Discussion 1: Offender Typology

 Week 8: Types of Offenders I


Organizing offenders into types, groups, or categories is imperative in the study of criminal behavior, so that the causes of various crimes may be better understood and so that crimes ultimately may be prevented through offender treatment and other undertakings. Each offender group is associated with a particular set of characteristics and behaviors that may include violence, mental disorders, and/or sexual offenses, which stand as major factors when attempting to predict future criminal behavior.

In the next three weeks, you learn the characteristics of the more frequently studied special populations of offenders, beginning this week with mentally disordered offenders, sex offenders, violent offenders, and family violence offenders.

Classifying offenders based on certain characteristics and behaviors may be used as a basis for predicting criminal behavior. For example, the criminal behavior of a sex offender may be explained by environmental factors, social conditions, or neurological factors. Finally, there may be instances where a unique combination of factors accounts for the criminal behavior of an individual in any particular offender group. Thus, it is important for those who study crime and criminal behavior to delve deeply into all aspects of the offender profile rather than only relying on typology.

For this Discussion, select one of the offender groups described in this week’s resources and think about the characteristics and behaviors associated with it. Then, select one biological, psychological, or sociological theory that may be applied to the characteristics and behaviors associated with the offender group you selected, and reflect on how it may account for the characteristics and behaviors.

By Day 3

Post a brief description of the offender group you selected, including at least two characteristics and/or behaviors associated with it. Then, explain how one particular biological, psychological, or sociological theory may account for the characteristics and behaviors you identified, using specific examples.

Note: Put the offender group you described in the first line of your post. You will be asked to respond to a colleague who described a different group than you did.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources.