Critically Assess the Contribution of Positivist Approaches to Criminological Thinking.

Different theories for the causes of crime can be categorised in terms of the approach they take. For example, some theories take a classical approach, where people are seen as having free will, and act in a rational way, while others might focus on why people conform rather than commit crimes. This essay will look specifically at theories that take a positivist approach, which try to explain crime in terms of how certain factors may cause people to break the law.

Positivist theories can largely be split into three different approaches: biological, psychological, and sociological; although some theories do cover more than one factor (Hopkins Burke, 2005). The first person to be associated with positivist criminology was Lombroso (1876) who studied crime from a biological perspective (Hayward and Morrison, 2005). Lombroso believed that individuals who had certain physical characteristics which could be observed and measured, were predestined to become a criminal. Based on Charles Darwin??™s (1859) ???natural selection??™ theory of evolution, Lombroso claimed that the physical characteristics of criminals were atavistic, i.e. they looked like throwbacks to previous forms of evolution (Marsh et al., 2006). Some of these features included twisted noses, sloping foreheads, receding chins, long arms, and asymmetrical faces. A study of 383 criminals found that about one fifth of them had one of these features, and over two fifths had at least five of them.

In his later work, Lombroso also took into account sociological factors such as poverty and urbanisation, as well as psychological characteristics, and came up with four categories of criminal (Hopkins Burke, 2005). The first was the ???born criminal??™. These were the people that had atavistic characteristics, and were therefore predestined to become a criminal. The second category was the ???insane criminal??™, in which Lombroso included imbeciles, idiots, alcoholics, epileptics and paranoiacs. Third were the ???criminaloids??™, who had inherent traits that predestined them to criminality, but would only commit crimes when opportunities arose. Fourth, were ???criminals of passion??™, motivated by love, anger, or honour.

One of the main problems with Lombroso??™s research is that the methodology he used was relatively primitive (Hopkins Burke, 2005). First of all, measurements done nowadays would be much more accurate. Also, simply classifying someone as having a twisted nose, for example, is not very scientific, as it does not define how twisted a nose needs to be before it is classified as such. Another issue with this research is that Lombroso only studied criminals, and not non-criminals (Marsh et al., 2006). By not having this control group, it would be impossible to say whether it is just criminals that have atavistic features, or whether people in general have some of these characteristics. In response to Lombroso??™s work, Goring (1913) did his own study in which he compared thousands of criminals to various control groups (Marsh et al., 2006). The study looked for 37 signs of atavism, and he found that there was actually no difference between criminals and the control groups.

Moving on from the idea of atavistic features but still looking at physical, as well as psychological characteristics, Sheldon (1949) proposed that criminality was linked to specific body types (Marsh et al., 2006). He suggested that there were three basic body types, or ???somatotypes??™. The ???endomorph??™ was described as large, round, and chubby, and was extroverted and tolerant. ???Ectomorphs??™ were thin and slender, and were introverted and sensitive. Finally, ???mesomorphs??™ were well developed, muscular, and athletic, as well as competitive, fearless, aggressive, and risk taking. Although some people do have one of these ???pure??™ body types, most will have characteristics of two, or even three, but often one of the types will stand out over the other. Sheldon studied criminals in rehabilitation, and found that they were predominantly mesomorphs, with some endomorphs, and a distinct lack of ectomorphs (Hollin, 1989). This was a different pattern to that found in non-criminal populations.
One problem with this theory is that it ignores the possible link between a person??™s physical characteristics and their social circumstances (Hopkins Burke, 2005). For example, people from poorer backgrounds would more likely tend to be ectomorphs, due to under nourishment, whereas people in jobs that have physical demands may tend to be mesomorphs. If this was so, criminality might occur due to sociological reasons rather than biological ones, as mesomorphs are more able to commit certain crimes such as assaults. An issue with the study itself is that the subjects were taken from a rehabilitation establishment rather than a prison. The problem here is that only certain types of criminals will go into rehabilitation, and therefore white-collar criminals, for example, would have been automatically omitted from the study.

Other biological approaches to positivism take the idea that criminality can be inherited, just like physical characteristics such as eye or hair colour. Studying criminal families was the first method to be used in this approach, and it originated with the work of Dugdale (Hollin, 1989). The reasoning behind family studies is that because biological relatives have a degree of genetic similarity, if criminality is inherited, families with a criminal background should produce criminal offspring. Dugdale??™s (1877) study traced hundreds of members of the Juke family in search of a criminal background (Hopkins Burke, 2005). He found that that a large majority of the family were either criminals or paupers. A subsequent study by Goddard (1914) traced Kallikak family members, and again it was found that the majority were criminals.

