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Many criminal justice practitioners say that theory has a
bad name, therefore in their own minds ‘theory’ means an irrelevant anonym of
‘fact’ (Akers, 1999). Back in the late 1500’s ‘theory’ was
used to be able to explain a theme or a concept, however by the 1630’s scientists
began to use the word to describe it as an explanation. The explanation would
be based on observation and testing. (Akers,
1999). Theoretical criminology
explain theories of the different approaches to why and how crime occurs by
examining diverse facts related to criminal behaviour, crime and punishment.
The theories used are individual and social theories (Cote, 2002).  Social theories are analytical social
frameworks used to examine social phenomena. This type of theory looks at ideas
about the ways that society change and develop methods of explaining social
behaviour. Looking at contemporary social theory looks at the nature of social
life, the relationship between self and society and the structure of social

Ivan Nye published a study in 1958 that concluded that
family was one of the most important source of social control for youth (Nye, 1958). From his ideas, he believed
that crime was being committed due to lack of social control. Thereafter doing
research in multiple schools, his findings had showed that a lot of youths came
from homes with having complete freedom or having no freedom at all. In
addition to these findings Jackson Toby who introduced the concepts of ‘stakes
in conformity’ added on to Nye’s research findings stating that this type of
social control is also virtual to adults (Vold,
1998). The social control theory was later developed by Travis Hirschi in
1969. He believed that people were bonded by social groups, social groups such
as urban experience, family, peers, schools and siblings. From this, he concluded
that individuals who were bonded by social groups would be less likely to
commit crimes (Vold, 1998).  The natural tendency to commit crimes is
affected by the degree of control society. From this, it can expert on people
through fundamental social institutions such as school, the community, work and
family. Having strong bonds socialises us to refrain from committing many
criminal acts. This is done by attachment to families and significant others,
commitment to the society’s traditional goals (social status) for example,
having involvement in activities (sports and leisure) and belief that things
are important.

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In relation to modernity, in the modern period society was
all about the truth and the power of scientific rationality. With the risk,
this was knowable, calculable and predictable. However, in the late modernity,
risks are now the complete opposite; irreversible; unpredictable and
incalculable. Relating to contemporary society, risk is global. For example,
technology. A radical change in technology had increased problems in
geopolitical stability and social relationships. Technology is something that
we do in our daily lives, it is a set of administrative systems. Furthermore,
when relating technology to crime and punishment, technology does not improve
the performance of the criminal justice system, but what it does it determine
the form that the criminal justice system takes.  Technology can lead to different ways or
preventing crime, such as using CCTV to capture images and recordings of crime,
number plate recognition systems and many more. However, as I stated before
that technology is not effective towards the criminal justice system, and this
can be shown as nationwide in the UK there are 6 million cameras. Studies show
that 80% of the CCTV images are in poor quality and the Metropolitan Police
found that only one crime is actually solved from having over 1,000 cameras
being installed. (Mydmu, blackboard,
Crime and Punishment in Contemporary Society , 2017)

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