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Friday, November 27, 2009

Crime as the Major Problem of Social Disorganization

Friday, November 27, 2009 - 0 Comments

Meaning of Crime:
Crime refers to those acts which are forbidden by law. The following definition explains its concept:
(1) Elliot and Merrill: “Crime may be defined as anti-social behaviour which the group rejects and to which it attacks penalties.”
(2) K. Mauria: “A crime is an act opposed to established attitudes of a group, as defined by law at a given time or place.”
(3) Gillin and Gillin: “From the legal point of view, crime is an offence against the law of the land.”
(4) Sutherland: According to Sutherland, “Criminal behaviour is that behaviour which is in violation of the criminal law.”

The concept of crime and punishment has undergone great changes during the recent times. It is now regarded less an individual act of deviation from the established codes and more a symptoms of deep rooted social maladies. Why a person steals? The question now takes into account the social aspect of the problem, the social conditions which push a person on the way of crime. However, the basic concept of crime is remained unaltered. Deviation from the socially sanctioned codes or breaking of law is the basic characteristic of crime.
If crime is regarded as an index of social disorganization then we can very safely say, keeping in view the increasing crimes that modern society is crumbling. Gone are the days of daring highway robberies and breaking into banks the modern crime is organized on up-to-date business system. Criminals of today walk as respectable citizens, contribute to various charities, attend social functions and in most cases have hold upon the politics, at least local politics.
“Crime has had to be dealt with in all societies, past and present, but it became a major social problem only among civilized peoples. In primitive societies, the more and strong enough to control individual behaviour effectively, and the few who disobeyed the rules do not continue a threat to the group. In civilized societies, especially those with large, heterogeneous population, it is difficult to compel universal observance of the mores. Transgressions multiply, and it becomes necessary to enact law to compensate for the ineffectiveness of the mores.”

Concept of Disorganization and Causes of Social Disorganization

Meaning of Social Disorganization:
Some condition of order and system pervades all forms of physical, biological and social existence. The sociologists have at least accepted a starting point that some order and organisation exist in social life. The very essence of the group, culture pattern, and social personality implies an arrangement of parts into an integrated whole. But side by side social organisation and social order have their concomitants in social disorder.
Social organisation and social disorganisation are two relative terms, because neither there is any society totally organised not only disorganised. There is social disorganisation when the equilibrium of social factors is disrupted. As observed by Ogburn and Nimkoff, “Society is a going concern of an organisation. The organization consists of habits and institutions among which there is a fair degree of equilibrium. This equilibrium is often shaken by social changes. We begin therefore, by considering how the balance achieved in a stationary contract with the condition of changing society”.
Similarly, according to Elliott and Merrill, “Social disorganization occurs when there is a change in the equilibrium of forces, breakdown of social structure, so that former patterns no longer apply and the accepted forms of social control no longer function effectively. The dynamic nature of society involves a constant rearrangement of the constituent element.

Definition of Social Disorganization
(1) Mowerer: “Social disorganization is the process of by which the relationship between members of a group are broken”.
(2) Ogburn and Nimkoff: “Social disorganization imply some break in cultural contact, some disturbance in the equilibrium among the various aspects of the culture pattern”.
(3) Fairies:
(a) “Social disorganization refers to the disruption of the function of some social unit such as group, in institution or community”.
(b) “Social disorganization is a disturbance in the patterns and mechanisms of human relation”.
(4) Fairs Robert E. L: “Social disorganization is the disruption of the functional relations among persons to a degree that interferes with the performance of the accepted task of the group”.
(5) Ellict and Francis: “Social disorganization is the process by which the relationship between members of a group are broken or dissolved”.
(6) Josep B. Glittler: “When affairs deviate either from the existent order of from the desired order, the inference is that there is social disorder. It is the deviation that is referred to as social disorganization. It consists of the relative decline and breakdown of those factors that have made and do mark for the effective patterning of collective living”.

Social disorganization is not the negation of the harmonious relationship in a given society, it is indicative of serious breakdown of those relationships. Strike by factory workers or by sanitary workers results in the dislocation and paralysis of normal function of the society, besides it involves a direct conflict between the employer and the employee. Social disorganization is therefore a product of clash of interests of groups. Conflicts between the interests of individuals, if not organised as group conflict, have little bearing on social disorganization.

Social disorganization in the Modern Society

In our own times, the process of social disorganization has assumed in universal dimension. The developed as well as the underdeveloped societies, both are almost equal suffers. The society of the old world was comparatively peaceful partly due to stronghold of customs and traditions over the social conduct of man. Modernization of human society is mainly the result of industrials revolution of the consequent breakdown of old social relationships, first at the economic place and later on at cultural level. The man himself was swayed by the tides of industrial revolution which crushed the old order with ruthless velocity but the establishing some substitute values. Old society was not divided into sharp economical classes with mutually-conflicting interests.
In the old world order, societies cultures and communities were isolated from each other by distinct geographical barriers. Modern means of communication and transport have pushed the barriers of space and time into background. But the old attitudes and concepts die a hard way. Culture is regarded as he distinguishing feature of a community or people. Preferences are given to one’s own culture and others are looked down as inferior. The West has its own ways and East follows the suit. Culture is still regarded completely synonymous with group, community or class interest when in fact the speed of modern life and means of communication have accelerated greatly cultural diffusion. Culture by itself does not stand in clashing position in modern world but it is the class interests which push them into the forefront of conflict. When cultures clash, social disorganization affected by cultural conflicts work from within. Cultural clash has become more frequent with the increasing urbanization of country’s population.
According to Maclver and Page, “The situations we have just been describing, especially those in which the resistance is to an imported technology, serve also to illustrate the phenomenon of culture clash. We have used this expression to denote the conflict of opposing value scheme, creeds or ways of life when these are brought into contact inside the same community. The feat of an alien technology is not simply a fear that it will disturb the old values; it is also a fear that with it will be introduced alien values different goals. We do not include under culture clash the conflict of creeds and ideologies, so frequent in every modern society. We refer only to conflicts between two entire culture patterns each of which embraces a whole way of life. Such clashes arise permanently from the coming together within a single community of groups that have been bred in separation before they become thus conjured. Usually one of the cultures concerned is an imported culture while the other indigenous or at least has long been established in its present home. The two are brought rather abruptly into contact and out of those conditions one of them appears to be a threat to the very existence of the other especially if the former is associated with a dominant group.”
Cultural clashes cause social disorganization but this fact has also to be kept in mind that industrial civilization has disrupted the overall pattern of human culture. Old cultural patterns themselves have undergone the process of disorganization resulting further breakdown of those elements of solidarity in our society which were directly based on cultural patterns. Social disorganization is thus happening in every sphere of modern life, from all sides directly or indirectly. The outcome has yet to crystallize before any prediction may be made about the nature of the new social set up that is bound to replace in the old one.