One major problem with this type of study is that only one family is being traced. Claiming that criminality is inherited after studying just one family tree seems highly insufficient, as there could be many criminals whose family has little or no criminal past. Another issue is that just because a family has a criminal background, inheritance of criminality may not necessarily be what causes the offspring to become criminal themselves (Hollin, 1989). Other factors need to be taken into account, such as a family history of low income and poor schooling.
More sophisticated research into the inheritance of criminality has been done using twin and adoption studies. There are two different types of twins: monozygotic (MZ) or identical twins, and dizygotic (DZ) or non-identical twins (Hollin, 1989). The genetic difference between these types is that MZ twins share the same genetic structure, whereas DZ twins only share half of their genes. It should also be noted that a parent shares half of their genes with their child. By finding criminals that have a twin, and subsequently finding out if they are also criminal, concordance rates can be measured (Hopkins Burke, 2005). The theory is that if criminality is inherited, then there will be greater concordance between MZ twins than DZ twins, as they share more of their genes.

The first twin study was conducted by Lange (1930), who compared 13 MZ twins with 17 DZ twins (Hopkins Burke, 2005). Results showed a 77% concordance with the MZ twins, and only 12% for DZ twins. This would on the face of it seem like a very significant difference, however, there have been many studies done over the years, and there have been huge differences between concordance rates. For example, Legras (1932) found concordance rates of 100% and 0%, whereas Kranz (1936) found concordance rates of 65% and 53% between MZ and DZ twins respectively (Hollin, 1989). What does seem to be significant is that the vast majority of studies show a higher concordance for MZ twins than DZ twins. The problem with many of these studies is that a low number of pairs of twins are used, probably due to the low number of criminals that have a twin, which could explain why the differences are so vast.

The main criticism of twin studies is that it takes no consideration of possible environmental influences (Hollin, 1989). One possible factor that could lead to higher concordance rates for MZ twins is that the social environments they share are more similar than the DZ twins. MZ twins often have a closer relationship than DZ twins, meaning that they behave similarly, and participate in the same activities. One of the activities they might both participate in could be crime, and if so its cause would be an environmental factor rather than a genetic factor.
One way of finding out how important environmental factors are is by using adoption studies (Marsh et al., 2006). Adoption studies look at people who were adopted at a young age, and find out whether their criminal behaviour is more like that of their biological parents or their adoptive parents. If they are more like their biological parents, it would suggest that genes are more important than the environment, and vice versa with adoptive parents.

A study carried out by Hutchings and Mednick (1977) looked at male adoptees born between 1927 and 1941 (Hopkins Burke, 2005). It was found that 48% of criminal adoptees had a criminal biological father, whereas only 31% of non-criminal adoptees had a criminal biological father. Furthermore, of the criminals, it was found that 18% had a criminal biological mother, and 23% had a criminal adoptive father. Out of the non-criminals, 7% had a criminal biological mother, and 10% had a criminal adoptive father. These results do suggest that inherited characteristics do have more of an influence on criminality than environmental factors. It also suggests that environmental factors do play a part, as more than twice as many criminal adoptees had a criminal adoptive father than non-criminal adoptees.

One problem with adoption studies is that in some cases children are adopted by relatives (Marsh et al., 2006). This means that they would share some similarity in their genes with their adoptive parents. For example, if the adoptive parents were the child??™s aunt and uncle, then they would share a quarter of their genes with one of them. Another issue is that adoption agencies will try to place the child in a family similar to their biological one. Again, this will make it harder to differentiate between the environmental and biological effects.

Moving on from biological theories, a second area of positivism that contributes to explanations of crime is psychology. One of the major names in psychology is Sigmund Freud, and although he did not really propose any specific theories on crime, his work has been the basis of ???psychodynamic??™ theories of crime (Hayward, 2005). Freud suggested that the mind is split into three elements: the id, ego, and superego. The id is entirely unconscious, and the origin of fundamental desires like food, sex, or sleep, as well as for instincts such as that for life or aggression. The id??™s goal is to satisfy these instincts, regardless of social rules or other??™s needs. The superego acts as a kind of moral conscience, and is the origin of feelings like shame and guilt. As a child develops, so does their superego, through social interactions. Finally, the ego acts as a mediator, balancing the id??™s impulses and the superego??™s inhibitions (Hopkins Burke, 2005).

One of the first people to use this psychodynamic approach to explain crime was Aichorn (1925) (Hollin, 1989). After conducting a study on delinquents, Aichorn concluded that social factors alone were unable to explain crime. He argued that many of the delinquents he studied showed signs of ???latent delinquency??™, which was an underlying predisposition that had prepared them psychologically for a lifetime of crime. Aichorn suggested that the cause of latent delinquency was because the criminal??™s superego had not developed properly during childhood, which was due to parental neglect or over-indulgence (Hayward, 2005).

One of the good things about this theory is that it can lead to ideas on how to treat offenders. Aichorn himself suggested that juvenile delinquents should be placed in well-supervised and happy social environments that allowed them to socialize with adults, and therefore develop their superego. The major problem with this theory is that it is very difficult to test scientifically, because it is largely based on unconscious processes (Marsh et al., 2006). Also, it is hard to say whether the id, ego and superego do actually exist. Nevertheless, the idea of their existence does seem fairly plausible.

Another psychologist influenced by the work of Freud was Bowlby (1946), who theorised that there was link between crime and maternal deprivation during infancy (Gadd & Jefferson, 2007). Bowlby studied 44 juvenile thieves in a child guidance clinic, and compared them to non-delinquents of similar age and intelligence who were also in the clinic. He found that in the delinquent group, 39% had experienced complete separation from their mothers for at least six months before they were five, which compared to only 5% for the non-delinquents (Hollin, 1989). From this research, Bowlby concluded that there was a causal relationship between maternal deprivation and delinquency.

