Criminal Instinct; Inborn Or Socially Imbibed
- CONSTITUTIONAL/ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS
Research had been carried out and it is deduced that to ascertain the causes of crime, the researcher must start somewhere, which necessitates some assumptions. The most popular presumption is that criminal behavior results from constitutional, environmental, and psychological factors operating either alone or in concert with one another on the offender. The presence of these forces must be dealt with as best as we can while keeping in mind the significant degree of overlap between them, even though their intensity and size are not now subject to precise measurement.
I allude to the physical traits that predispose the offender to act in the manner he does when I talk about constitutional variables in crime causation. These physical traits may be long-lasting or fleeting. Drunkenness is an example of a temporary criminogenic factor, although a physical condition like dwarfism may be a lifelong criminogenic predisposing factor. Studies on heredity, twins, hormones, and physical appearance all provide support for the constitutional tendency to criminal behavior at this time.
Early phrenologists, or men who sought to establish a link between the skull, the brain, and social behavior, are credited with starting the scientific study of these topics. Franz Joseph Gall believed that the physical makeup of the skull and the structure of the brain was connected to a person’s propensities for particular types of behavior, including criminal behavior. But Lombroso was the one who popularized this anthropological theory of criminal behavior. The study that disproved the accuracy of anthropological beliefs was conducted by Dr. Charles B. Goring, an English jail doctor. In his book The English Convict, Goring summarizes his research, which he conducted using control groups and statistical methods Pearson developed at University College, London.
Numerous observers have remarked how frequently criminal behavior in children matches criminal behavior in parents or siblings, and some have concluded that a propensity for criminal behavior is an inheritable trait. Studies of ‘criminal families’ such as Richard Dugdale’s The Jukes, Estabrook’s and Davenport’s The Nam Family, and Henry Goodard’s The Kallikaks have been used in support of this conclusion.
In Nigel Walker’s words, most delinquent children have lived with their delinquent parents or siblings long enough to acquire ways of life by imitation or some other non-genetic process of transmission. Nevertheless, Cyril Burt came to the opinion that constitutional considerations are important in determining juvenile delinquency, but it would be erroneous to assume that every criminal is a helpless victim of his predisposition to crime.
The age-old and crucial question in criminology is “nature vs. nurture.” The studies of twins that examined the degree of concordance or discordance in the criminal behavior of monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (non-identical) twins have proven to be the most effective means of addressing it. Monozygotic twins are produced when a single ovum is fertilized and separated into two separate embryos, each of which has an identical set of genes. These monozygotic twins are always identical in terms of sex, blood type, and appearance. On the other hand, the simultaneous fertilization of two ova by two spermatozoa leads to the development of dizygotic twins. These twins, which could be made up of one male and one female, two males, or two females, do not have genetically identical sets. Both of them may or may not share the same blood type, and they may or may not look alike.
When it comes to behavior, twins who display the same behavior are considered to be concordant in that regard. When it comes to the behavior aspect, twins that display divergent behavior are considered to be discordant. In this sense, two twins with the same genetic complexion are said to be concordant. This trait may be the result of genetic transmission if monozygotic twins exhibit a much higher rate of concordance with the trait of criminal behavior than dizygotic twins. Medical research has shown that at least one type of abnormal behavior, the symptom caused by Huntington’s chorea, is genetically transmitted. Monozygotic twin pairs have also been reported to have high concordance rates for alcoholism, idiopathic epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
According to Walker, incorrect categorization will most frequently result in dizygotic being labeled as monozygotic, which will if anything, lower the concordance rate. One can only presume that the investigator was aware of the issue of prejudice and took appropriate action in response to the second criticism. The use of monozygotic twins who were raised in different circumstances is the only way to address the last complaint, which is of course the most serious. Studies in this vein have proved ‘that there are a marked genetic factor underlying measurable traits of personality, such as extraversion and neuroticism, and of course intelligence.’
