Mind
The psyche and crime

The psyche and crime

The term criminology refers to the science that studies crimes, perpetrators, victims, criminal conduct and how crimes can be prevented and controlled.

 

Advertising message This is a complete discipline which includes a theoretical and a practical part and which falls within the criminal sciences together with other disciplines such as victimology, criminal policy, criminal law, etc. Criminology studies the victim’s personality and deviance phenomena, even in non-criminal manifestations. The criminologist’s field of action is very vast, for this reason he must know and be able to use methods proper to other disciplines (psychiatry, medicine, anthropology, sociology, pedagogy, statistics), subjects that are interconnected with criminology and with each other .

Criminology therefore becomes a multidisciplinary science since it studies the criminal phenomenon under various facets and perspectives, integrating the various techniques and knowledge from other disciplines. Criminology is counted as a science, since it meets the systematic criteria that must always be present in a discipline to be considered scientific. Like all sciences, criminology is also based on the observation of reality. Among the other characteristics that make criminology a science is controllability, that is, the sentences can be checked without losing their truth; it has a theoretical ability, that is, it is able to summarize multiple information and data in abstract preposition and united by logical connections. Criminology has a descriptive function since it describes the facts, classifies and taxonomically differentiates the crimes and their perpetrators, but also has an application function since the criminologist’s task is to intervene in a practical way in criminal cases by researching their causes. Etiology, or the search for causes, differentiates criminology from other criminal sciences which often have a normative or preventive function. The causes that determine the deviant behavior can be unifactorial, when there is one main cause compared to the others, or multifactorial when there are several causes that are equivalent in importance. but it also has an applicative function given that the criminologist’s task is to intervene in a practical way in criminal cases by searching for the causes. Etiology, or the search for causes, differentiates criminology from other criminal sciences which often have a normative or preventive function. The causes that determine the deviant behavior can be unifactorial, when there is one main cause compared to the others, or multifactorial when there are several causes that are equivalent in importance. but it also has an applicative function given that the criminologist’s task is to intervene in a practical way in criminal cases by searching for the causes. Etiology, or the search for causes, differentiates criminology from other criminal sciences which often have a normative or preventive function. The causes that determine the deviant behavior can be unifactorial, when there is one main cause compared to the others, or multifactorial when there are several causes that are equivalent in importance.

Another important characteristic of criminology that diversifies is the breadth of the investigation field since not only the crime is taken into consideration, but also everything that revolves around it (offender, environmental factors, social reaction, the victims, the phenomena of deviance, etc.). In some cases criminology is considered as a purely theoretical science since it summarizes complex observations in abstract theories; in other cases it is considered as a theoretical and practical science at the same time, since it seeks to find causal relationships, correlations and variables in its observation. Furthermore, criminology is constantly evolving, it presents a cumulative knowledge in which the old theories and observations are replaced by the more recent ones that correct, modify and amplify those previously elaborated. Criminology has evolved so much that it becomes increasingly useful in the formulation of predictions on the danger of a subject as well as on which and how many crimes will be committed in a specific period of time in relation to the social context. However, these are probabilistic analyzes that cannot be considered truthful with absolute certainty, but allow you to take precautions and implement changes to the penal codes.

Criminal sciences can be divided into two branches, namely the actual criminal sciences, which study the problem of crime, and the sciences which are connected to criminology but which study not only the criminal aspect but what derives from it and what it arose. In addition to criminology, the first group includes:

The disciplines belonging to the second group instead include:

Criminology uses anthropological and sociological studies to identify the causes of crime. Anthropological studies concern the organic, psychological, motivational, psychosocial factors that may have induced the behavior of those who committed the crime, also taking into consideration the microsocial factors in which the personality developed. In the field of sociology, on the other hand, macrosocial factors capable of influencing the outbreak of crime are evaluated. We can say that criminogenesis takes place according to three methods:

Clinical criminology uses the knowledge of general criminology to each offender in order to identify the microsocial environmental factors that have influenced him and is useful for establishing the interventions to be implemented for resocialization. Clinical criminology intends to reintegrate the offender into society, unlike criminal anthropology whose goal is to defend society. Criminal psychology is also based on the same approach as these two disciplines just described; it analyzes the way of being, of feeling, of acting, of the criminal. The morbid conditions of legal relevance are ascertained by forensic psychiatry, thanks to which it is possible, for example, to determine the imputability or danger of the criminal, the incapacity, interdiction or incapacitation in civil law. Criminal sociology arises from a sociological and non-anthropological approach to crime. It is considered as a social phenomenon and verifies the influence that the environment has on individual characteristics, such as age, sex, occupation, race, and so on.