One criticism of Bowlby??™s research has been on methodological grounds (Hollin, 1989). For example, there have been criticisms about poorly matching the control group, using unreliable assessment methods, and having unrepresentative samples. Another question that arises from this theory is whether separation is the same as deprivation. Prins (1973) pointed out ???parents can be physically present but not in spirit??¦The reverse of this situation can also be true: a parent may be dead but his spirit kept alive successfully??? (Gadd & Jefferson, 2007: 19). This suggests that whilst a child is separated from their parent, they may not necessarily be deprived of them.

Learning theories are another aspect of psychological positivism. The most important work on behavioural learning was arguably conducted by Skinner (1938) (Hollin, 2007). Skinner found that when certain behaviours were followed by a rewarding outcome (reinforcement), the behaviour was likely to be repeated. Conversely, behaviours followed by aversive outcomes (punishment) were less likely to be repeated. This is known as ???operant conditioning??™. Bandura??™s (1973) social learning theory took operant conditioning further by introducing a cognitive factor (Hayward, 2005). He conducted a study that showed how behaviour could be learnt by simply observing and imitating other people??™s actions.

Although both Skinner and Bandura were both psychologists interested in behaviourism rather than criminology, their theories can be applied to suggest how an individual might become a criminal. For example, if child watches an adult shoplift, they may themselves decide to take something without paying for it. If they feel rewarded by this, then the behaviour may be repeated. Bandura??™s study may in particular help explain why people commit offences like assault as it looked at learnt aggression, where a group of children watched an adult attack an inflatable ???Bobo Doll??™, and repeated their behaviour when left to play with the doll (Hayward, 2005). However, just because children acted in this way towards an inflatable doll does not mean to say that they would do the same if it was a human. It would be reasonable to assume that they understand that dolls are inanimate objects, and attacking a human would be different. Another point to make is that operant conditioning suggests that punishment of certain behaviours will make people less likely to repeat them. If this was so, then it would suggest that criminals would not reoffend. In reality, however, this is not the case.

Sutherland??™s (1947) differential association theory explained how an individual became a criminal through social learning. He suggests that criminal behaviour, including techniques and attitudes towards crime, is learnt through interaction with others, mainly in close personal groups (Sutherland, 1970). The attitudes can either be for or against breaking the law, and once their attitudes for outweigh their attitudes against, they become criminal.

A strength of this theory is that it takes into account social factors, by suggesting how the interaction between the individual and external factors leads to criminality. Furthermore, this theory can be applied to a range of crimes from theft and assault, to white collar crimes such as fraud. However, it has come under a fair amount of criticism, mainly due to a lack of empirical testing (Hollin, 1989). Even when consequent studies have attempted give empirical support, there have been problems with defining and measuring criminal attitudes. Also, not everyone who learns criminal behaviour will offend themselves, as the theory suggests. A further problem with learning theories in general is that if people learn crime from others, who did the first criminal learn from Although learning may be one way through which people become criminals, there must be other ways as well.

Eysenck??™s (1964) personality theory has been described as ???perhaps to date the most complete psychological theory of crime??? (Hollin, 2007: 51). This is because it takes into account biological, social, and individual factors. He suggests that individuals inherit specific learning abilities which affect their ability to condition to environmental stimuli, for example through operant conditioning. It also looks at the individual??™s personality, which is based on their extraversion (E) and neuroticism (N) (Hollin, 1989). These two dimensions run on separate continuums from high E (extravert) to low E (introvert), and high N (neurotic) to low N (stable). Most individuals will fall somewhere in the middle of both of the scales. With regards to conditioning to environmental stimuli, neurotic extroverts are considered as having the lowest ability to condition. Therefore, when these people offend and are punished, they will not learn to keep from offending in the future. This can explain the problem with operant conditioning where criminals that get punished continue to offend.

Empirical studies into this theory generally show that criminals do score highly on the neuroticism scale, yet there is little evidence to suggest that offenders are more extraverted (Hopkins Burke, 2005). However, Eysenck points out that extraversion not only means sociability, but also impulsiveness, and it is impulsiveness that contributes to criminality. Tests for extraversion will usually combine sociability and impulsiveness, giving a mid-ranged score for someone with high impulsiveness and low sociability. This does seem to make sense, as a thief walking past an unoccupied car with a handbag on the front seat will make a split second decision on whether or not to break in and grab it. Conversely, a gang of armed bank robbers do not really act on impulse, as the crime will need to be planned in advance.

Although research has shown that there is correlation between personality and criminality, it does not prove that it is a causal factor. There may be something else that shapes both personality and criminality, for example environmental factors. Farrington (1994) found that although there was a link between impulsiveness and criminality, personality had no significant link with offending (Hopkins Burke, 2005).

