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Application - Crime

Learning Aims

1. Describe the effects of punishment and deterrents in reducing criminal/anti- social behaviour.

2. Describe the role of rehabilitation in reducing criminal/anti-social behaviour and increasing pro-social behaviour.


Using the resources below I want you to create a presentation, leaflet, letter or speech to educate your local community about the changing nature of punishment and persuade them that a particular route will reduce crime e.g. more punishment or more rehabilitation. Make sure you discuss:

1. the role of punishment and deterrents in reducing criminal/anti-social behaviour.

2. the role of rehabilitation in reducing criminal/anti-social behaviour and

promoting pro-social behaviour.

3. your argument for the best way to reduce crime in your local area.


Psychologists study criminal behaviour and ask the question ' Is it nature or nurture' to gain a better understanding of the causes of crime so that they may take steps to prevent or reduce crime.

If criminal behaviour was something people were born with rather than learned there would be huge implications for how we as a society deal with crime.

Watch this round-up of this unit.

The social learning theory presented the idea that criminal behaviour can be reinforced through rewards. In contrast to this then punishments should act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour. The three main forms of punishment used in the UK are:

1. imprisonment

2. fines

3. community sentences

Often these punishments are made public in order to act as a deterrent to the person re-offending and to others who see the negative consequence of the behaviour and avoid the behaviour.

Here are two useful videos to watch on punishment.

Watch 'What Would a World Without Prisions Look Like?' by the BBC

Read these articles.

Go and research the different types of community sentences in the UK, this is the form that you will be less familiar with and write a short blog post about what you have found out.


However, psychologists have acknowledged that punishing criminals is not enough to reduce crime. Punishment aims to reduce crime but criminals also need to unlearn criminal behaviour and learn pro-social behaviours. Rehabilitation aims to promote these pro-social behaviours and alongside punishment reduce crime.

There are two methods of rehabilitation you need to know about; restorative justice and the use of role models. There are more such as Anger Management Programmes and Social Skills Training.

Go here and read some of the case studies to better understand restorative justice.

Watch the videos below to get a better understanding of rehabilitation.

'Youth crime prevention – Role models (Karyn McCluskey)'

'Teaching Social Skills to Prison Inmates'

'Why education, not punishment, is the solution to reducing crime | John Lonergan | TEDxDublin'

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