There is strong but not conclusive evidence based on unseparated twins for a partial determination of ‘criminality, by genetic inheritance; and fairly conclusive evidence, based on separated and unseparated twins, for a similar determination of at least two personality traits. The onus of proof, therefore, seems to lie on those who wish to explain away the higher concordance rates for delinquency in monozygotic.
Some have hypothesized that endocrine disorders in the individual are a contributing factor in criminality generally and particularly in the case of sexual offenses. In their book The New Criminology, Schlapp and Smith made an effort to explain why there was a high rate of crime among immigrant parents’ first-born children in America by claiming that the mother’s glandular disorders were caused by the stress of immigration. The authors postulated that their offspring received this glandular imbalance from them. Children that were born later were not affected once the mother’s problems calmed. Hormonal therapy and castration of sexual offenders, both essentially presume an endocrine foundation for the proscribed behavior, have neither had outstanding outcomes nor been free of debate.
Ernst Kretschmer, a well-known German psychiatrist, contributed significantly to the field of serious investigation on the relationship between body composition and personality. He was able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that different body types are associated with particular types of mental diseases. For instance, he found a link between schizophrenia and an athletic body type. The work of Sheldon and the Gluecks in America may be credited to Kretschmer for having first connected bodily kinds (somatypes) to criminality. Kretschmer continued to make this connection. Sheldon defined four body kinds, or somatypes, based on his system of categorizing body types, which is predicated on the idea that a particular type of tissue will predominate in every individual.
- The endomorph in which fatty tissue predominates. This type is given to food, drink, comfort, company, and sleep.
- The ectomorph in which skin and the nervous system predominate. This type is given privacy, is sensitive to pain, needs sleep, and is youthful in appearance.
- The mesomorph is in which bone, muscle, and sinew predominate. He is insensitive to pain and is given to movement and aggression.
The balanced type or that body build in which equal amounts of the features of the preceding types are found.
6. MENTAL FACTOR
Mental disease, as opposed to mental sub-normality, is always characterized by the affected person’s persistent inability to live up to the expectations of the reality in which he or she is immersed. Because it is famously difficult to distinguish between periodic and constant failure, the literature frequently uses varying language and lacks accuracy. As a result, the interested person has a lot of latitude in how he constructs his thinking on the matter. The ideas of intellect, emotional maturity, and persistence have all been utilized in attempts to isolate, stabilize, and quantify components of mental existence. Intelligence is the ability to successfully adapt behavior to changing circumstances and to learn from experience. When it comes to pursuing action that is motivated by intelligence, emotion, or both, persistence is the opposite of emotional adjustment, which is the ability to reconcile one’s thoughts about things.
It is obtained that the mother is the primary caregiver for a child’s emotional needs from birth to age four, and this is crucial for healthy growth. The child starts to develop long-lasting relationships with others between the ages of four and seven, and father-child relationships become significant. The child’s intelligence is gradually growing at the same time that this emotional pattern is taking shape. The child’s ability to develop mentally depends on how well his emotional and intellectual growth keeps up with one another. His intelligence is known to rise throughout infancy, peaking between the ages of fourteen and sixteen, and then remain constant at that level until the second half of his life when it starts to fall.
For an informal discussion, mental diseases are frequently separated into two major categories: organic and functional. Organic mental illness is dependent on a specific physical illness, such as advanced syphilitic infection or drug use. Functional mental diseases are those that ‘have not yet been shown to have a clear physiological cause.’ They are recognized psychologically as opposed to physically. Examples of mental disorders with a functional origin include anxiety and hysteria.
The general paralysis of the insane (dementia paralytica) caused by syphilitic infection, traumatic psychoses brought on by accidents, encephalitis lethargica, senile dementia, puerperal insanity, epilepsy, intoxication, psychoses, paranoia, paraphrenia, mania, and schizophrenia are the psychoses that are of interest from a criminological perspective.
- General paralysis of the Insane due to Syphilitic Infection
An overall decline in the quality of the person’s entire personality is a symptom of this psychosis. Antisocial behavior, such as theft, fraud, forgery, and violence performed without any attempt at covertness, sometimes precedes the onset of clinical symptoms. In the lack of clinical signs, these people may be mistakenly held responsible for their actions.
