Psychology and Crime: Understanding and Tackling Offending Behaviour

Psychology and Crime: Understanding and Tackling Offending Behaviour

Psychology and Crime: Understanding and Tackling Offending Behaviour

Psychology and Crime: Understanding and Tackling Offending Behaviour

Synopsis

Society today is fascinated by crime. Crime is a hot topic in the media, so that people are continually exposed to criminal events, portrayals of those who commit them, and the suffering of victims. Yet the reality of crime is often very different from how it is portrayed in the media. Most crime is neither violent nor morbid; most offenders are not psychopaths, and although prison generally does not work, there may well be other, less punitive but more constructive interventions that are actually quite effective. This book exposes some of the most prevalent myths about crime and criminal behaviour. In addition it provides the reader with up-to-date knowledge on crime and offending behaviour. It also highlights the ways in which psychological methods of research and psychological knowledge can help us to understand criminal behaviour and the ways that targeted interventions are developed based upon this. Pakes' and Winstone's Psychology and Crime is essential reading for students taking courses in the psychology of crime, criminal and forensic psychology, criminology, and community justice, as well as for other courses where a knowledge of the complex relationship between psychology and crime - and its application in practice - is required. Practitioners and policy-makers will also find it highly informative.

Excerpt

Today’s society is fascinated by crime. Crime and deviance have taken on a cultural significance they never previously had. As a result, crime is a hot topic in the media and one that leads people to be continually exposed to criminal events, portrayals of those who commit them, and the suffering of victims. Most of the crime we experience, we experience vicariously. But the bias in crime reporting is such that it is easy to get the wrong idea about the reality of crime. Most crime is neither violent nor morbid; most offenders are not psychopaths; and although prison does not work, there may well be other, less punitive but more constructive interventions that are actually quite effective. This book seeks to expose some of the most prevalent myths about crime and criminal behaviour, and provide the reader with accurate and up-to-date knowledge of crime, offending behaviour and interventions.

In addition, we can say that we live in a psychological society. Concepts such as frustration, repression and self-esteem were once the province of psychologists and counsellors but have now become part and parcel of everyday parlance. Further to that, there is a widespread misconception that psychology is primarily for counselling and therapy in order to further the understanding of ourselves. Instead, psychology is an empirical science seeking to gain useful knowledge about people and human behaviour in general.

In this book, we seek to apply the latter, sound knowledge of human behaviour, our understanding of crime, criminal behaviour . . .

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