Social Organization and its Essential Elements

Meaning of Social Organisation:
Social organisation indicates that state in which there is peaceful interaction between the different elements of the society. They work according to pre-fixed and recognised aims. In other words the existence of definite role and status is necessary for social organisation. Besides, there should be uniformity in the aims, goals and programmes among the members of the society.
In the words of another eminent scholar: “Social organisation itself is not something static, which one established, will forever remain without change. In one sense, social organisation is a hypothesis, and ideal construct emphasising the relatively unchanging aspect which are always present in every society.”
In social organisation, there is opportunity and harmony and adaptability with the physical environment. There is opportunity and facility for the fulfilment of collective aims without any obstructions.
Further, in social organisation, there is consensus on physical problems and equal interest in social values. The social structure on which the form of the society rests, function, properly. Social control is acceptable and applicable to all. There is sort of balance among diverse elements of society. A process of harmony and adaptability continues with the changing conditions of society. There is also harmony between the individual aims of the person and the collective aims of society. Social organisation makes social habits which develop as a result of collective experience as the medium of thinking and action and establishes harmonious between different institutions and committees. Social organisation depends upon the degree of harmonious relationship among institutions and committees and this direct relationship in dependent upon the structure of society.
Complete harmony with the physical environment is also only an imaginary conception. Consensus of all the members on a social subject, consensus of a collective subject and adoption of one method for the achievement of common points and one definition of all the main social institution are only the viewpoints based on conjecture. These states may take cooperatively more or less time. The given social hypothesis of social control, values and social structure appears to be impossible. All the social values cannot be viewed from one viewpoint. The age of today is individualistic whether the society lives in villages or industrial centres. Social control cannot be absolute in any society; it is not possible even in Communist countries. Social structure can never remain static in any condition. The Hindu society of today is completely different from the Hindu society of past.

Definition of social organisation: Social organisation is reverse an opposite condition of social disorganisation. For the understanding of social disorganisation, the knowledge of social organisation is a necessary as it is necessary to have the knowledge of the condition of the patient before trying to know the disease.

According to Elliot and Merrill: “Social organisation is a state of being, a condition in which the various institutions in a society are functioning in accordance with their recognised implied purpose”.

Similarly according to Ogburn and Nimkoff, “An organisation is an articulation of different parts which perform various functions, it is an active group device for getting something done”.

In social organisation, the harmonious processes of interaction go on. Collective definition is necessary for social aims and for their fulfilment a common programme is also necessary.

Relative Concept: Social organisation is somewhat a relative concept. There is no society which may be either completely organised or completely disorganised. Both these conditions are usually found in societies. The different is only of the degree. If any society is full of dissociative elements, then it will be called a disorganised society. A society which is full of associative elements, it will be called organised society. No society can be placed in completely a single category. Consensus and ability of behaviours and indicative of an absolute social organisation. But these are impossible in complex and dynamic society of today.
Social organisation and culture are mutually related to each other. The definition of social organisation depends upon its culture. In each society there are certain common behaviours and common habits and there are different types of common programmes to achieve them. In our society, they may be the cause of disorganisation while in another society, they may be the cause or organisation. The whole creation of human beings is called culture. As remarked by summer: Culture is the sum of total human creations”.
Culture includes those means which check the direct influence of natural environment. Those means can be classified into the following three categories:
(a) Artifacts or Tools
(b) Technique and
(c) Beliefs

Artifacts or tools are those things through which physical or material things whether they be animate or inanimate, can be made helpful for the benefits and use of man. For example, the motor car, on which man rides and depends for his safety.
Technique is the process through which man uses anything for his use, for example, the technique of driving motor car.
Beliefs are of many types. They may be social, moral, spiritual and scientific.
Institutions are main aids of man and the cultural symptoms which are beyond institutional set up, cannot become parts of the social organisation. It is possible that one means or thing may become part of different institutions. For example, a motor vehicle is necessary for hospital as well as commercial or other organisations. According to Mowerer: “Thus various Social Institutions in their inter relatedness constitute the pattern of social organisation”.
It is clear from the above statement of Mowerer that social organisation depends upon the organisations of institutions. Institutions can be regarded as the units of social organisation. Anything that obstructs the function of the institutions is the cause of disorganisation

Essential Elements of Social Organization
Following are the essential elements of social organizations:

(1) Social Control: According to B. J. Stren: “The social control which the group imposes upon its members imparts a certain consistency and stability to human activities”.

Social control becomes an obstruction in establishing adjustment with the changed society. Man has made folkways, laws and institutions for exercising or having control over social behaviour. Social control is regulated through folkways, mores, laws and institutions.
Folkways: Folkways are social habits which are transferred from one generation to other generation and their social importance constantly increases and slowly and gradually they assume the form of social control. Thus they receive common recognition whether they be in matters of foods, clothes etc.
Mores: Elliott and Merrill have placed these in that category of folkways with which is connected the welfare philosophy of the society. These have more social and moral sanction than the folkways and these are considered more beneficial for common welfare. It is necessary for all to accept these and they make a deep influence on each society.
Laws: Elliott and Merrill have called these are more clear Mores. Laws are those Mores which have behind them royal or State sanction and which force any one to obey them. The inclusion of Mores is necessary to make the laws effective. Laws become ineffective when they are against the Mores.