- Traumatic Psychoses Caused by Accidents
There have been cases when brain injuries were followed by pronounced personality changes, including an excess of sensitivity to the effects of alcohol, excitability, and a propensity for violent crimes. The punch-drunk boxer’s antisocial behavior is a hallmark of this type of psychosis.
- Encephalitis Lethargica (Sleeping Sickness)
An inflammation of the brain is caused by psychotic fever, which is ‘typically followed by serious and long-lasting aftereffects and changes in physique, intelligence, and character.’ The post-encephalitic stage is characterized by ‘committing thefts, assaults, acts of cruelty, or sexual misdemeanors’ by the patients. Only placing them in specialized hospitals is something that can be done.
The organic psychosis known as epilepsy is commonly linked to criminal activity. Unconsciousness, convulsions, and uncontrollable body movement may result from the brain’s normal electrical activity being incredibly erratic and violent. A typical epileptic seizure follows. This disturbance, nevertheless, can be less severe and the epileptic features hardly noticeable. Although these epileptic seizures can sometimes be created intentionally, in the case of the actual epileptic, they are brought on by relatively unidentified internal impulses. In some epileptics, the focal point of the severe electrical activity surges has been seen to be damaged areas of the brain. It is well-recognized that some illnesses and poisonings can cause epilepsy.
It is often said intoxication leads to psychosis, when it does we may be treated to the situation found in R. v. Hartridge, where Hartridge shot his wife to death while he was in a highly intoxicated state. Hartridge didn’t try to hide what he had done, and there wasn’t a clear reason for the shooting. In actuality, the rifle’s report, per his testimony, was the occasion that brought the reality of the situation to the forefront of his thoughts. He was unable to recall any of the activities leading up to the shooting. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected his arguments in a thorough ruling issued by Culliton, C.J.S. He had defended automation and the psychosis that it implies.
The source of the psychosis, in the Court’s opinion, was of utmost importance. This opinion was undoubtedly informed by the criminal law’s well-known unwillingness to absolve culpability in situations where intoxication was the offender’s state. Criminological intoxication has four facets;
- To what extent is intoxication per se a crime?
- What influence does intoxication have on the commission of a crime?
- What is the psychiatric significance of intoxication?
- What is the reaction of the criminal law to offenses committed under the influence of alcohol?
- Manic-Depressive Psychosis
Intervals of enthusiasm and depression alternate with sporadic intervals of rationality in this type of mental disease, which swings back and forth. Reactive depression is defined as depression brought on by an external force, such as the flu or the usage of sulphonamides. It might be endogenous and have no known external origin. Suicidal behavior frequently follows depression, regardless of the reason. A severe depression mood might result in a parent killing his children and himself or a couple making a suicide pact. On the other end of the spectrum, mania will show itself as intense, uncontrollable enthusiasm, which can occasionally result in violence like homicide, which is a reflection of an exaggerated urge to kill. Most often, medication or electroconvulsive therapy is used to treat depression and manic episodes.
The psychotic’s reality is so controlled by his imagination that he is no longer subject to natural laws. Reality has vanished. The neurotic, on the other hand, can see the world for what it is, but he is significantly less able to handle its demands. Hallucinations or delusions are not a part of neurotic symptoms, and their onset is never abrupt. Although medication may occasionally be used, psychotherapeutic techniques of treatment are typically used.
Hysteria is a condition in which the person has lost control over some aspect of his behavior,’ according to one definition. This may cause the person to make utterly unconscious movements or verbalizations. A powerful example is how the film ‘For King and Country’ tackled the battle exhaustion of one particular soldier. The physical changes that may accompany hysteria are entirely reversible, and its underlying causes are solely emotional. Hysteria always has the same underlying cause: a never totally conscious and usually wholly unconscious attempt on the part of the victim to use the portrayal of disease symptoms for their benefit. These physical symptoms are just as valid as those with only physiological explanations. The alleviation of unresolvable mental conflict is advantageous to the patient. Treatment must take this into account since, if it eliminates the main channel of release without offering a suitable substitute, severe harm may follow.