Sociological positivism has its roots in the work of Durkheim (Hayward & Morrison, 2005). The striking feature of Durkheim??™s theory is that he viewed crime as a normal aspect of all societies (Gibbons, 1968). Furthermore, he suggested that it was neither possible nor desirable for a lack of crime in any society, as it would be detrimental to the society??™s development. In other words, crime was functional to society. The rationale for this was based on what he called the ???collective conscience??™, which was the commonly shared morals and values of society and the basis of ???social solidarity??™ (Marsh et al., 2006). Without a collective conscience, individuals would attempt to achieve their own needs with disregard to the needs of others. The effect of crime is that it strengthens the collective conscience through condemnation and encourages positive societal changes. Durkheim (1895) proposed that crime was a product of social structures, and would happen when there was a state of ???anomie??™, or normlessness, where individuals were unable to identify with the collective conscience, and therefore felt no need to conform to its values (Hayward & Morrison, 2005).

One problem with Durkheim??™s theory is that he ignores the negative impact that crime has. It is hard to see how burglary, for example, strengthens the collective conscience, as stealing something from one house only really affects the people living there. As for explaining the causes of crime, Durkheim has been criticised for being overly-deterministic, leaving little room for choice in the actions of individuals (Hopkins Burke, 2005). He suggested that people would turn to crime whenever they were unable to identify with societies values. However, many people may have a bad few days, during which they find it hard to identify with these values, yet it does not make them turn to crime.

Merton??™s (1938) strain theory was a development of Durkheim??™s work. Merton suggested two elements of social structure, namely culturally defined goals and institutional norms, were responsible in leading individuals to committing crime (Merton, 1970). Culturally defined goals were goals that every member of society would strive to achieve, and institutional norms were the socially acceptable ways of achieving them. Merton suggested that there were five different ways in which people would react to these goals; what he termed ???modes of adaptation??™ (Marsh et al., 2006). Firstly, and most commonly, was ???conformity??™, where people would accept both the goals and the means of achieving them. If people cannot conform, then they will feel a strain, which was caused by social inequalities. The other modes of adaptation are ways in which people will deal with the strain. The second is ???innovation??™, where people would accept the goals, but find a different, possibly criminal means of achieving them. Third is ???ritualism??™, where people abandon the goals, but will continue to legitimately aim for success. The fourth is ???retreatism??™, where individuals will abandon both the goals and any legitimate means of achieving success. Finally, there is ???rebellion??™, where the goals and means are both abandoned and substituted with new ones.

A strength of Merton??™s theory is that it explains how crime is usually committed by the lower classes (as it is harder for them to achieve the goals), yet it still occurs amongst the upper class (as they may desire more success than they already have) (Gadd & Jefferson, 2007). Whilst this may be a good theory for explaining material crimes, it is hard to see how crimes such as assault can help someone achieve their goals. Furthermore, the main focus of this theory is on achieving material success, and the ???American Dream??™, which he used as the culturally defined goal. However, different people and different societies may have different goals they wish to achieve.

A further development of this theory comes from Cohen (1955) with his subcultural approach (Marsh et al., 2006). Cohen suggests that the problem lies in the education system forcing middle-class values on boys from working class families. Because they are unable to compete with middle-class boys at gaining status through education, as middle-class values suggest they should, they start to suffer from status frustration. When working-class boys are unable to achieve status through education, they turn elsewhere to gain status, specifically to a deviant subculture. Within this subculture, they can achieve status by rejecting middle-class norms through acts of aggression, vandalism, and dishonesty (Hopkins Burke, 2005).

One strong criticism of this theory is that it assumes that working-class boys are actually interested in middle-class values (Gibbons, 1968). Although the education system will obviously see education as important for everyone, the families of working-class boys may not see it as important, and will not force middle-class values upon their children. As a result, they will not suffer from status frustration. A further problem is that it completely ignores female offending, as it only proposes how boys become delinquent. Also, it suggests that all subcultures are delinquent, when in reality there are many subcultures whose members are law abiding.

A different sociological approach to criminology is taken by the Chicago School, which studies how the sociological make-up of Chicago leads to criminality. An important theory produced by the Chicago School is Burgess??™ (1928) concentric zone theory, which split the city into five different zones (Hopkins Burke, 2005). In the centre was the business district, which was surrounded by a ring called the ???zone in transition??™. This was, in turn, surrounded by the working-class housing zone, the middle-class housing zone, and the outer suburbs (Rock, 2007). The zone of transition was of particular interest. This zone was seen to have the poorest housing and weakest social controls, and was inhabited by immigrants of diverse backgrounds who had come to settle in Chicago. It was also the zone of transition which had the city??™s highest crime rates (Marsh et al., 2006). Burgess suggested that this was due to ???social disorganization??™; a result of the social patterns (high immigration rates) weakening community ties (Hopkins Burke, 2005). Because the community was constantly changing, it was hard for them to create bonds.

Empirical research does show some strength in this theory. Shaw & McKay (1931) showed that crime had been persistently highest in the zone of transition. Moreover, when the residents moved to other zones, their offending decreased (Hopkins Burke, 2005). This suggested that it was indeed the neighbourhood rather than the individual that generated crime. However, this theory can be criticised for ignoring individual motives. If it was simply living in a certain area that caused crime, then it suggests everyone living in that area would commit crime, which is not true. Furthermore, although this study did give good insight to crime in 1920??™s Chicago, it is not necessarily relevant to modern day Britain. Even if it could be generally applied to cities, it does not explain crime in towns or villages.

