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Homework answers / question archive / Poverty is not always the prevailing motivator for criminal behavior

Poverty is not always the prevailing motivator for criminal behavior

Law

Poverty is not always the prevailing motivator for criminal behavior. There are many variables that lead someone to commit crimes. This is one reason that there are so many theories of criminology.
The cost to incarcerate someone in prison for a year in California is about $47,000 per year so, if money was the only motivator, the government could just give that money to a criminal and save the victim the trouble.
Of course this wouldn't explain white collar crime where the criminal often already has money but wants more. Additionally, not all crime relates to money.Greed, lust and jealousy are a few factors in criminal behavior. These factors are not exclusively reserved for poor people and some of the most heinous criminals have not come from impoverished backgrounds.The recent shooter at the Sandy Hook Elementary school did not come from a background of poverty.
All societies have some consensus of acceptable behavior so when studying criminal behavior should the theory fit across cultural lines or should the theory be evaluated in context? Are theories of criminality theories of behavior or culture?

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