Institutions: According to summer, Institution is concept which has a structure. Institution are more effective than the other elements of society. Institutions are the representatives of those values which have become parts of society. They are definite and are for the fulfilment of some definite aims. Institutions are the men of social control and make the social balance or difficult due to their firmity or rigidity. Family, church or temple, school and State are the main institutions of society. Their importance for the society has already been proved and universally recognised.

(2) Consensus: According to Elliott and Merrill: “Social organisation is fundamentally a problem of consensus”.

Social consensus is necessary for society. According to Worth, there is no such society in which the members do not take part in social values and social aims and do not follow social rules.
According to De Tocquevill: “A society can exist only when a great number of men consider a great number of things in the same point of view, when they hold the same opinions upon many subjects and with the same thought and impression to their minds”.
Consensus arises automatically and is not forcibly established. Elliott and Merrill have remarked that without a fundamental consensus, physical structure of society is just like a hellow rod.
Regarding the importance of consensus, Park and Burgess have remarked, “Society is complex of organised habits and social attitudes, in short, consensus”.
There cannot be complete consensus on matters of social importance. But the consensus of the different parts of society is necessary. Social disorganisation being when common hopes and understanding of man suffer on decline.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Poverty as a Major Factor of Crime

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 0 Comments

Meaning of Poverty
According to Gillin and Gillin, “Poverty is that condition in which a person, either because of inadequate income or unwise expenditures, does maintain a scale of living high enough to provide for his physical and mental efficiency and to enable him and his natural dependents to function usefully according to the standards of the society of which he is a member.”
The social phenomenon known as poverty has remained within human society in every age, but never before in history, it has assumed so gigantic a dimension as in the present times. The expansion of trade on a worldwide scale, the consequent accumulation of wealth and its uneven distribution and the establishment of higher standards of living have increased and intensified poverty. Poverty is not a problem of under-developed countries but is equally so in highly developed ones.
Poverty is a relative term. Mankind has progressed to that stage of development when inadequacy of the basic necessity of likes fooding, clothing and housing; do not constitute the sole criteria of poverty. Poverty should, therefore, be judged on the scale or standards of life set up by our modern age. One is poor not only because he has not enough to fill his belly but also because if he anyhow manages to fill his belly he is still not able to undergo necessary medical treatment. Some thinking regarding the relation of poverty to uneven growth of population as compared to food production was pointed out by Malthus. His theories may not be correct in all respects but in as much as it propounded that unless the basic need of food can be satisfied no concrete steps should be successfully undertaken to eradicate-poverty-the theory was correct. Poverty can be eradicated by starting from the beginning, i.e. by satisfying the basic animal need of mankind, the need for food, shelter and clothing’s.
The problem of poverty become acute when we find that major part of other social problems are directly footed or connected in one way or the other with the problem of poverty and that in order to root out those problems eradication of poverty becomes necessary. This aspect of the overall problems of our society is in turn connected directly with another major problem of our times, namely, the problem of war.

Factors Responsible for Poverty
What are the factors responsible for poverty? The question may be examined under two references. Firstly we have to see the factors which were responsible for poverty in all ages and secondly we have to examine the specific causes of poverty in our times. Unwillingness to invest labour, which is the result of individual personality traits, has always been the prime cause of poverty. Individuals, groups or communities who did not appreciate the relation between human labour and the wealth of society could not understand that is the labour alone which bears fruits. Machines to some extent solved the problem, they could multiply labour and hence could produce more with less labour. Individual communities could be produced on mass scale. But with the coming into being of mass production methods the wealth become concentrated in few hand and its distribution become hindered. This is the characteristic feature of our society that on one hand we produce on a mass scale that is to say our production of industrial commodities is socialized but on the other hand the system of distribution is not socialized. It is centred round the individual profit motive. The contradiction between the mode of production and distribution is the main cause of poverty in our society.
When each individual is born as a distinct member of society we cannot hold him responsible for his state of being in poverty. The entire social system has to be examined and the causes have to be analysed in their social perspective. Further, the problem of poverty is not confined in its consequences to individual pain and suffering. Poverty has wider social repercussions. It can lead to devastating social up heaval, to bloodshed and violence, to mass murder and to war.
We can, however, no longer present a solution of the problem of poverty. It is no longer a means of destroying surplus population. In fact, if war is restored to, then the very existence of mankind is put to a state. Human society is no longer prepared to do so. Hence the solution to the problem of poverty has to be found in the different channels – by accelerating the over all production but a corresponding decrease in war production and socialized mode of distribution. Then, the problem of poverty is directly or indirectly linked with other socio-economic problems. Gillin and Gillin have summed up the aspects of the problem of poverty, in the following illustrative lines:
“In summary, then we say that poverty and dependency play such a great part in our modern civilization. Create such a waste of method and moey, of childhood and womanhood, and youth disturb so many human relationships that they demand attention. We have also pointed out that factors producing poverty and dependency are individual incapacity, due partly to heredity and partly to accidental causes, features of the physical environment over which man has not yet obtained adequate control, to the maladjustment in our economic organisation to meet adequate human needs, to defects in our social organisation with respect to education, health, housing, improper preparation for family life. The wasted childhood and youth all caused by lag in social arrangement to meet adequately the changes characteristics of dynamic society. Finally we have pointed out that in modern civilization war is a great factor in producing social change in economic and social arrangements, in destroying young manhood; in wasting enormous sums of money, in creating restlessness, with respect to social relationships and international trade, in deriving the people of a large part of their income through taxation and tariffs and thus bringing low the level of the scale of living.”

Unemployment is a Basic Cause of Crime

Problem of unemployment is gripping the whole universe. Even in developed countries where it is claimed that there is full employment the position is not really so because some of the people are either unemployed or have not been placed on the jobs of their choice. In underdeveloped and undeveloped countries, the situation is however, altogether different. In these countries usually there are large numbers of people who do not get any employment at all.

