When we consider crime rates throughout the world, India holds 63rd position (42.72%) in the crime index for country list 2019. Venezuela stands first in the highest crime rate (83.23%) in the world. Violent crimes are increasing day by day.
The factors that is responsible for crime are economic factors, disorganization of social institutions like family, friends, morals, etc. What really drives a person to commit criminal acts is still a complex question.
Many researches have been conducted on this area, where they found that there are few similar factors that influence a person to commit a crime.
- Biological Factors- Some criminologists believe our biology can influence us to criminality. That’s not to say criminals are born that way, just that biological factors — including variances in autonomic arousal, neurobiology, and neuroendocrine functioning — have been shown to increase the likelihood that we might commit criminal acts.
- Negative Social Environment- high-crime neighborhood can increase our chances of turning to crime ourselves. But being in the presence of criminals is not the only way our environment can affect our behaviors. Research reveals that simply living in poverty increases our likelihood of being incarcerated. When we’re having trouble making ends meet, we’re under intense stress and more likely to resort to crime.
- Substance Abuse- intoxicants, such as alcohol, lower our inhibitions, while others, such as cocaine, over excite our nervous system. In all cases, the physiological and psychological changes caused by intoxicants negatively impact our self-control and decision-making. An altered state can lead directly to committing a criminal act. Additionally, those addicted to intoxicants may turn to crime to pay for their habit.
- Social Factors- Social factors encompass those that are present in the society and influence the individual by their structure and course. The social frames of reference for studying crime are individual, familial, peer factors, socio-economic status and schools.
For example, Community/ Neighborhood — As stated by Sutherland’s differential association theory, overabundance of criminal contact is considered a necessary as well as a sufficient cause of criminal behavior. Social disorganization theory focuses on the neighborhood conditions like high unemployment, low socioeconomic status, less educational opportunities or deteriorated housing, that foster criminal behavior.
5. Personality- Personality and crime have been linked in two general ways. First, in “personality-trait psychology” certain traits or super traits within a structured model of personality may be linked to antisocial behavior. There are four structured models of personality theory that explains personality of criminal behavior. the five-factor model ,the PEN model, three-factor model, and temperament and character model.
According to PEN Model, the typical criminal would possess high levels of all three of his proposed personality dimensions. Abnormal individuals possess a criminal personality, they are labeled as psychopathic, sociopathic, or antisocial. Impulsivity, irresponsibility, risk taking, and antisocial behavior are the key features of psychopaths. Now they are called as Antisocial instead of Psychopath/Sociopath by APA.
6. Other Factors- Socio-economic Status, Family/ Quality of Relationships, Education/ Occupation, Psychosocial Factors can influence criminal behavior of a person.