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Outline and Evaluate Realist Approaches to Crime (50 Marks)

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Outline and evaluate realist approaches to crime (50 marks)

Right realism sees crime as a growing problem that destroys communities, undermines social cohesion and threatens society’s work ethic. Right realists take a harsh approach in the fact that they try to reduce crime by reinforcing control and punishment, rather than trying to rehabilitate offenders when they leave prison. They see prisoners as a lost cause therefore they do not wish to waste their time on them. They criticise other theories for being too soft on criminals, especially the left realists. Right realism tends to focus on the solutions to crime, rather than the causes.

Right realists reject marxist views that crime is caused by poverty and exploitation of the working class. In 'thinking about crime' (1975) wilson argues that an individual will commit crime if the reward outweighs the punishment. Wilson also argues that harsher punishments and more visible policing would have a positive impact on crime rates.

However, despite these efforts, there are still flaws in how crime is dealt with according to right realists. Providing alternative benefits, such as giving methadone to drug addicts proves to be pointless as the individual then becomes addicted to methadone and therefore still has a drug addiction. Wilson argues that we must keep communities strong so that the criminals will feel ashamed due to society being disgraced at them. Kelling and wilson 1982 argue a concept called the broken windows thesis. They argue that in order to prevent the collapse of communities, it is crucial that agencies act swiftly to stamp out any signs of disintegration. The theory argues that signs of decay e.g. litter, broken windows, graffiti are all signs of public disinterest and the area will soon be totally criminalised, and will therefore be a lost cause.

Real life examples of right realism…...

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