Criminal profiling is an activity that allows you to establish the psychological and behavioral profile of a criminal. The elements necessary for this function correspond to the type of crime committed, to the modus operandi, the crime scene, the type of victim and the possible signature, i.e. those rituals that can be performed by the criminal each time he commits the act. The application of criminal profiling occurred for the first time in the USA in 1980, one of the very first classifications performed by the FBI was the distinction between organized murder, in which the corpse was usually hidden and the criminal left no traces and indications of his work in the crime scene (in such scenes it is assumed that the criminal is equipped with intelligence and control), and disorganized murder, in which the crime scene tells the opposite of the previous one and the criminal often presents psychopathological problems. Just considering this distinction, a crime is considered normal or abnormal based on the psychiatric profile of the person who committed it. Abnormal crimes include those committed by criminals who have mental retardation, by drug addicts, cerebropatics, alcoholics, by those suffering from personality disorders, etc., normal criminals, who correspond to the largest percentage, are instead represented by all subjects who do not have psychic deficiencies. Analyzing crime scenes with the criminal profiling method, it was found that the murder cases, in most cases, correspond neither to organized nor to disorganized murder, but they take some characters from both. Today the criminal profile is applied in cases of murder and attacks, it has been found that, although each individual is considered unique and unrepeatable, there are psychological traits that appear most frequently in criminals: instability, immaturity, impulsiveness, frustration, poor tolerance and poor self-control, etc. However, it is not possible to standardize crime because there are too many variables and criminals are too varied. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. Today the criminal profile is applied in cases of murder and attacks, it has been found that even if each individual is considered unique and unrepeatable, there are psychological traits that appear most frequently in criminals: instability, immaturity, impulsiveness, frustration, poor tolerance and poor self-control, etc. However, it is not possible to standardize crime because there are too many variables and criminals are too varied. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. Today the criminal profile is applied in cases of murder and attacks, it has been found that even if each individual is considered unique and unrepeatable, there are psychological traits that appear most frequently in criminals: instability, immaturity, impulsiveness, frustration, poor tolerance and poor self-control, etc. However, it is not possible to standardize crime because there are too many variables and criminals are too varied. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. there are psychological traits that appear most frequently in criminals: instability, immaturity, impulsiveness, frustration, poor tolerance and poor self-control, etc. However, it is not possible to standardize crime because there are too many variables and criminals are too varied. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. there are psychological traits that appear most frequently in criminals: instability, immaturity, impulsiveness, frustration, poor tolerance and poor self-control, etc. However, it is not possible to standardize crime because there are too many variables and criminals are too varied. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact. What differentiates a criminal from a non-criminal is his conduct, which does not relate to the person he is but to what he does. Most of the time, the crimes are to be considered programmed, that is, the consequence of a choice produced before committing the fact.

Advertising message Unscheduled crime is due to raptus where moral responsibility is less. The law makes a distinction between repeat and primary criminals, the latter have no criminal record against them, while generic repeat offenders are those who commit crimes multiple times regardless of their nature, and specific repeat offenders are individuals who commit crimes characterized by the same indole. Most of the crimes are committed by repeat offenders, since there is a persistence of the motivations and aspects of the personality that determine the choice of crime. Factors that encourage recidivism include environmental situations, economic interest, inefficiency of the judicial penalty,

An American model for profile construction was developed by Ronald Holmes, full professor at Louiseville, and Stephen Holmes, associate professor at the University of Central Florida. Together the two authors developed a new Criminal Profiling model different from the approach intended in the FBI. For R. Holmes and S. Holmes the Offender Profiling must provide:

R. Holmes and S. Holmes believe that the cases in which offender profiling is most useful are those characterized by the existence of torture of victims in cases of sexual assault, evisceration of the victim, sexual activities or post-mortem mutilation, triggers of fires for no apparent reason, of rapes, of ritual or satanic serial crimes and of pedophilia.

The model developed by these authors is based on the following paradigms:

From these principles, the authors deduce the following consequences, which then lead to committing a crime:

One of the techniques that has developed in the context of the psychological profile is the psychological autopsy, that is, a psychological report that is carried out post mortem. There is talk of a psychological autopsy when the identity of the victim is known but it is necessary to establish the dynamics and causes of death, even in uncertain cases. The aim is to reconstruct the retrospective of a now disappeared person and the causes and dynamics that led to his death, in order to narrow the circle of hypothetical culprits. With the reconstruction of the victim’s mental state, information can be acquired on the same, moreover elements can be detected that could indicate any suicidal acts. The psychological autopsy involves several areas of retrospective investigation that have the function of reconstructing the life of the victim,

In Italy the Unit for the Analysis of Violent Crime (UACV) of the police uses a particular technique of psychological profile (in analogy with the psychological profile there is also the geographical profile, created by David Canter, to try to locate the geographical area of belonging to the offender).

The psychological profile is probabilistic in nature, therefore it cannot form proof (which occurs in Italy in the trial). It starts and is consumed in the investigation phase, it does not enter the process.

To resolve a violent crime, investigators must have at least in hand: a confession or a witness or material evidence. The profile is used to direct the investigations in order to obtain at least one of these elements.