- Anxiety Neurosis and Phobias
One of the neuroses that affect people the most frequently is this one. It is defined by the person experiencing extreme and ongoing anxiety over circumstances that would not trigger such a response in a non-sufferer. The typical level of anxiety response prevalent in all of these people reaches such a high pitch that it significantly impairs the sufferer’s capacity to deal with the demands of his surroundings. When a student asks to postpone taking a test after having fully prepared himself for it from an objective standpoint, that behavior is an example of anxiety neurosis. It is typically referred to as a phobia when this extreme worry is caused by a wholly irrational view of an object or circumstance.
8. THE ‘USUAL’ OFFENDER
A ‘normal’ criminal does not exist, which is an absurdity. The crime itself is an indication of abnormality. If psychosis, neurosis, psychopathy, or mental deficiency are supposed to be absent from normality, the ‘normal’ offender is the one whose personality does not include any of these. Any examination of the ‘normal’ offender must start with the premise that offenders and non-offenders have distinct psychological makeups. However, the study has been unable to identify any particular personality traits of the offender group. The study, in Wooton’s opinion, shows that ‘personality traits are distributed in the criminal population in about the same way as in the general population.’ Although it has been documented to cause suicide in extreme situations, anxiety neurosis has no direct criminological significance. Occasionally, hospitalization may be required.
It is necessary to take into account a group whose mental instability is more readily seen in their conduct than in their mental processes through the study of abnormal mental life. From a criminologist’s perspective, this group reflects criminals whose behavior is characterized by frequent run-ins with the law that seem to be the result of a pronounced inability to draw on prior experience. Repeated offenses and penalties have little effect on the pattern of their behavior, and they just make them more hopeless and resentful. The psychopath’s career usually starts in youth, lasts his entire life, and seems to be influenced by both physical and emotional aspects.
The unusual electroencephalographic pattern of electrical activity in the brain and the immature capillary loop formation in the nail bed are two physical traits associated with psychopaths. A disproportionately large number of psychopaths’ recorded electrical patterns reveal brain processes that are similar to those often found in young infants.
10. MENTAL DEFICIENCY
In a New York survey of 10,000 consecutive criminals, 2.6% were classified as having mental impairments. Since Alfred Binet’s studies in France in the eighteenth century, there has been debate over whether intelligence and delinquency are related. The early idea that crime was a logical choice of behavior gave rise to the belief that people with mental defects shared no legal liability for their actions with newborns and the crazy. Early in the nineteenth century, mental incapacity was distinguished from insanity, but it wasn’t until the latter part of the century that scientific standards for gradations of mental ability were developed. It is important to keep in mind that the same elements contributing to an individual’s resulting IQ score may also contribute to criminality when examining the association between intelligence and delinquency. If comparisons of the IQ of delinquents and non-delinquents are to be relevant, they must only take into account delinquency. Walker contests the idea that people chosen by society for the delinquent group are increasingly characterized by an inferior mentality.
About 10% of all cases of severe mental abnormalities can be attributed to grossly distorted newborn rearing. For many years, early-life psychological trauma has been studied as a potential cause of mental illness. However, because severe mental deficiency is typically linked to apparent organic disease, this idea has been ignored in severe mental deficiency. Emotionally adverse environments likely have a substantial role in mental disability.
Congenital intellectual impairment refers to people who exhibit signs of a lower level of intellectual capability or ability from birth. This intellectual disability is described as a condition of limited potential for, or arrest of, cerebral development, as a result of which the affected person is unable, at maturity, to adapt himself to his environment or the needs of the community to maintain an existence independent of external support. Intellectual disability may result from environmental or inherited causes, intrauterine developmental abnormalities, or early childhood infections or traumas that cause damage to the neurological system.
