Criminal Behavior – Essay Example

Criminal Behaviours: Study of Stability and Continuity Module Criminal Behaviour What does the research evidence on stability and continuity tell us about criminal behaviour?
The persistency in behaviour or style through which a person interacts over time is known as stability (Tibbetts, et al, 2008, p 4). In the study of criminology, stability of criminal behaviour can be explained as behaviour adopted by a person to interact with the world over an extensive time period or who opts to adopt deviant, aggressive and criminal behaviour routinely to interact with people around him. A person’s past is the mirror reflection of his future predictable behaviour. Hence, a person who shows aggressive or violent kinds of behaviours in past consistently, he is more likely to show the same responses when confronted with the same events in future.
The concept of continuity, at first glance, can be confused with stability. However, continuity defines the psychological structures, traits or learned behaviours that are taken a long from one developmental stage to the other (Tibbetts, et al., 2008, p 36). The difference between the two concepts lies in the prediction procedure where stability measures the consistency of criminal behaviours over time on the basis of aggressive behaviours, violent attacks, fights, threats etc. It is also possible that a person shows stability of behaviour when it comes to antisocial trends and models, but shows discontinuity as per past experiences and behaviours which created an changed model for his future actions and reactions ((Tibbetts, et al, 2008).
The concepts of stability and continuity carry an important position in criminology as they provide a better understanding of what kind of behaviour and why has it led to a certain incident. These concepts also help the judge in finding an appropriate judgement to the criminological cases. For instance, an offenders behaviour which led him to be arrested thrice, may direct the judge to take the decision of incapacitation, whereas, if the circumstances suggest continuity, the judge may well decide the case to bring a turning point in the offender’s criminal behaviour.
Tibbetts, S. G., Daigle, L. E., & Wright, J. P. (2008).Criminals in the making: Criminality across the life course. Los Angeles: Sage.