Unemployment Defined
Though various definitions have been put forth, yet in general terms it can be said that unemployment is a condition of situation of economy in which society cannot provide jobs to all people who are willing to work. In other words it can be said that the remunerative work is not available to the people for making them meet their both ends. Karl Pribram says that, “Unemployment is a condition of the labour market in which the supply of labour is greater than the number of available openings. Similarly Fair Child says, “Unemployment is forced and involuntary separation from remunerative work on the part of normal arcing time, at normal wages and under normal conditions”. From many other definitions which have been given by our sociologists, one thing emerges that unemployment is a condition in which society fails to provide remunerative jobs to the people who have will, desire and capacity to work.

Forms of Unemployment
Unemployment can be due to circumstances, which are in the control of the individual, and then it is called subjective employment. But when unemployment is due to the causes nor within the control of the individual it is called objective unemployment. Unemployment can be due to depression in trade or economic depression and inflations, and then it is called cyclical unemployment. But when the unemployment is due to closing of seasonal industries we may define it as seasonal unemployment. In many cases there is defect in the economic structure of the society and in such cases we all that structural economy. In few employing agencies work is not of regular nature. Usually they throw out the people when the work has decreased. In such cases we call that as sudden unemployment. But in most of the countries there is general unemployment, which means that the society even otherwise fails to provide unemployment in spite of the fact that unfavourable and unexceptional conditions may not occur. It means that under normal times and circumstances people do not get employment.

Unemployment and Social Disorganization
Unemployment aggravates social disorganization it reduces the living standard of the people and forces a person to spend his time in making his both ends meet rather than contributing anything to social welfare and advancement. In many cases it also dislocates harmonious family life and creates frictions in the family.

Unemployment in
Unemployment in Pakistan is one of the developing countries of the world. But unfortunately due to vast and ever-increasing population, nation has not been in a position to provide employment to vast majority of its people. The problem of educated unemployment is still more serious and alarming because that is creating discontentment and dissatisfaction among the core of society. No less serious problem is that of agricultural unemployment.

Causes of Agricultural Unemployment
Pakistan is even today a nation with an agricultural economy. Wit the present rate of development for country cannot think of changing from agricultural economy to industrial economy, at least for sometime to come. Therefore it is essential to study the causes of agricultural unemployment in sociology, because that influences our social life. One of the main causes of agricultural unemployment is that industry is not in a position to provide jobs to millions of its people with the result that they depend on agricultural land, which does not require their services. Thus on the one hand there is pressure on the land, whereas on the other there is unnecessary wastage of manpower resulting in unemployment. Then another reason is that whereas population is increasing, land remains the same. Thus non-availability of land also causes unemployment among the agriculturists. Still another reason is that even those who are engaged on the soil do not find work for the whole year round. They have only seasonal work and when peak season is over, they are without any unemployment. Code of any subsidiary industries for our agriculturists adds to the problem of unemployment and thus the farmers continue to remain in artificial employment in spending their time and resources on unproductive and unfertile land.
One of the serious problems, which result in the unemployment of our agriculturists, is that even today he depends on rain for his cultivation. Inspite of the fact that many dams have been constructed, canals have been dug and water resources have been channelised, still our farmer looks towards sky for rain. Ultimately rains or absence of rains throws him of employment. Though many regions have undertaken consolidation of land programme, yet we find that still the land is scattered and there are uneconomic holdings, which provide only partial employment. Further fragmentation and sub-division of land results in further unemployment. No less is the contribution of old obsolete and unscientific weapons which are unable to provide sufficient produce to those engaged in the profession, thereby providing them full employment. Thus the problem of agricultural unemployment in Pakistan is very grave and serious.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pakistani Courts and their Defects

Sunday, November 15, 2009 - 1 Comment

The function of the police is to apprehend charge and arrest the criminals and suspects. To evaluate the evidence presented before it and to decide about the guilt of the accused and to award them the punishment relative to their offence is the task of the law courts. The courts have to decide the cases and their decisions and strictly determined by the evidence brought before it by the police. Thus we find there is intimate link between court and police. The function of the two is complementary to each other.
The Indian Judiciary operates at four levels, these are hierarchical. They are:
(1) Local Courts
(2) District Courts
(3) High Courts
(4) Supreme Courts

(1) Local Courts – These are the lowest courts which are competent to give punishment and impose fines for petty cases.

(2) District Courts – These courts are higher than the local courts and appeals against the decisions of the local courts are heard by them. Serious cases come before it directly and these courts are presided over by the District judge.

(3) High Courts – In each state there is one high Court presided by the Chief Justice and having as many judges as there are courts of appeal and also take up cases directly. Mostly they are engaged in deciding the cases in which an appeal is made against the decision of the lower court. High courts are competent to issue writ. In certain cases their verdict is final but in other appeals can be made to Supreme Court against their decisions.

(4) Supreme Courts – This is the Highest Court of the country and it is a court of appeal and record. It has a chief Justice and about 15 judges. They are the men of highest judicial competence. This court hears appeals and also takes up certain cases direct. The decision of the Supreme Court can not be challenged if it has been handed down by the full bench.

Defects of Indian Judiciary
The Pakistani Judiciary is the gift of the British. The British had a policy and the judiciary mirrored. It but with the changed times this system is showing its deficiency. It needs overhaul in the light of modern conditions and needs.

Main Principles of the Origin of Criminal Law

In modern times the law regarding crimes is clear and well defined; there is no element of ambiguity in it. However, this was not so in the olden days; therefore, the question that naturally crops up for consideration is how did criminal law originate the develop. As a matter of fact there is no particular event which accounts for the origin of the criminal law. Regarding the origin and development of the criminal law there is no recorded history; only there are different opinions and guesses in this regard. Due to this variety of views regarding the origin of the criminal law, there have come up various schools of thought. Following are the main viewpoints or schools of thought about the origin of Criminal Law.