One of the main contributions of positivist approaches to criminology is that it uses empirical methods to test theories. Before positivism, criminological theories were just based on common sense approaches, and could not be backed up by scientifically proven results. Furthermore, positivist thinking has helped to show that there could be a number of factors outside an individual??™s control that has led them to crime.

Of the positivist approaches mentioned, some do seem more convincing than others as a way of explaining criminality. Overall, the best ones are probably the ones that take into account a combination of biological, psychological, and sociological factors. Those that just take one of these factors into account seem to be too narrowly focussed and leave too many unanswered questions, for example they can only explain certain types of crime. However, being able to criticise theories is advantageous, as it allows the development of new theories, leading to a wider range of explanations.

Humanities 205 Travels of an Art Historian

A while back, I stumbled upon an unusual machine. It was something that was out of the ordinary. As I looked upon this machine, I began to notice that it was not like any other machine that I had ever seen before. In fact, it was one of the most unusual looking machines I had ever seen. It was shaped as if it were an oversized egg, with several silver panels on the outside with an antenna on the top of it. It resembled an escape pod for a space ship on the outside, but on the inside was something completely different. Inside of this egg were buttons with different names beside them, names that I remembered from school some of the names that I saw??¦ names like ???Early Italian Renaissance???, ???Early Chinese Civilization???, ???Early Japanese Civilization???, and ???Early 20th Century???. These names were the names of different periods in history. Above the panel was a sign that read ???Do NOT press any button. IF you do, beware of what could happen.??? Out of curiosity, I pressed my first button that said ???Early Chinese Civilization???. All of a sudden, the machine started to make noises and lights started flashing. In almost an instant, I was transported to another moment in time.
I feel as if I have been in a whirlwind. As I stepped out of this machine, I realized that I was no longer in the year 2011, but rather that I was back in the world of ancient China. I had entered into a time machine. This was something that I had never seen before. Could it be that someone had actually figured out a way for people to travel in time Could there really be a way to actually understand and learn about the art that was done so many years ago I remembered very suddenly that there was a piece of art that I had wanted to learn more about when I was in college, and immediately, I began my hunt to try to understand the simple, yet stunning image in my head of The Poet Li Bai Walking and Chanting a Poem, by Liang Kai, and I was determined that I would not stop until I learned something about this magnificent work of art.
I began my quest immediately. I looked around for any indication as to what year I was in, and much to my surprise, I found out that I had landed in the year 1200??¦ the year in which Liang Kai had created his work. I began to wonder if the time machine was even more complex and could pull from our memories the images that we still pondered. I figured though that this curiosity would just have to wait. I had to find someone who knew where I could find Liang Kai, and I had to find someone quickly.
I met an older gentleman sitting on a bench under a tree, and much to my amazement, he greeted me with a simple ???Ni hao???. I remembered that this was Chinese for ???Hello???. I politely responded, not exactly sure of their customs or how to correctly do so. I asked him, ???Liang Kai??? He must have known what I wanted to know because he pointed towards a small house sitting on a hill. I nodded politely, and off I went. I made a mental note that upon returning to 2011, I would need to learn Chinese (time will only tell if I do this or not).
The walk to Liang Kai was somewhat of a journey. I stood outside of the house, and I silently watched. I watched as Liang Kai made quick brushstrokes on a scroll. I was fascinated, and I gasped. Upon doing so, Liang Kai looked out the window and saw me. He motioned for me to come in the door. I entered his home, and I began to watch as he recited words I had never heard before. He told me, ???This is a picture of Li Bai. He is a poet, who I have encountered. He has many followers.??? I watched as he went back to his work. He asked me no questions about who I was or why I was there, he continued to speak to me from time to time. He told me stories about Li Bai taking his followers on a retreat to a garden on a spring night. They drank wine in the same way as Liu Ling had done before, only after telling his wife that he had given up alcohol. Liu Ling had drunk the wine by himself in the garden, and Li Bai had done the same things with his followers. I marveled at the calmness that Liang Kai had with me, he laughed as he told some of the stories. He stopped and asked me what was it that I wanted to know. I had so many questions that I didn??™t know what to say.
I finally asked him, ???Has anyone else ever painted Li Bai??? He laughed and said, ???Of course they have. We do this because we have seen it and we know what it was like. This is our way of remembering our history.???
