‘Risk Factors’

Cultural Influence On Crime

Japan collectivistic

One can take many different stances when asked to determine the causes of criminal activity. One area of research that has been gaining popularity views crime as a product of the culture or subculture to which one belongs, rather than strictly blaming it on individual differences. In other words, enculturation plays an important role in the development of criminal behavior; this argument is supported by recent research that will be further discussed, and the disparity in rates of crime between different cultures and subcultures. The purpose of this post is to examine any relevant statistics regarding the differences in violent and nonviolent criminal activity within and between cultures, and to discuss the various theories that have been proposed to explain the reason for imbalance in rates of crime around the world. Variations between the type of crime committed, as well as how it is committed will also be noted as it relates to the topic. Beginning with an analysis of a particular subculture within the United States, which will then lead to cross-national comparisons, the goal of this article is to illustrate how crime is a complicated… Read More

Criminals: Parents Aren’t Always At Fault

does parenting play a role in whether the child becomes a criminal? | Kenneth Padowitz | Criminal Lawyer in South Florida

Parenting and Criminality Mental health professionals have been at the forefront of answering the questions that mortify the rest of us. In what environment and under what conditions did a one-time murderer, serial killer or mass shooter grow up? Among a growing number of factors, the parents of criminals receive a great deal of scrutiny. Could they have played a role in shaping up who the criminal becomes in the future? What else plays a role in determining whether juveniles or adults break the law and are charged with crimes? What We Think versus What Is True For most of us, the answer to the last question is a resounding yes. The assumption appears to be that good parents turn out good children who become respectable, law-abiding adults and vice versa for bad parents and criminals. The conviction stems from our remedial understanding of human development. The long-held belief is that at birth, children have a clean slate. They are pure, innocent, little cuties like a fertile soil. Therefore, it is the universal duty of parents all over to instill right training, much like a farmer planting… Read More

Deep Connection Between Terrorism and the Criminal Personality

Deep Connection Between Terrorism and the Criminal Personality | Broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

The Wide Scope of Terrorism Terrorism to the average Joe takes a racial and ethnic dimension. Technically, though this is a misrepresentation and terrorism is far more expansive. According to the U.S. Code, terrorism, regardless of its form refers to acts with intent to coerce or intimidate a civilian population. Going by this definition, most criminals operate as terrorists. The victims they terrorize may be as specific as one person or as widespread as an entire country. Terrorism takes different forms. A man guy battering his wife is a terrorist as the wife feels desperate, trapped, threatened, and intimidated. In 2002, John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized the population a large swath of the US stretching from Baltimore to Richmond. Their chose act of terrorism was random sniper takedown of complete civilian strangers. Their spate resulted in 10 fatalities and 3 people wounded. Residents cowered in fear based on the uncertainty of who was next on the makeshift hit list. Walking Down Memory Lane Therefore, there exists a deep-seated relationship between terrorism and the criminal personality. In fact, it appears that the criminal personality feeds off… Read More

Juvenile Sex Offender: Myth versus Reality

juvenile sex offender registration | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

Busting the Myth It goes by different apothegms, “Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior,” “A ticking time bomb,” “Old habits die hard”… Whatever form it takes, the idea is simple and generalized. That one who has committed an offense before is more likely to commit the same offense again. It even has a fancy word “recidivism.” The idea permeates the public space. Such that just about any average person on the street would accept that any juvenile arrested for a sex offense poses a significant or high (depending on who you converse with) public safety risk and would very likely be a sex offender in his or her adult years. It is a feeling that has been watered and nursed by the media and informal chatters. The fact is, that is not accurate. To prove the inaccuracy of the widely held public opinion, an authority figure on juvenile delinquency, Michael Caldwell went all in to ascertain the accurate risk estimate of a juvenile arrested for committing a sex offense. Caldwell, an academician at University of Wisconsin in Madison, took up the pedantic task of… Read More

Portrait of Women as Criminal Offenders

broward criminal lawyer Kenneth Padowitz

The public has a common perception of “the criminal”, which is portrayed, primarily by the media and the entertainment industry, as a bulky, rugged man who is hiding out there in the dark ready to grab an unsuspecting victim. However, if one will take a deeper look, these influential institutions may be overlooking a vital change happening on the ground – that women are joining the ranks of criminal offenders, and that they too deserve to occupy a significant space in the portrait. Men as Crime Perpetrators Rule of thumb is: if it is a crime, the criminal is a male. Statistics show that men commit 75.6% of recorded crime, with the violent ones being committed because the criminal has aggressive tendencies. Research also noted violent crimes are committed by men who hailed from communities where women notably outnumber men. The explanation is men from those communities are likely to compete for female attention and families in those places are run by a single parent. Psychology experts believe that the competition theory among men may be applied among women offenders, although the application is not exactly similar.… Read More

