There are so many pitiful perspectives within the criminal mind that it is very well impossible for any publication to tackle all of them. However there are factors that rate in the top 5 that most researchers agree can account for many pathological, criminal behaviours:
- mental illness – this one is indisputable. If anything, mental illness is pre-programmed by genetics and may well obliterate a criminal’s ability to control or even comprehend her/his own behaviour. I can hear you thinking “but there are many mentally ill people who don’t harm, abuse or kill people so that can’t account for criminal behaviours.” Mental illness, like abuse and isolation, affects different people in different ways. Also, the type and severity of mental illness and whether or not the criminal has access to medicines also impact on criminal behaviour. watch inside the criminal mind
- childhood influences – ouch. This one too seems indisputable. Many criminals, especially rapists and murderers, have horrific childhoods that most of us cannot imagine. Yes, I am aware that many people who are abused as children do not grow up to become criminals, but again, who can explain this phenomenon except to say environmental factors affect different people in different ways? And there is a significant difference in an abusive or neglectful childhood and an utterly unimaginable one. watch childhood of a serial killer
- poverty – yeah I said it. Underprivileged communities are plagued by crime and dysfunctional families. There are a plethora of reasons for this and not every family in a crime-ridden community is dysfunctional, however this is quite rare. Poverty, prostitution, wife and child beating, drugs, evictions, illegitimacy, absent parents, high school drop-outs, and gangs are a fact of life for children living in poverty.
- drug addiction – people suffering a drug addiction will steal, abuse, abandon their families, prostitute themselves, and kill to access drugs or the money needed to buy them. Drugs such as methamphetamine are relatively easy to concoct: it’s base ingredient is common cough syrup. Controlling illicit drugs is virtually impossible: in the previous 30 years an increase of 1400% of prison incarcerations have occurred due to drug manufacturing, possession, use and other drug-related crimes. watch tenn authorities struggle with meth epidemic
- psychopathy – this is not the same as mental illness, as my previous posts about psychopaths attest. Psychopaths or sociopaths lack a conscience; they know right from wrong but do not care about who they hurt or the severity of damage they cause. These are people who live an egocentric existence, with a “what’s in it for me?” perspective. Some are murderers, others are anti-social personalities who commit frauds, establish sweatshops and the like. They may be homeless drug addicts or well-dressed CEO’s. Psychopaths exist in all socioeconomic backgrounds but the main trait they all share is an utter lack of empathy for people’s well-being and rights. watch tactics of manipulative people