I sat there for a little longer and watched as he worked on the facial characteristics of Li Bai. I wanted to tell him that he would one day be famous, but I figured that was not my place. So, with that thought in my mind, I bid him farewell and made my way back down the hill to the time machine. The old man was still sitting under that tree, like before. I bid him farewell and entered back into the time machine. I was off again, and I was headed straight for Japan. I had to know if it was possible that Japan had some of the same stories as China. I must find out.
Japan is not like China was at all. In fact, it is dreary feeling to me. Maybe it is because my adventure in China was in the spring. Here, it feels as if winter is approaching. I look around me, and I cannot seem to find anyone here who could help me to find anything that I could be looking for. I remember that Japan had many poems that were important. Immediately, my mind goes to Matoori Noringa??™s The Tale of the Genji. I remember seeing the painting of the chapter called ???Azumaya???. It seemed like modern day America, fathers who know that children are not theirs, but they accept the child anyway. Yes, The Tale of the Genji, the first novel ever written, and quite possibly the motivator behind the ever popular romance novels. I begin to walk down the streets looking for someone who can tell me about this piece of work. I bump into a member of Japanese aristocracy. I apologize, and she asks me who I am looking for.
I had no exact answer for this question, so I simple said ???Genji Monogatari???. She said that it was her work. I stood there in shock. I was standing face to face with someone who could answer all of my questions. We began to walk, and as we walked, she told me about her work. I was awestruck. She had everything that was needed to make a great piece of work: a hero, a troubling issue, and the fact that happiness could never fully be achieved. She did not belong here; she should be back in my time.
She finally stopped talking to me about her work, and once again I was asked if I had any questions. I wanted to think this one through a little bit more. I finally responded with, ???Does this line up with what you are allowed to do Is it okay for you to write about something that is not supposed to happen???
She shook her head, but she answered my question. She told me, ???This is not supposed to happen among those of us who experience the finer things in life. I should not have written about it, but I wrote about what I saw. I wrote about the sadness of our existence, and the fact that Prince Genji was able to have qualities about him that were good and pure.
All of a sudden, there was a commotion, and she quickly arose. She said that she must be going before she was late. I bid her farewell, and I sat there for a while. I thought about where to go to next on my adventure. I knew where I would go next. I would go to America, before World War II. That would be the perfect place, the place where America knew true sadness like Prince Genji knew. It would be the perfect place to go.
My next stop was America, 1936. I remembered this photograph by Dorothea Lange entitled Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California. This is where I needed to go. If anything, this mother knew sadness. I knew that I could not find the mother, but if anything, I knew that I could find the Lange. I found her very quickly, taking sad pictures; however, she was taking the picture that I remembered. The machine must be able to recall our memories.
I stood in the background and watched. Finally, I walked up to Lange, and I asked her if we could talk. She asked me who I was, and I introduced myself simply as a ???fan of her work???. She was confused by my statement, but she said okay. I asked if we could all speak, and they agreed. I found out that the mother was a widow, and that she was thirty-two (I had thought that she was inn her forties). She had ten children. They were seeking refuge, shelter, hope.
The children all turned toward their mother as she stared off into space. The tone here quickly changed. I was overtaken by guilt and anger. How could the wealthy not care about the poor Why did Lange not photograph all of the children That would start a movement of some sort. Lange said that she was simply trying to make a living, but there was more to it than just that. There had to be some sort of a connection between Lange and the poor communities. I just did not know what it possibly could be.
It reminded me of America so much: people out of work, with way to support their children, and trying to get a little bit of help. How could something that happened in 1936 possibly be the same sadness in Japan that was partying in China, but America in 2011 I did not understand it. I knew that I needed to leave, so with a heavy heart??¦ I walked away. The mother looked at me longing for help, and all I could do was turn my head. As I approached the time machine, I had to stop and think for just a moment. I was not sure if I could handle anything else; however, I figured that I must continue on my journey.
I feel as if I have been traveling for quite some time. I have explored every button on this machine, and I feel as if there is nothing more I can learn at this moment. I learned so much, and I saw how art was continually changing. Sometimes it would get better, other times it would be confusing. All the same though, it was an adventure.
I think that I will just reflect on it for a short period of time. I wonder if anyone in the past remembers me, or if anyone in the present would believe me. I look at the clock on the wall, and for some reason, the time has not changed very much. The time machine is nowhere to be found, and I am beginning to wonder if this was all just a dream. Could that be a possibility Could this whole thing have simply been a dream Maybe it was. Maybe I am losing my mind from staying up too late. Until another day, I suppose that we will put this adventure on the shelf until the next adventure that we have.

