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Criminal Justice: Control Theories

Social Control

Sanction Systems

In his An Introduction to the Principles and Morals of Legislation (1789), Jeremy Bentham proposes that there are four sources from which pain and pleasure eminate and therefore may be used as a "binding force to any law or rule of conduct."  These four sources are: physical, social, religious and political. 

Control Theories

The concept that individuals refrain from crime because they fear the negative consequences or the cost of penalties.  Among the control theories: sanction systems, deterrence theory, rational choice, economies of crime, and social control. 

History of Punishment

Deterrence Theory

Rational Choice

Cornish and Clarke proposed in their book The Reasoning Criminal: Rational Choice Perspectives on Offending that the individual possesses a full understanding of risks and possible benefits of his/her choices and is capable of making a rational choice.