(1) Classical Theory – According to Classical Theory the origin of criminal law is in the conception of tort. A tort is different from crime because whereas the crime is a dispute between the individual and the state, the tort is a dispute between individual and individual. In ancient times when an individual felt that his rights were infringed, he would make personal effort to settle the matters and try for compensation. Later on, with the development of the collective consciousness, people started calling these acts as crimes against the community and gradually things came to a pass when rules were formed which formally declared these acts criminal and thus was the criminal law born.
The classical theory may have some valid points but it fails to account for many facts. As Sutherland very aptly points out, “This theory is inadequate, however, as a general or universal explanation of the criminal law”. This theory has over-emphasized the individual and tired to find the origin of collective consciousness through individual consciousness; but there cannot be individual consciousness without the social consciousness because the idea of individual follows rather than precedes the collective.

(2) Crystallization of Mores – According to this theory the criminal law has had its origin in the customs and mores of the yore. In order to appreciate this theory it is essential to under stand the meaning of the term custom. The custom is an accepted response to certain definite social situation. These customs develop gradually and keep modifying in response to altered situations. Man is a creature of habit. Men living in a particular social situation develop certain common habits. It is these common habits which alter on take the form of customs. When the idea of social welfare gets attached to the customs these are called mores or traditions. Thus the traditions when they develop, become all embracing and society is concerned about their break and observance. Any breach is looked upon seriously. Their break arouses social resistance and leads to disapproval by the society of these violations and boycott of the person, violating them. The social disapproval and resistance gradually crystallize into criminal laws. The criminal law naturally includes in it the idea of punishment.

The term which traces the development of criminal law in social customs and traditions is a definite improvement upon the classical theory and has great deal of truth in it. However, it can not be considered to be adequate explanation of the origin of criminal law. The modern penal system is definitely a great advance on the customs and these can not offer any explanation of modern industrial laws.

(3) Rational Theory – According to the rational theory the criminal law took its origin from certain ideas of great and original thinkers. In every society, in every crime and at all times there have been some thinkers who have probed deeply with the acuity and sharpness of their intellect in the life of their times. Their penetration into its depth has revealed to them in sudden flashes some striking original ideals which have proved seminal and ushered in revolutionary changes in the society. It is to these thinkers that the society owes the development of criminal. This theory has an element of truth but like the Hero Theory of history it is lopsided.

(4) Conflict of Interests Theory – According to this theory the new ideas are born of the conflicts of interests among different classes. Every society is divided into different classes and there is no conflict of interest among classes. The class which is able to gain dominance declares the activity of other classes as antisocial and therefore criminal. The people who are in control of power want the status quo to continue and whatever is calculated to under mine the status quo is declared criminal. This is a version of Marxian theory and like the general theory of Marx it is one sided.

Criminal Law and its Chief Elements

In the science of Criminology, it is very essential to study the criminal law. Besides, no adequate understanding of the crime or the criminal is possible without having a prior under standing of the criminal law. This will be appreciated if we remind ourselves that the meaning and scope of crime is determined and guided by the constitution of the criminal law. Nude dancing or even sexual intercourse in cinema and theatre does not constitute crime in many European countries, while it is definitely criminal in India. Thus what is crime or not crime is governed by the criminal law of the land. There are so many acts which may be regarded immoral and perverse but are perfectly normal and constitute non cognizable offences. For example, copulation of some one with his secretary will be regarded immoral by many; yet it constitutes no crime. If an adult woman is forcibly raped but in court of law she declares it was through her consent, there is nothing criminal. Thus we can appreciate the intimate connection between criminal law and the crime. What Shakespeare said about good and bad: there is nothing good or bad only thinking makes it so-applies, mutatis mutandis to crime and criminal law. There is nothing criminal except what the criminal law declares it to be.

Definition of Criminal Law

According to Sutherland, “The criminal law is a body of specific rules regarding human conduct which have been promulgated by political authority, which apply uniformly to all members of the classes to which the rules refer, and which are enforced by punishment administered by the state”.

Essential Features of Criminal Law

The criminal laws are different from other laws. Some laws are determined by the customs and traditions of the society, community, family or group. Indeed, these laws are rules and cannot be said to be law in the regular sense of the term. The criminal laws are of some special type and pertain to the individuals in a particular field of activity. The laws have dual aspect: one is theoretical and the other is the practical. The theoretical aspect is concerned with the laws passed by various legislative assemblies, provincial and central. The legislative assemblies formulate, legislate, amend and repeal these laws. The practical aspect is concerned with police and law courts. Their function is executive and judicial. The function of the police is the implementation of the law and the maintenance of law and order. The function of the courts is to decide what is criminal according to law and to decide the amount of punishment due to particular act. Following are the main elements of the criminal law:

(1) Political Authority,
(2) Uniformity and Regularity,
(3) Specificity,
(4) Enforcement and Punishment

(1) Political Authority – Every law must have the backing of political authority: and the criminal law is no exception to this general rule. Without political authority there can be no conception of the criminal. The political authority, as expressed in the forms of legislative bodies, is responsible for formulating the law and getting it the requisite sanction of the political authority, that is, getting it passed in the legislature houses and thus making it a law or an act which would have the force recognized by the executive and judicial authorities.
There may however be certain societies where the political authority is concentrated in one person as in the case of monarchy or dictatorship. In tribal societies this authority lies with the tribal chief.

(2) Uniformity and Regularity – An ideal law must have a uniform application to citizens and should make no distinction based on sex, caste, creed, status or religion. If a law makes such distinctions it is not a law but a whim.

(3) Specificity – The criminal law pertains only to a field of activity which may be said to be limited to violations or transgressions of the law. The criminal law is not about observance but break of law. Thus it is limited to a specific field.