Benton, J.R., & DiYanni, R. (2008).? Arts and culture: an introduction to the humanities, combined volume? (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Critically Analyse the Use of Imprisonment for Young Females.

Critically analyse the use of imprisonment for young females.

This essay will critically analyse the use of imprisonment, specifically for young female offenders, based on historical conditions, current prison provisions, the use of statistics and both the physical and mental well being of the girls. In order to contextualise the imprisonment of women today, some historical awareness is necessary.

Although prisons had been in existence for some time for both male and females, punishment from the seventeenth century in Britain relied less on imprisonment, and more on public shaming, and punitive approaches such as stoning, being put in the stocks and even death (Carlen 2004).

Historically, prisons were established for men. In the mid nineteenth century there were no provisions for female remand because the number of offending females was limited, and for those that were imprisoned, were imprisoned with men. The perception of female criminals was such that they were beyond redemption and even when they had committed the same or similar crimes as men, women were seen as much worse, as they were expected to have higher moral standards (Duckworth, 2002). The concept of women committing crimes as unnatural is further supported by Carlen, as she explained the notion of lawbreaking is most naturally associated with male activity, and women who committed crimes were seen as ???bad citizens??™ and ???unnatural women??™ (2004:2). Duckworth also explains that in the mid nineteenth century, away from the privileged classes, there were thousands of young female children being sent out to earn a living; either legally in factories or quite often illegally involved in activities such as pick pocketing and prostitution. Therefore despite perceptions of women criminals being anomalous, women were involved in crime from an early age. This was because the young women were expected to bring in a source of income in poor, working class families (Duckworth, 2002). It may be that because of the perception of women as morally superior and more innocent than men that women were placed in prison because the authorities found them more difficult to control effectively. It was easier to place them in prison because they were a nuisance rather than addressing the problem of their discipline.

At this time, Duckworth also identifies how confusing the prison system was for females. Although they were imprisoned with men, the terms of their sentences and the conditions they suffered were vastly different. The length of women??™s sentences were not made clear to them and because they were given no hard labour they were often confined to small spaces for long periods of time (Duckworth 2002). Carlen (2004) and Duckworth (2002) acknowledge that for young women the use of prisons historically were unfair and harsh. Conditions were particularly bad for very young women as they were treated as miniature adults (Aries, 1960).

Children and young people are viewed very differently today. The age of criminal responsibility in England currently stands at 10 years old, although it is argued that this is still too young as a much higher age limit is placed on other prescriptions within the law. For example; to buy a fire arm you must be 17, to buy cigarettes and alcohol you must be 18. To be old enough to vote politically you must be 18, yet to understand right from wrong you must be 10.
According to the Home Office figures, only 4% of young people dealt with through the police every year receive custodial sentence (Connexions Direct, 2010). However, this is only for young people who have committed severe or repeated offences, and only then as a last resort (BBC, 2011). Figures released by HM Prison in 2004 stated that 70 young females were being held in custody in Youth Offenders Institutes.

There are three different institutions in which a custodial sentence can be served depending on the individual age, circumstances, needs and the type of offence committed. (Bhardwa et al 2010). These are Secure Children??™s Homes, Secure Training Centres and Young Offenders Institutions.
Age is considered (as well as vulnerability) in deciding which institution is used. Secure Children??™s Homes are generally for those aged 12-14; Secure Training Centres for up to 17 year olds and Young Offenders Institutes can be used for those ages 15 to 21. Offenders over 21 years are sent to adult prisons.
The most common form of custodial sentence is a Detention and Training Order. This can be imposed upon a young person aged between 12 and 17. They can last between 4 months and 2 years, the first part being spent in custody and the second in the community under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team.
The custodial section of a sentence for girls aged up to 16 would most likely take place in a Secure Children??™s Home run by the local authority social services. The aim there is to work individually with the young women concentrating on their physical, emotional and behavioral needs. Comparatively, boys are only usually allowed to stay at a Secure Children??™s Home over the age of 14 if they are deemed to be vulnerable.
For older children, young offenders aged up to 17, there are Secure Training Centres, four of which are in the UK; Oakhill in Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire; Hassickfield in Consett, County Durham; Rainsbrook in Rugby, Northampronshire and Medway in Rochester, Kent. (YIB). They aim to create environments in which young people will be educated and rehabilitated into their community. They are overseen by the Department of Health and the Department for Education.
In both of these settings there is a high ratio of staff to young people (although staff levels are at the highest in homes) and the emphasis is very much on care and supervision.
The final step between youth and the adult prison service are Young Offenders Institutions. They are for young people aged 15 -21 although in reality for young women this age is higher 17-21 because they are most often kept in Secure Training Units until they are 17.
This shows that an inequality between the sexes has shifted historically from when women received more severe treatments. However in Young Offenders Institutions, the staff-child ratio is significantly lower than the other institutions, therefore not enough attention is focused on those who need that additional help (Connexions Direct, 2010).

When a young female is convicted of a crime, and on arrival in custody, an induction takes place which consist of; medical screening to ensure all health and other needs are catered for, and the receipt of a pack which includes a phone card or equivalent. They then are assigned to a personal officer whose role is to act as an adviser. Placing young female offenders into prison requires the implementation of a special system in order to maintain their welfare. Officers are required to pay special attention to every young person??™s physical, mental, and social development. They can be done through activities which obtain individual??™s needs, ability and potential through education and training during custodial sentences (HM Prison: 2004). Transition needs to be clear and safe in order to create stability for the young women in new surroundings.

Between 2001 and 2004 the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation founded a project; ???Rethinking Crime and Punishment (RCP)??™. (Esmee Fairburn Foundation, 2010) It included over 50 projects that conducted research into the appropriateness, successes and failures of prison sentences and aimed to raise awareness of conditions and understanding of what is involved within the criminal justice system. One of the specific projects focused on the increase in young females being held on remand. This tripled between 1993 and 2003 (Page: 2003). They concluded that women were being remanded for less serious offences than men but the duration of women??™s sentences was significantly shorter than the men??™s.