It is critical to keep in mind that, in addition to the subject’s intrinsic intellect, other factors may have an impact on the test’s outcomes. When the mental age score from the Binet test is divided by the chronological age result, the result is the I.Q. These are the categories of intelligence;
- the moron with an IQ of less than 50,
- the imbecile with a score of 25 to 50,
- the idiot with a score of 50 to 70,
- the moron with a score of 50 to 80, the dull normal 80 to 90,
- the average 90 to 110,
- the superior 110 to 120,
- the very superior, over 120,
- and the genius or close to genius with a score of 140 and above.
Any determination of a person’s intellectual capacity should be supported by both clinical judgment and psychological testing.
11. SOCIAL FACTORS
Just like Vin Diesel said in most parts of Fast and Furious, family is all that matters. The first set of persons an individual is introduced to, learns from, and grows with is the family, every member of the family, all their activities, words, actions, and inactions. Because they have an impact on a child’s development, the family environment and parenting style are significant risks or protective factors for involvement in crime. The likelihood that a youngster will become a criminal adult is significantly shaped by parental behavior. A child’s likelihood of experiencing conduct issues and subsequent criminal involvement appears to be significantly elevated when their parents are criminals. Due to the numerous methods (common environmental influences, genetic risk factors, biological risk factors, and parental negative role modeling) that may transmit a parent’s risk of criminal participation to their child, the influence of parental criminality is complicated.
Significant generational consequences on a person’s risk of committing a crime are caused by family violence and child abuse. According to some studies, childhood abuse doubles a person’s likelihood of committing many different types of crimes.
The impact of family influences seems to be greatest during a child’s formative years and diminishes as they age, though inadequate parental supervision and a lack of affection between parents and their teenage children have also been identified as risk factors for future offenses.
2. COMMUNITY AND PEERS
Another institution we are quickly introduced to after the family which also has a great influence in our lives whether good or bad is the community we are born and grow into and also the field we keep. Although it can be challenging to quantify, community and neighborhood effects on criminality do seem to have an impact on both crime and antisocial behavior. As a youngster gets older, the influences of the neighborhood become more significant.
Numerous studies have indicated that violent behavior and the emergence of antisocial peer groups are closely related. Most of the people involved in crime and nabbed have been asked what motivated them into committing the crime and they have confessed to being brainwashed and influenced by those they call friends. Some have even said when they rejected their offer, they were bullied and cheated they later conceded.
On countless times the video of teachers maltreating the pupils kept under their care trended on the internet. With the cruel treatment, the individual is exposed to help to train their minds and perception about things which in turn makes them brutal and heartless. A risk factor for subsequent delinquency and criminal conduct is not participating in school-level education. When compared to lawful work, education alters the relative opportunities provided by crime, particularly property crime. Greater profits from employment are ensured by higher levels of education, making it more desirable than crime.
For children under the age of 13, having parents with poor levels of education (i.e., parents without college degrees) has also been linked to an increased risk of future crime. Success in education lessens the financial rewards of crime and, hence, the motivations for criminal behavior.
- LEVEL OF ECONOMY
Unemployment, relative wealth (disparity), and poverty (deprivation) are all economic elements that affect criminal behavior. A link between disparity and violent crime is suggested by the weight of the evidence. Although there is disagreement over the strength of this association, worldwide data reveals that a relationship remains even after adjusting for other characteristics.
According to evidence, certain types of criminal behavior are linked to deprivation. Even after adjusting for parental, individual, school, and peer characteristics, the Christchurch Health and Development Study’s analysis contends that socioeconomic disadvantage is linked to both self-reported crimes and officially documented convictions.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Since the advent of smartphones and the internet, we have always spent most of our time on the phone chatting with friends, playing games, surfing the internet, and having access to unsolicited websites. On some of these websites, are training, groups and organizations educating some of their audiences on how to carry out some criminal activities.
Also, some movies and symposiums are basically for mind training and supporting individuals to join their criminal course and they will be paid for it and some other benefits.
We live in a world filled with a lot of criminal activities. Truth be told, everyone is capable of carrying out different criminal acts. However, some people are so determined that no matter what, even if Jupiter will fall, they will never be involved in any criminal activity. Those that are now involved in criminal activities, if truth be told are not acting with their right senses. They are either brainwashed, manipulated, or coerced as discussed earlier.
