Chapter 2 introduces you to the major categories of crimes, how crime is measured and the various explanations for criminal behavior. Chapter 2 also explores current trends in criminal offending, including declining crime rates over recent years. Special attention is paid to linkages between crime, race, and poverty.
Midway through Chapter 2 you are introduced to criminological explanations for crime. Undoubtedly, you all will have their own theories as to why offenders break the law. Choice theories are based on the concept of free will. Offenders weigh the costs and benefits of a particular criminal behavior and then choose to offend. Several sociological theories are also presented in the chapter.
These theories assert that offending is the result of interaction between the offender and his or her environment. The final part of Chapter 2 explores the link between drug use and crime and then closes with a brief discussion of the concept of the chronic offender, otherwise referred to as the career criminal.