(4) Enforcement and Penalty – Now law is worth the paper on which it is transcribed if there is no authority to enforce it and no authority to punish its violation. This means that besides legislative aspect, the law must also have executive and judicial aspects as well. According to Jhering, “A legal rule without coercion is a fire that does not burn, a light that does not shine”.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Types of Criminals

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 0 Comments

There are numerous types of criminals. As a matter of fact very many types of persons may be termed criminal from different types of perspectives and points of view. Under these circumstances, it is extremely desirable to classify criminals in order to make an exhaustive and scientific study of the criminals. Various scholars have made this classification from their respective standpoints and theoretical orientation. Some of the important classifications are as follows:
Lombroso’s Classification
Lombroso has made the following classification of criminals, based on traits and features of the criminals.
(1) Born Criminal-There is certain persons who take to crime without any objective provocation or crime-inducing circumstances or conditions. Besides, punishment does not deter them from repeating the crime. Such persons are to be regarded as born criminals that are they seem to inherit a mental framework or constitution which predisposes them to crime. Mostly such persons belong to the families which have adopted crime as a profession. However, with the exception of precocious sexuality, it is difficult to imagine any physical characters which man inherits and which may determine that a man will be a criminal. Therefore the idea of born criminal muse is regarded as farfetched.
(2) Casual Criminals-Some persons are not criminally disposed and do not commit crimes often; but under certain circumstances they feel the impulse to crime which is not always successfully resisted. For example, in an exclusively male or female group, a person may feel tempted to vent his restrained sexuality through homosexuality. He may avoid it but sometimes may fall prey to it. Such a person is casual criminal. The same is the case of treasurer in a bank who removes money from the treasury. The casual criminals may be further subdivided in three categories.
(A) Habitual Criminals-These persons do not inherit bad influences but in course of their lives develop some dirty habits which force them into criminality. Thus a person who takes to drink or opium may later commit criminal acts to procure these. Similarly, most of the sex offenders are habitual criminals.
(B) Criminoloid-The term criminoloid means ‘like a criminal’ or ‘having resemblance with the criminal’. From this it is clear that a criminoloid is not an original criminal but is a non-criminal who has adopted criminal activity. A criminoloid is not a born criminal; he is as a matter of fact, on the middle of the criminal-non-criminal scale. He is neither fully a criminal nor fully honest man. Such persons usually commit crime due to pressure of circumstances, and the nature of their crimes is not very grave.
(C) Pseudo Criminals-These persons are not true criminals. They have neither any inborn tendency towards crime nor are neither they under the influence of any bad crime-inducing habit nor still they like committing crime. If anything they are averse to crime. But if they still do something criminal this is on account of acute pressure of circumstances which leaves them with no choice. For example, a bank employee who somehow incurs heavy debts may remove some money from bank with the hope of replacing it soon. Similarly, a man in foreign land deprived of his mate for many months may visit a prostitute. Similarly, many army men during long wars may feel compelled to rape or commit some other sex offence.
(3) Sex Criminals-Sex criminals are those who commit outrageous sex acts or outrage the modesty of others. Such persons, under the overpowering sex impulse or the absence of self-control, commit crimes like rape, paedophilia, incest etc.
(4) Epileptic Criminals-The epileptic criminals are as a matter of fact mental patients. These persons commit crime due to mental imbalance and consequent loss of self-control over one’s impulses. Due to lack of restraint, these persons are found committing a variety of crimes from time to time.