Environment’s Role in the Proliferation or Deterrence of Crime

deterrence of crime | Broward criminal lawyer kenneth padowitz

The environment does not have any hand in producing crime, but it can significantly reinforce or deter criminal acts. Small towns with close social interaction tend to have lower crime rates than big cities where people barely know their neighbor. It is not so much the “bond” that people form that deters criminality, but the sense of being closely watched by the community. According to a tour director in Moorea, a small island in French Polynesia, there is very little crime in the island because “everyone knows everyone else’s business.” It implies that criminal acts are limited because monitoring comes from the community itself. The community seems to have greater influence on the criminal than his or her immediate family. A teenager can become involved in petty crimes at first, and then become a career criminal in just a few years even if all the other members of the family do not have any criminal records. If the environment does not have enough security, surveillance, and punishment, crime can flourish rapidly as criminals will find that they can get away with crimes. Add the environment’s size and… Read More

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY | THEORIES AND RISK FACTORS – PT. 5

delinquent peer influence | Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Kenneth Padowitz

While individual and family risk factors play a larger role early in life, negative peer influences usually begin to play an increasingly larger role in early adolescence. A relationship between delinquent peer influence and juvenile offending is generally well established throughout the field of forensic psychology; what is unclear though is whether or not this association with delinquent peers is a result of antisocial tendencies developed earlier in life, or if it actually contributes to the overall risk of developing delinquent behavior. It has been suggested that deviant peer groups do in fact influence non-delinquent individuals to become delinquent. According to the National Youth Survey of juveniles ages eleven to seventeen, a common pattern that was seen was a child switching from a non-delinquent peer group to a deviant peer group, resulting in the commission of various minor offenses, and in some cases more severe crimes. Gang membership is also strongly correlated with self-reported criminal activity. It is suggested that the association of peer groups with antisocial tendencies leads to a greater suspiciousness of other people’s motives, resulting in further hostile and aggressive responses to those outside… Read More

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY | THEORIES AND RISK FACTORS – PT. 4

criminal attorney | Juvenile delinquency risk factors

Environmental factors, which include both static and dynamic factors, are also believed to play a significant role in the proper development of a child.It was found that low-income children had a significantly higher risk of antisocial behavior before the age of 5, leading to criminal behavior in adolescence in mixed neighborhoods, compared to those living in concentrated poverty. Non-poor children are also associated with higher levels of antisocial behavior when living in mixed neighborhoods, compared to children surrounded by equally affluent families. Although these individuals are at higher risk of becoming delinquent, the majority of children living in poverty or mixed neighborhoods do not grow to become juvenile offenders; this is referred to as resiliency, a term used to describe an individual’s ability to grow into an adult who lives a socially acceptable lifestyle, despite the exposure to any negative risk factors. Family factors can include parenting practices, divorce, and family size. It has been found that the families of children with conduct problems are eight times more likely to be involved in disciplinary conflict, and are half as likely to engage in positive interactions with parents… Read More

JUVENILE DELINQUENCY | THEORIES AND RISK FACTORS – PT. 3

criminal defense attorney | Risk factors for criminal behavior

In the field of forensic psychological research, not only is importance given to the neurophysiological, cognitive, and psychosocial components of juvenile delinquency that were discussed above, but interest is also given to the various ecological and individual, risk and protective factors of juvenile offending. Risk factors are often used to assess the probability of an individual becoming delinquent, and the chances for repeat offending. Risk factors generally include any individual or environmental factors that increase the likelihood of negative behaviors or juvenile offending. Protective factors are thought to decrease the likelihood of negative behavior, or mitigate the negative effect of certain risk factors. Some factors are considered to be static, which are unable to be changed, such as the increased risk of criminal behavior in the male gender; others are dynamic factors, which can potentially be changed, such as inadequate parenting or discipline. The number of factors, and the length of exposure to them, determines the severity of the impact on the child’s behavior. Individual factors are often thought to be the most influential during early years, and include the individual’s temperament. Low intelligence, and the existence of… Read More

Juvenile Delinquency | Theories and Risk Factors – pt. 2

Juvenile brain development | Criminal Attorney Kenneth Padowitz

Judgment theory identifies three developmental factors that explain why, when compared to adults, adolescents tend to make poorer choices: risk perception and preference, peer influence, and temporal perspective. According to judgment theory, adolescents are more sensitive to reward, and less sensitive to the idea of potential punishment or harm. As an individual develops and becomes a young adult, the idea of potential harm or future loss begins to play a larger role in the decision making process. Throughout adolescence, the way peers perceive an individual becomes increasingly important, placing the individual at a higher risk of being negatively influenced compared to adult counterparts. Furthermore, adolescents are more likely to identify the short-term benefits, instead of the potential long-term consequences; even when the long-term implications are identified, an adolescent has less capacity to appropriately weigh the short and long-term consequences. Deficits caused by these three developmental factors slowly begin to taper off as the individual reaches adulthood. This may help explain why crime tends to rise in early adolescence, with a peak in late adolescence, and begins slowly fading in young adulthood. The executive function, defined as a… Read More