The Choice Theory: Cesare Beccaria

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The choice theory, as the name suggests, relies on decisions individuals make after weighing the positive and negative outcomes of committing certain actions, before the crime is actually committed. According to Siegel (2012), the choice theory is rooted in the school of Cesare Beccaria. Siegel (20120 also postulated that crime is a decision to violate any law and can be made for a variety of reasons such as need, thrill-seeking or vanity. Status offenders therefore have the choice to indulge in these activities and will engage them given they may not be caught– they do it for the thrill seeking. While those who choose to commit these acts because of peer pressure and bad influences, may become criminals when they turn adults. The social structure theory is the second theory that helps explain status offenses.
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