Important Classifications of Criminals

Ancient Classification
According to the old classification of crimes, there are only two types:
(1) Felonies
(2) Misdemeanours
In this classification only two divisions of crimes are recognized. One is the serious and gave crimes and the other is minor or light crimes. In ancient days the quantum of punishment was taken to be the criterion of crime; and on the basis, those crimes which carried the punishment of death and life-sentence were called felonies and all the rest were treated as misdemeanours. According to Sutherland, “The more serious (crimes) are called felonies and are usually punishable by death or by confinement in a state prison; the less serious are called misdemeanours and are usually punishable by confinement in a local prison or by fines”. The classification of Sutherland has been subjected to attack from many points of view. The chief criticisms of this classification are the following:
(1) Unclear: This classification is vague and nuclear; it not possible to distinguish always very precisely between serious and non serious crimes. Sir James Stephens has given few concrete instances to prove the inadequacy of this classification. Granted the murder is a grave crime, then how would we evaluate the action of a man who spreads pollution which leads to the outbreak of an epidemic resulting in the death of many persons. Ordinarily, it will be treated as a misdemeanour being only a violation of certain municipal rules for many more murders than a single act of killing. Again, take the case of drug adulterators. Usually adulteration is treated as a light offence but as a matter of fact it is far worse than murder. Again rape is a felony; but maltreatment of wife by husband is a misdemeanour, whereas, as a matter of fact rape is only physical violation of temporary nature, it is a social sigma which is the reason that the victim feels shattered; but there may be series of rapes in marriage coupled with psychological abuse. But maltreatment of wife is considered an offence of minor nature though it has all the elements of rape plus more. Therefore, the classification of crimes into felonies and misdemeanours is unscientific, imprecise and nuclear.
(2) Lack of Universality: What is a felony in x-land may be only a misdemeanour or even no offence in y-land. That is to say that the distinction between felony and misdemeanour is not absolute. For example, bigamy is a serious crime in Christian countries but is no offence in Muslim Countries. Homosexuality is felony in India but no offence in UK. Keeping a brothel is unlawful in India but lawful in Pakistan. Therefore the criterion of punishment lacks universal applicability.
(3) Classification of Criminals Impossible: It is not possible to make a rational classification of criminals upon the above basis. According to the above criterion, a person committing felony is a more serious criminal but this may not be so.
Hayes classification: Hayes recognizes three chief categories of crime, these are:
(1) Crimes concerning Property: Theft or misappropriation by any means of goods belonging to other persons and on which the person committing theft has no right or claim is a crime against property. The thefts of these types include stealing, dacoity, robbery, defalcation, pick-pocketing and misuse of public funds. All these crimes are termed by Mr. Hayes as property crimes; they are condemned by both the law passed by the government and the moral law.
(2) Crimes against the person: Those crimes which involve physical hurt or bodily pain by any means are crime against the person. These crimes include assault, murder, rape etc.
(3) Crimes against Social Order: The acts which result in social upheaval or disorder or undermine the established laws and values of a society are crimes against social order. These include violation of traffic laws, non-payment of governmental dues, public nuisance, malicious propaganda, unlawful agitation and communal riots etc.
Bonger’s Classification
The classification of Bonger takes motive as the criterion of classification of crimes:
(1) Political Crimes-The seeking of power is a legitimate aim of any political group in a democratic set up; but there are limits on the means which may be adopted for this purpose. Sedition, incitement to violence, alliance with an alien power, organization of violence etc, are means not admissible is any far as these are violative of the law. Any person or group taking recourse of these indulges in political crimes.
(2) Economic Crimes-To hurt the economic and financial interests of others either by theft or by financial malpractices is an economic crime. Sometimes, certain groups seduce the labour of an industrial house or eliminate from competition the rival business group. This type of activity is included in economic crimes.
(3) Sexual Offences-The offences included in this category pertain to sex. Included in this category are crimes like rape, prostitution, homosexuality, adultery etc. The sex acts which are recognized as cognizable offences by law constitute sexual offences. From this it will be clear that it is quite possible that the same act may constitute sex offence in one country but not in other. For example, in ancient Egypt, even incest was considered normal. Today sex exhibitionism in cinema and theatre is considered normal in West but in India it constitutes a sex offence.
(4) Miscellaneous Crimes-The crimes which are covered by any of the above three categories are relegated by Mr. Bonger to the category of extra or miscellaneous crimes. Criticising Bonger’s conception of crime and the classification of crimes, Sutherland says that “The classification is clearly inadequate”. It is not based on any scientific principle.
Lemert’s Classification
Lemert has divided crimes into three categories. These are:
(1) Situational or circumstantial crimes-In this category are included crimes in which outward situation or circumstances are primarily responsible for the production of crime. There are situations under which man is forced into criminally he is unwilling. For example, in a procession of striking even though teachers, there may be sudden provocation from police as a result of which some of them, though essentially of peaceable nature, indulge in brick-bating or some other violent act. As a matter of fact, from moral point of view these should not be considered crime but these are crime according to law. Lemert has himself explained the essential nature of these crimes. According to him, “External stresses and strains temporarily disrupt a person’s equilibrium and induce tensions which are expressed in criminal behaviour”. Usually, due to extreme poverty man is lead to commit many a crime.
(2) Planned or Deliberate crimes-These are the crimes which are committed by the person voluntarily and after careful deliberation. The white collar crimes are as a rule planned and deliberate. Such persons have no moral compunction about what they are doing; they tend to regard it as an inevitable part of their existence all enterprises, their argument runs, are more or less risky and the greater the gain the greater the risk. Therefore they regard punishment, if convicted, as a risk which is part of the game. There are professional crime syndicates who always keep an army of hired men to serve jail sentences. Even some prostitutes accept their work as a profession suited to their talents. Their prostitution is therefore deliberate.
(3) Crimes involving confidence-There are certain crimes which may be regarded primarily as crimes of deception and crimes of confidence. A treasurer in bank, a government employee, a minister or a businessman all are expected to follow a code of conduct and be true to their oaths of allegiance. An army general who colludes with enemy forces and leads to downfall of his own country is a treacherous man; a big business executive who recruits a pretty girl not for her intellectual talents but for her willingness to offer her bodily talents against service is also guilty of the crime of confidence.

Crime and the Characteristics of Criminals

Definition of Crime
In defining crime, Elliot and Merrill have written, “Crime may be defined as anti-social behaviour which the group rejects and to which it attaches penalties”. In this way all those activities for which society lays down punishments are crimes. Those activities to which no punishments attach may be sinful but they would not be criminal. But some thinkers have deemed it fit to call all anti-social activities criminal, and have defined it comprehensively. According to Karl Mannheim, “Crime is an anti-social behaviour”. This constitutes a definition of crime from the social viewpoint. From the legal viewpoint, violation of law constitutes crime. In the words of Gillin and Gillin, “From the legal point of view, crime is an offence against the law of the land”. This definition does not include those anti-social activities which are not prohibited by law. Actually criminality should attach both to anti-social activities and to activities forbidden by law. According to Krout, “A crime is an act opposed to the established attitudes of a group as defined by law at a given time or place”. This definition of crime is more appropriate.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Importance of Criminology

Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 5 Comments

Each discipline is unique and has especial value and importance. Some disciplines have value and importance primarily in theoretical sense, whereas others are important for their practical value. The science of criminology is important and valuable both in practical and theoretical senses. The science of criminology is related to society and society has been likened to an organism. This fact makes plain and evident the value and significance of the science of criminology. The scope of criminology is the various social crimes and disturbances in their each and every aspect. As the science of medicine studies various ills and their cures which afflict human body, in the same manner criminology studies ills and their cures of society. The value and significance of the science of criminology is theoretical as well as practical. Its theoretical importance lies in the fact that it investigates and determines the cause of social disintegration. The practical or applied aspect of this science is that besides determining the factors and causes of social disintegration, it also studies the ways and means of preventing or eradicating these evils, that is, remedial measures. This multifaceted value and significance of criminology is brought out by following facts.

Theoretical significance of Criminology

Explaining the theoretical significance of the science of criminology the eminent criminologist Sutherland writes; “This knowledge will contribute to the development of other social studies and through other social studies it will contribute to efficiency in general social control.”

The foregoing observation of Sutherland is extremely significant as it brings into relief the theoretic importance and value of the science of criminology. The chief theoretic benefits of criminology are the following:

(1) Knowledge of Crime-Data-In every social community and group, there are always some criminals and incidence of crime. It is not humanly possible to bring about an ideal republic or perfect society in which every chance of criminal behaviour has been eliminated. The nature of crime and criminals may undergo sea-change, but the very existence of crime cannot be uprooted. This is not difficult to appreciate. In crime psychosis we have two kinds of factors: personal and social .It is not possible to eliminate the aggressive and acquisitive tendencies from man and, again, it is equally impossible to eliminate all inequalities and anomalies from any society. This is borne out by the fact that even under communist regime crimes are not non-existent. Therefore, given the kinds of men and societies known to man, we can safely say that each society, even a social group, harbours some criminals. A systematic, scientific and unbiased study of criminology furnishes us with factual, true and realistic data about crimes and criminals; this results in increase in our knowledge. By studying criminology we also learn about the kinds or types of crimes and criminals and also about the modus essendi as well as modus operandi of crimes. This enables us to compile what may be called taxonomy of crime, that is, an extensive and deep classification of crimes. We also learn about the causes and reasons of criminals behaviour.

