Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance.

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Introduction

Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess the value of the right realist approach to crime and deviance. Right realism is a conservative and extreme functionalist view of crime. They see it as a growing problem that destroys societies. Sociologists such as James Q Wilson have stressed the point that it cannot be tolerated. Right realists are more concerned with solving crime rather than understanding the causes. As detailed in item a, right realism favours increasing the cost paid by those who commit crimes by for example giving harsher sentencing. Right realists such as James Wilson and Richard Herrnstein put forward a biosocial theory of crime. They believe that criminal behaviour is made up of biological and social factors. They believe that people may be biological more attracted to committing crime than others for example, they believe traits such as aggression and risk taking are inborn in the person and this causes them to commit crimes.

Middle

Murray believes that the underclass is not only a source of crime but something that's very existence threatens the values of hard work and personal responsibility. An important part of the right realist views of crime is the rational choice theory. This theory assumes that individuals have free will and the powers of reason. Rational theorists, such as Ron Clarke, argue that a decision to commit a crime is based on a rational evaluation of the risks involved and likely consequences. If the rewards of the crime outweigh the risks or consequences or rewards of non-criminal behaviour then the individual will be likely to carry out the offence. Right realists believe that the costs of crime are too low and that this is why crime rates have continued to increase over the years. In their view, there is often little risk of being caught if caught the punishments are often lenient.

Conclusion

Right relists take the 'Zero tolerance' approach to crime, as devised by James Wilson and president Ragen towards undesirable behaviour such as prostitution and begging. The role of police should be to focus on controlling the streets so law-abiding citizens are safe. They believe that crime prevention should reduce the rewards and increase the cost of crimes to the offender, for example, 'Target hardening' - greater use of prison and ensuring punishments follow soon after the offence to maximise the effect. Right realism has been criticised for its explanation of crime and its solutions. Critics believe that they do not take into consideration wider structural causes, such as poverty, it overplays the offenders' rationale before committing a crime, it may be a utilitarian crime, their view of rational choice theory contradicts their theory of biological and social causes for crime, its preoccupied with petty street crime and does not focus on bigger, corporate crimes which are more costly and harmful, advocating 'Zero tolerance' allows police to discriminate against ethnic minority youth, the homeless, etc.

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