chapter  5
20 Pages

An Interdisciplinary Theory of Criminal Behavior

WithC. Ray Jeffery

Legalistic criminology held the offender responsible for his or her behavior according to the doctrine of free will and moral responsibility. Criminologists need to integrate biological, psychological, and sociological theories of criminal behavior into an interdisciplinary theory of behavior, and to integrate the scientific aspects of human behavior into criminal law and the criminal justice system. The scientific view of behavior came into conflict with the philosophical view as found in rationalism and in the criminal law. Sociological theories can be divided into microtheories and macrotheories, or theories dealing with the individual person and theories dealing with groups, social structure, and subcultures. There is conflict between those who argue that the nature of human nature is determined at birth by biology and those who argue that human nature is determined by the environment and by experiences with the environment.