Today there are a number of legislative frameworks to follow with regards to the care of young offenders including The Children Act 1989, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (Bailey 2001:166) The idea of providing support, care and the rights of the convicted are by no means new. John Howard began a campaign in 1866 for a more effective justice system with fewer crimes and custodial sentences and a higher emphasis on community service, amends and making people aware of consequences to their actions. This lead to the creation of the Howard League for Penal Reform that is still in existence today.

For young female offenders, there are a number of dedicated units in the UK; Downview, Eastwood Park, Foston Hall and New Hall, which take a child centred approach to the needs of young females (HM Prison Service: 2004). These are commonly known as specialist units in prisons. The Howard League for Penal Reform believes that is is wrong to place young females in specialist units living in adult conditions.

The Howard League for Penal Reform believed that the imprisonment of young women was not acceptable and needed to change. The report explains that the use of specialised units in adult prisons failed to detach the young females from the wider prison population (2004).

???Young females who are held specialist units in prison are still living in a punitive adult culture with high levels of self-harm, suicide, poor staff training and low staff ratios. Prisons are simply no place for children??™ The Howard League for Penal Reform (2004:24).

The statement implies that prison culture is unacceptable for young females. The project slogan states ???Less Crime, Safer Communities, Fewer People in Prison??? this can have both positive and negative connotations. On a positive note, society could be working together to reform offenders and prevent future offences. Negatively it could be argued that custodial sentences are necessary in reforming young female offenders.

Further research has been conducted into the lives of female inmates over the last 10 years. The conditions in young women??™s prisons were researched by Douglas and Plugge who identified prisoner dissatisfaction with the heath provisions. There were complaints from an individual interviewed that treatments were delayed and application to see a professional needed to be repeated before an appointment was made (Douglas, 2006). Douglas also obtained information from professionals within the institutions who recognized that heath care was unacceptable and that better quality of care should be given (2006). Cripps??™ later research and analysis of the experiences of 15??“18-year-olds in prison, found that 79% deemed the health service provisions that they had received to be ???good or very good??™ (2010:78). She also considered that an important aspect of health is good hygiene and found that 96% of those females claimed that they were able to shower on a daily basis (2010). Although health care appears to have improved, it is worrying, that only 37% thought that the food was ???good or very good??™. This could mean that the nutritional value of the food may be inadequate and consequently increase chances of health levels dropping during their sentence.
An important part of any rehabilitation program would rely on participants feeling safe and secure in order to develop. Research among young females placed in four different institutions; the Toscana, Josephine Butler, Rivendell and at Mary Carpenter units revealed that overall 75% felt safe. Cripps found that overall 77% of the young females interviewed were able to turn to a member of staff effectively in case of any problems arising; also 81% indicated that the staff treated them with respect (2010). The approachability of staff may be increased by the fact that officers and staff within youth institutions are able to take a softer approach to uniforms, meaning they may dress less formally than in traditional prisons (HM Prison: 2004). Also, staff are trained to be approachable and act as role models. Cripps??™ found that views from professionals within the prison system; was staff within prison settings should receive training so they can attain valuable skills in working with those who are vulnerable (2010). Therefore, Cripps found from firsthand opinion from experts who that staff should be trained in order to deal with those who are at risk effectively.

There is an overlap with regards to alcohol and drug problems within establishments, as 23% of young females had reported that they had problems with alcohol and of those young females; only 54% said they had received help for it. Cripps also documented that 30% of young females reported to having a problem with drugs, which 77% received help for it (2010). Cripps??™ findings could indicate that not enough support and help is being provided to those females who have problems regards to drugs and alcohol.

The Halliday Report on the responses from the gender and justice policy network identifies a lack of facilities in the south of the country, meaning the majority of young female offenders are relocated further north. This may have harmful effects on the offender as they are moved to a strange part of the country distanced from their family. (Diduck 2007:181)

Activities within institutions are planned in accordance with individual needs, abilities and potential. Similarly to the current education system a reward scheme is promoted to encourage good behaviour. Activities may vary between centres but may include academic courses as well as extra-curricular activities such as drama, dance, computer clubs etc. The Office of Standards of Education found that the length of sentence was often too short to enable completion of formal education credits; nevertheless, 78% received some sort of certification for participation in a range of short courses (2004).
This study also concluded that young female offenders had a poor educational past and low previous attainment. The study found standards of education to be satisfactory although a number of faults were identified. Disorderly young women gave staff difficulty in teaching groups, inadequate resources also impacted educational standards as well as levels being set too low by teaching staff (The Office if Standards of Education, 2004). Further research by ???Rethinking Crime??™ found that a quarter of school age children in prisons had literacy and numeracy skills similar to that of a seven year old (2004). This could indicate that the education provided is not allowing young women to attain a standard that prepares them for re-entry into society.

Historically imprisonment and punishment may appear horrific and inhumane compared with the justice system of today. It could be argued that prison conditions are unacceptable for children, regardless of age, race or gender but it is evident that gender inequality is in existence today – as discussed earlier HM Prisons state that there are approximately 2,600 young males and only 70 young females serving custodial sentence in Young Offenders Institutes (2004). Is this because females are committing fewer crimes than males or is this because females are not perceived to have the same criminality as young males and are therefore treated differently