It is however pertinent that each government of the states of the world set up a Wellbeing Institution. What will this Institution be responsible for? This institution will be responsible for identifying individuals that have this criminal psychology, accommodating and not arresting them with the option that they are free to go back into society of their freewill if they do not like being in the institution but if they are found exhibiting the criminal psychology traits they exhibited that got them into the institution, they will now be arrested and prosecuted. Those that decide to stay back at the institution should be educated, fed, medically treat, train in different entrepreneurial skills, empowered, and released back into society to start life afresh as a different person. However, the individuals released back into the and closely monitored to see that all they have been taught in the institution is dully put into practice.
Why did I recommend this method? I believe that if most of these persons with criminal psychology have the right and appropriate person(s) to be connected with, they will surely and quickly snap out of their mystery.
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Criminal Code of Canada, Supra, n. 36, s. 213. A successful suicide is an example of Dr. William’s ‘unenforceable crime.’
Driver v. Hinnant (1966) 356F.2d761 (4th Cir.)
Easter v. District of Columbia (1966) 361 F. 2d 50 (D.C. Cir.).
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Government Liquor Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 166, s. 68
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Romans 6:23; See also ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/romans/6-23.htm
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 Franz Joseph. Gall and Phrenology. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/franz-joseph-gall-phrenology-theory-definition-lesson-quiz.html
 H.M.S.O. London (1913).
 Henry H. Goddard. The Kallikak Family. Retrieved from https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/kallikak-family-study-heredity-feeble-mindedness-1912-henry-herbert-goddard
 Nigel Walker. (1965). Crime and Punishment in Britain. 47.
 Op. cit. Supra n 5, at 230.
 Op. cit. Supra n. 20, at 48. Also, see infra, n. 92.
 Id., at 48-49.
 Id., at 50.
 Id., at 50-51.
 Id., at 51.
 Schlapp and Smith. The New Criminology. Retrieved from https://books.google.com.ng/books/about/The_New_Criminology.html?id=37w1AAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y
 Armstrong and Turner. (1965). Special Problem Groups in McGrath (Ed.). Crime and Its Treatment in Canada. 462.
 Stafford-Clark. (1963). Psychiatry Today (2nd Ed.).
 Op, cit. Supra, n. 20, at 63
 Id., at 62.
 Id., at 246
 (1967), 1 C.C.C. 346 (Sask. C.A.).
 Robinson v. California (1962) 370 U.S. 660, 666; Driver v. Hinnant (1966) 356F.2d761 (4th Cir.); Easter v. District of Columbia (1966) 361 F. 2d 50 (D.C. Cir.).
 Government Liquor Act, R.S.B.C. 1960, c. 166, s. 68: The Liquor Control Act, 1958, R.S.A. 1958, c. 37. s. 87: The Liquor Act, R.S.S. 1965, c. 382, s. 105 (1): The Liquor Control Act, R.S.M. 1956, c. 40, s. 169 (3).
 Criminal Code of Canada, Supra, n. 36, s. 213. A successful suicide is an example of Dr. William’s ‘unenforceable crime.’
 R. v. Hilborn [1946) O.R. 552; 2 C.R. 129; 86 C.C.C. 406 (Ont. C.A.)
 Barbara Wooton. (1959). Social Science and Social Pathology.
 Op. cit. Supra, n. 20, at 59
 H. Bourne. (1965). Protophrenia: A Study of Perverted Recruing and Mental Dwarfism. 11.
 Guttmacher and Weihofen. (1952). Psychiatry and the Law, 172. New York.
 See the movie Monster produced by Tonya Lewis Lee, Nikki Silver, Aaron L. Gilbert, Mike Jackson, and Edward Tyler Nahem 2018.
 University of Otago, Christchurch. Christchurch Health and Development Study. Retrieved from https://www.otago.ac.nz/christchurch/research/healthdevelopment/