thus, completely necessary for forensic psychologists to ensure that there is balance; the rights of offenders should balance concerns of public safety.

Female Offenders

There are numerous unique psychological issues that affect female offenders. Studies show that incarcerated women are affected by a significant level of comorbid psychopathology. Сommon issues include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, substance dependence, and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). The incarcerated women, however, differ from their counterparts via the aforementioned issues with the exception of substance dependence. The incidences of past traumatic experiences are more common among incarcerated women than men.

In determining the treatment strategies to employ in the treatment of incarcerated women, there are certain important factors to consider. First, consider whether the treatment program is well structured to help women with personality pathologies, a history of substantial trauma, and extreme substance dependence. The second factor to address is the availability of resources; this group suffers immensely from health and mental needs that require high levels of care and consequently more resources.

In implementing treatment programs, it is essential to introduce a few key components that would improve the efficiency of the treatment. Providing treatment in therapeutic communities, managing individual cases carefully, promoting skill sets, and stressing the need to refrain from drug use and unhealthy relationships would make a program for incarcerated women more effective. Individual case management is essential for those offenders suffering from major depression, ASPD, and PTSD, while emphasis on abstinence from drugs helps the entire population, specifically the women who are predisposed to substance abuse.

Sex Offenders

The typologies of rapists indicate that victimization is associated with the specific type of offender. In case of adult women victims, the rapists consider their behaviors as resulting from controllable causes, external, and unstable. In terms of thought process, rapists exhibit distorted perceptions with regard to women and gender roles and, in many cases, this group of offenders blame victims for their own offenses. With regard to affect, rapists assault adult women due to feelings of vindictiveness, anger, and hostility.

The typology of rapists who target adult women differs from that of pedophiles and child molesters in a number of ways. Child molesters often exhibit the characteristic of possessing poor social skills, being passive in their own relationships, and often have feelings of loneliness or inadequacy. This group of sex offenders is dissimilar to rapists on the grounds of their thought process as well as effect. In contrast to rapists, child offenders consider their behavior as resulting from uncontrollable causes, internal, and stable. Thought process, dissimilarity to the characteristics of rapists, is that child abusers exhibit deficit in terms of information-processing skills while maintaining cognitive distortions that allow them to deny the impact of their offenses. For instance, they perceive as normative the act of having sex with a child. The effect is that child abusers, in contrast to rapists, make an assault in order to lessen feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety.

In child-victim sexual assaults, the victim-related and situational characteristics include a preexisting relationship between the child and the abuser that the offender uses to manipulate the child into compliance. The offender perceives the sexual act as mutually acceptable. The gender of the victim is also an important characteristic as it affects recidivism.

In the case of adult-victim sexual assault, the rapist is usually under the influence of a substance such as drugs or alcohol, and often this situation is criminal in nature. There is no element of acceptability on the victim’s part as in child sexual abuse cases. Rapists are generally opportunistic.

Sex offender registration laws are a barrier to predatory sexual behaviors for victims and communities. This is especially so in the case of child sex offenders; guardians, when made aware of the nature of an individual as a child sex offender, are able to limit interactions between their children and the individual, which reduces incidences of recidivism.

Multiple Murderers

Mass murderers are characterized by the killing of more than three victims in one instance. Spree murderers are responsible for the murder of at least three victims at different times or locations. However, there is no cooling-off period, but instead the murders occur in an unbroken continuous succession. Serial murderers kill their victims in a broken sequence of at least 24-hour periods; this indicates that the killer derives some sort of temporary satisfaction from each murder. Examples of multiple killers are a serial murderer Ted Bundy, a spree murderer Richard Chase, and a mass murderer Charles Whitman.

Mass murderers are characterized by a single time and place as well as a maximum number of victims. Serial murders are characterized by long periods of time for the murders and cooling-off periods. Spree murders are characterized by continuity in the activity and the different places of occurrence. School shooters and murderers fall under the typology of mass murders. This is because the victims are usually in one place and are attacked in a particular instance.

The underlying cause of violence in workplaces and schools is the ease of accessibility of firearms. In comparison to the other nations of a similar socio-economic status, the United States has a higher incidence of school shootings due to the availability of guns to young people. Cases of untreated severe mental illness are also to blame for the underlying violence in schools and workplaces.


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