Understanding the Mind of a Criminal

criminal mindsCriminal behavior is often a complicated topic to discuss. The focus of criminal behavior study is to understand offenders better and answer questions such as – who criminals are, why do they commit an offense, how to they think and what they do – (to predict the future actions and assist law agencies in catching offenders).

For many years, researchers and scholars have interviewed criminals to find out how and why they break the law. On the outside view, violent offenders come in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. However, on a closer inside examination, research finds that they share some traits.

Let us examine some of the biological risk factors that are linked to violence.

Brain Structure and Function

The Amygdala is the part of the human brain involved in aggression, fear and social interactions and it is implicated in a crime. In a neuroimaging study conducted by Dustin Pardini, PhD team at the University of Pittsburgh, it was discovered that man with lower amygdala volumes are more likely to be aggressive and violent.

Acts of crime occur when there is a motive, means and an opportunity. One way to understand criminal behavior is to gain comprehension and knowledge if criminogenic needs. These needs are the traits that are associated with criminal thinking and behavior.

Studies have found that people affected by crime possess some common traits such as;

1. Anti-social values

This is known as criminal thinking. It includes believing that their acts of crime is justified and rationalized. People with anti-social values blame others for the failure and troubles.

2. Criminal peers

People with this trait often have friends associated with criminal activity. Most of their friends are involved with substance abuse including alcohol and drug abuse. Peer pressure and influence often persuades others to get involved.

3. Anti-social personality

Anti-social traits include behaviors that are conducted prior to the age of fifteen and may include skipping school, running away, lying, stealing, possessing weapons, and causing harm and damage to others.

4. Dysfunctional family

Among the most common traits include lack of family support, be it emotional or otherwise. Individuals lacking family support lacks the ability to solve problems amicably, are unable to communicate efficiently and do not possess the ability to express emotions.

5. Low self-control

This trait involves the capacity to control impulsivity and temperament. People with low self-control often so things they didn’t plan in the first place. They fail to think before acting, and their mind is not influenced by the consequence of their actions.

6. Substance abuse

Substance abuse involves the use of drugs and alcohol that significantly affects one’s ability to engage in a meaningful productive life.

It is our responsibility as a society to make every attempt possible to rehabilitate those affected by crime. Lots of people who want to change their lives but don’t know how to go about it. To change one’s criminal behavior, we need to change their brain. By knowing traits that are mostly associated with criminal minds, we can effectively intervene and rehabilitate those in need for transformation.

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