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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

Arguably Minor Misconducts That Were Given Major Punishments

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The Strive for Fair Punishment There was a young man named Tony. At the age of 18, he met and fell in love with a girl whom his friends also knew. While they became really close, it did not occur to him to ask about her age. Their relationship became much deeper and consensual sex was one of the things that happened between them. Their sexually highlighted relationship was soon discovered by the girl’s dad. It became clear to Tony that he was having sex with a 17-year-old girl. Of course, the girl’s father was enraged and sought to put Tony in jail. Through statutory rape charges, the young man was detained in an adult detention facility. The girl’s father also made the complaint heavier by accusing Tony that he knew that the girl was a minor right from the start. Tony’s detention in the facility was because of the fact that everything happened on a weekend. His parents hired legal counsel. However, when they went to the detention center, they were informed that the young man had been transferred already to an unknown county jail. Their… Read More

Ex-Criminals as Counselors?

ex offender counseling other criminals | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Broward Criminal Lawyer

An irresponsible person can attempt to counsel another person on how to be responsible; but this just isn’t likely to end up successfully. How can anyone teach someone to be something if that person doesn’t even practice what he preaches? This is very true, especially if a person wants to teach values to another person. Most people think that criminals just can’t possibly teach other criminals to be better people because they can’t even do that for their personal growth. This is true in a sense, because teaching someone to be responsible even if you are widely known for being an irresponsible person would be considered some sort of hypocrisy. Who would follow you if people knew that you don’t even follow your own teaching? The teacher, in order to be effective with his goal, must be a good example of his teachings. This does not, however, mean that “ex-offenders” or people who have criminal records cannot become counselors to effect changes in society. Ex-offenders have firsthand experience of the hardships in prison life. They have every right to teach criminals how to change their lives for… Read More

Emotional Extremes Of A Criminal Not Necessarily An Emotional Disorder

A lot of criminals or social offenders are characterized by quick changes in their moods, from extremely high to extremely low. These changes in moods can happen frequently — even within a single day of a criminal’s life. He or she may appear to be elated at one time, feeling that he or she is in control, but in a short span of time, will just snap out of it and become sad and bad-tempered. These quick changes in moods may be seen by others as an emotional disorder that needs medical attention. Realistically speaking, if a professional were to look into a criminal’s mind, he or she will soon determine that a criminal’s quickly changing moods may really because of his or her unrealistic expectations of the people around him or her and of himself or herself. Offenders commit such mistakes of setting improper expectations and when he or she commits crimes, it is because he or she thinks there is something wrong with other people, not with himself or herself. He or she expects other people to behave the way he or she expects them… Read More

Should We Be More Concerned With Prenatal Exposure In The Prevention Of Crime?

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Crime and violence has existed throughout human history, and the search for answers as to what causes such behavior has lead to a variety of proposed theories. Criminal behavior is often associated with a variety of social and environmental risk factors that people are exposed to throughout life; lack of education, unstable family life and poverty are some of the most common examples. According to this perspective, crime is a result of a combination of these risk factors that people are exposed to in their lifetime. The purpose of this post is to explore another perspective, which emphasizes the role prenatal exposure to environmental and biological substances plays in the development of criminal behavior later in life. The effects of lead exposure, and maternal and second-hand smoking will be discussed, along with statistics as they relate to the topic. Additionally, the evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory, which suggests a link between prenatal androgen exposure and criminal behavior, will be examined. The goal of this post is to highlight the complexity of crime, and to help illustrate why one particular theory alone is not sufficient in determining the origin of… Read More

Study Review: Borderline Personality Disorder and Social-Cognitive Deficits

Those afflicted with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are characterized with a variety of cognitive and emotional deficits seen throughout life regarding the regulation of emotions, impulsivity, and maladaptive images of self and others. This often leads to a pattern of unstable interpersonal relationships. Early life trauma and genetics are theorized to play major roles in the development of this condition. Up until recently, research has mostly been focused on the neurophysiological abnormalities that may play a role in the disorder, particularly in the amygdala, insula, and anterior cingulate cortex, all of which are thought to be involved in emotional and affective processing, and the regulation responses to stress. The purpose of this post is to review a study called “Dysregulation between emotion and theory of mind networks in borderline personality disorder”. Rather than strictly look at the physiological aspects of borderline personality disorder, researchers O’Neill and colleagues instead focus on the potential social-cognitive deficits, including mentalization and theory of mind, while also observing any differences in functional connectivity within the neural networks. Mentalization refers to the process in which people internally and externally interpret the actions of… Read More

Deindividuation | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

Fort Lauderdale Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth Padowitz explores the human phenomenon of deindividuation

Some of our recent discussions have been concerned with topics relating to how individuals tend to underestimate the role of environmental or situational influences on behavior, and to overestimate individual personality factors, when concerning other people. To recap, the fundamental attribution error is a term, which refers to the common human error in which people tend to underestimate situational influences and overestimate individual personality factors, when explaining behavior. We also looked at one example of the fundamental attribution error, crimes of obedience, which is defined as: an act performed in response to orders from authority that is considered illegal or immoral by the larger community. We discovered that this phenomenon can occur in various circumstances of violence, even in cases of nonviolence including white collar crime or government scandal such as Watergate. This post will explore the concept of deindividuation, which is based on the classic crowd theory in the book The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind by Gustave Le Bon. Deindividuation tends to refer to the fact that when people are placed into groups or surrounded by a crowd, many people seemingly lose their sense of identity… Read More

Crimes of Obedience

milgram's study of obedience | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | DUI Attorney

In my last post, we discussed a psychological term, the fundamental attribution bias, and were able to determine how it affects the way people make judgments about others. To recap, the fundamental attribution error is a term, which refers to the common human error in which people tend to underestimate situational influences and overestimate individual personality factors, when explaining behavior. This post will focus on the phenomenon of crimes of obedience, which is defined as: an act performed in response to orders from authority that is considered illegal or immoral by the larger community. This phenomenon can occur in various circumstances of violence, and even in cases of nonviolence including white collar crime in the corporate world. An example of crimes of obedience within a nonviolent political context could be Nixon’s Watergate scandal. In summary, this was a highly publicized political scandal occurring in the United States due to the 1972 break-in at the DNC (Democratic National Committee) headquarters in Washington, D.C. One “shocking” study, mentioned in nearly every psychology textbook, which was conducted by Milgram in 1977, demonstrated the effect of obedience to authority in a sample of… Read More

Fundamental Attribution Error

Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney

What is the Fundamental Attribution Error? The fundamental attribution error is a term, which refers to the common human error in which people tend to underestimate situational influences and overestimate individual personality factors, when explaining behavior. Even though most research on crime favors the view that both personality and situational factors play a mutual role in determining behavior, most people neglect to realize or acknowledge this. The fundamental attribution error tends to only apply when making attributions about others. When explaining our own behavior, the opposite is true; we tend to discount dispositional factors in favor of situational forces. This is also known as a self-serving bias, in which we tend to give credit to our personality traits when referring to something good about ourselves; when referring to bad things or events, we blame external situational forces. For example, if we were to hypothetically ask a group of correctional counselors why they believe certain inmates committed crimes, they would most likely attribute it to personality characteristics: laziness, aggression, negative worldview, etc. If we were to ask the inmates, they would probably blame external forces for their problems,… Read More

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