(2) Penal Legislation-The science of ___________ upon the penal legislation, that is, it helps formulation of rational and humane laws regarding crime and punishment. Criminology attempts both extensive and intensive study of crime under all perspectives and by taking into account every possible viewpoint. Thus its analysis and description of crime is scientific, authentic and reliable. This analytical description helps in determination of the exact causes of various categories of crime, and this information, in turn, helps to formulate preventive and remedial laws regarding crime. Besides helping to make laws, criminology also carries out extensive surveys regarding the impact of various laws on the actual incidence of crime. It is found that a particular law, instead of curbing crime, encourages it, the law is amended in the light of fresh evidence. Thus, the various laws regarding prohibition and narcotics are cases in point. In the light of modern knowledge gained by extensive surveys and in-depth studies, there are proposals to declare suicide not criminal. In Denmark and many other civilized nations, pornography has been declared non-criminal. This has had salutary impact upon society. In England, homosexuality among consenting adults is now no longer criminal. Thus we find that constant review of the relationship between crime and law help to make penal laws more and more rational and humane. Even in a highly orthdox society like Indian, abortion has been made non-criminal. There is also growing public opinion in favour of relaxation of obscenity laws in India. Kissing and nudity on screen should be permissible is the view of G. D. Khosla Commission. The rationale behind all such moves is the discovery by Criminologists that greater the repression of natural instincts, greater the thwarting of sensuous pleasure, greater is the incidence of perversions and sadistic crimes. It is better to let people decide what is good for them and as long as this “good” does not contravene the rights of others, it must be allowed. From the above discussion it is plain that the science of criminology goes a long way in rationalizing and humanizing the penal legislation.

(3) Information about White-Collar Crime-To an average man, the nature and number of crimes is quite definite. Asked to enumerate crimes, he will name only murder, assault, dacoity, rape, loot and arson, burglary and theft, sodomy and reduction as the only instances of crime. He may have difficulty in appreciating that maltreatment of one’s cattles, bestiality with them are criminal. But he will certainly be baffled if he is told that misuse of power, nepotism etc; are criminal and equally, if not more, harmful to society than other crimes. However, the not easily recognizable crimes are not considered crime by an average person because they are committed by well-to-do, upper-bracket persona and normally involve little violence. But such acts, whosoever may commit them, are very much criminal. For example, if a man earns a huge ransom by letting out the secrets of someone, he is indulging in black mail. The private secretaries and yalets of top political and finance magnets usually have access to many intimate secrets and there is strong temptation to earn big money by the threatening exposure. Many innocent persons are made victims of this vicious commercial mal practices, for example, under-invoicing, graft etc. To gain some advantage by production of false testimonials is an act of forgery and the crime of forgery is quite widespread. Again, sexual abuse of private secretaries is fairly common in advanced countries. All these are white-collar criminals and their crimes are really criminal activity. The Watergate scandal threatening the office of President Nixon is a classic instance of white-collar crime.

The Practical Importance of Criminology

Apart from having theoretical value and importance, criminology also has much practical use and importance. In the words of Sutherland, “Criminology is concerned with the immediate application of knowledge to the programmes of social control of crime.” Following are some of the specific practical uses of criminology.

(1) Elimination of Crimes-The elimination of crime is one of the specific aim of criminology. It helps society in controlling and eliminating the crime both directly and indirectly. It is most obvious that if one knows the cause of a malady, its cure becomes easy. It is a truism in medical practice that correct diagnosis is more than half the cure. The same holds good in regard to the phenomenon of crime. By the knowledge of the causes of the crime, we can undertake specific measures to remove them.

(2) Helpful in understanding the Psychology of the Criminal-Criminology is practical study. With the help of its knowledge we can easily assess the attitudes and opinions of the criminals. The study of criminology helps us to pin-point the factors responsible for the various crimes, that is, we learn as to how a particular crime is generated. There by we are able to correlate specific crime with specific set of circumstances. Apart form learning about the psychology of crime, the knowledge of criminology helps us to classify the criminals, that is, we are enabled to correlate personal factors like age, family and social background, education and physical environs, physical and mental traits with different types of crime. Thus for example, it may be revealed traits with different types of crime. Thus for example, it may be revealed that sexual crimes are committed, contrary to general impression, by persons with low sex-drive rather than by highly-sexed persons. A prostitute-monger may be consorting with different women so as to cover up the self consciousness and guilt over inadequate performance or he may be doing so in order to receive the thrill of personal quirks and varied techniques of arousal exercise by the professional sex-vendors. These facts make it abundantly clear that the study of criminology goes a long way in helping us to appreciate the psychology of crime and criminal.

(3) Reforms of Criminals-Besides controls, prevention and elimination of crime, it is the important task and responsibility of the science of criminology to device and suggest measures for the reforms and rehabilitation of the criminal. For example, to wean a prostitute from the sale of her bodily wares, we must know how and why she has taken to this profession. In the societies which do not stigmatize such persons and are prepared to accept them, the task is relatively easy. Again, it is easy if the prostitute has taken to this profession from economic hardships and other compulsions but it disgusted with what she is doing. But if, on the contrary, either the society is orthodox or the prostitutes like and enjoy what they are doing, the task of reform is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

(4) Reforms of Evil Forces-Every society are under the influence of certain evil forces and their removal is the concern of every well-meaning member of the society. The science of criminology helps us a great deal in appreciating and understanding these evil forces and, thus, enables us to device ways and means for the effective check of those forces.

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