One important aspect of criminology is examining the reasons as to why people commit crime and well as finding out how well to handle and prevent crime. By definition given by essay writing service, criminology refers to the scientific study of form, extent, general management, the causative factors, the repercussions and the ways to prevent criminal behavior in individuals and also in the society. The paper explains the causes of increased property and violent crimes in Wonderland between the 1980s and 2000. The two theories applied in the explanation are social disorganization and rational choice theories. According to Andresen, Brantingham, and Kinney, social disorganization theory entails the influence offenders receive from the neighborhoods (9). Disorganized communities characterized by ethnic heterogeneity, poverty, and residential movement are the key factors that lead to the weakening of the social stability[ CITATION AAn10 \p 10 \l 1033 ]. On the other hand, rational choice theory is based on the belief that an individual is known to think and always weighs the benefits and costs of each action. The person then takes a keen look at the means and ends thus prompting the person to make reasonable choices in the course of their action[ CITATION AAn10 \p 22 \l 1033 ]. Thus according to the rational theory, people will engage in crime based on the balance between the potential risks such as getting caught and the punishment that goes hand in hand, against the benefits or reward they are bound to acquire.
Increase in Crimes in the Wonderland between the 1980s and 2000
There had been reported increase in the number of organized gangs aimed at terrorizing people. The central group of criminals was the Wonderland Gang that involved a group of drug dealers during the early 1980s. The gang had a home base in Wonderland Avenue in Los Angeles, California. The group was mainly known for its drug trafficking, especially cocaine and heroin. There was also involvement in acts of armed robbery and burglaries that provided an alternative source of revenue for the group. Research showed that more male, people with lower incomes and young individuals (i.e. below 25 years) and those non-white persons had more likelihood to report being the victims of crime[ CITATION FCu13 \p 449 \l 1033 ]. The increased cases of reported crimes in Wonderland between the years 1980 and 200 could be explained on the basis on criminals weighing the pros and cons of the crimes. As earlier noted, most members of the gang in Wonderland used armed robbery and burglary to earn their revenue. In this case, they fully understood the repercussions that would befall on them once caught by the law enforcers but on weighing the benefits, they still had to engage in crime. The criminals thus could make a choice to commit the crimes, and ignore the deterring factor of the punishment before them.
Additionally, most of the gang members purposively committed the crime so as to satisfy their needs of such things as status, money, sex as well as excitement. According to the rational choice theory, individuals are thus compelled to act and make decisions and choices so as to achieve their desire for fulfilling a particular need[ CITATION AAn10 \p 21 \l 1033 ]. The choice made has a correlation with actions directed towards maximizing the personal pleasure, hence if the benefits outweigh the perceived potential punishment, the person is compelled to commit the crime. As with the case of Nash robbery that took place on June 29, 1981, the Wonderland gang members such as Ron Launius, David Lind, and Billy Deverell had the aim of stealing cash and drugs so as to earn revenue. The crime was so intense that resulted in the murder of some of the members.
According to Andresen, Brantingham, and Kinney, rational choice theory is used to explain the cost-benefit approach to bad decision making (25). The essence of the theory is to show why a crime occurred, in connection with particular people and at a given time and place. The theory thus can be used to explain that during 1980 and 2000, most crimes committed in Wonderland were based on the potential benefits the criminals were up to and thus made the criminals make choices and decisions regarding engaging in property crimes for the purpose of personal pleasure.
In the Wonderland Avenue, it was as well reported that violent crimes were committed in July 1981. The crimes were reported to occur in locations with high drug trafficking activities as well as other anti-social behaviors. According to social disintegration theory of criminology, much focus is basically on the effects of location and the particular characteristics of the environment about the crime. Specifically, the approach embarks on the study of the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and crime with much emphasis on whether the relationships are stable over time and if any relationship the criminal could have a direct link to the places the person lives[ CITATION AAn10 \p 10 \l 1033 ].
It is worth noting that in Wonderland, just like any other urban area, most of its inhabitants could be differentiated by low socio-economic status. As one moves away from any city and its central business or industrial district, the socio-economic status of the residents and their area tends to increase[ CITATION AAn10 \l 1033 ]. Between the period of 1980 and 2000, the industrial districts of the Wonderland were presumably dirty and polluted thus unsuitable for urban inhabitation. Since people who had a better and higher socio-economic status moved away from the city to more affluent residential areas. Therefore, space in the society became limited, thus increased competition over space hence provides a better dynamic to understand crime. There was ethnic heterogeneity created by the transition area between the polluted industrial areas and the affluent residential locations that made it hard to maintain social cohesion[ CITATION AAn10 \p 11 \l 1033 ]. Due to lack of social cohesion, neighborhoods lacked the ability to stand together and identify shared interests thus carry out an effective crime prevention plan that could have benefited the entire community.
Lastly, social disintegration theory tends to focus on deprivation regarding social cohesion and economics of people, family disruptions and ethnic heterogeneity[ CITATION AAn10 \p 12 \l 1033 ]. Once any of these factors increased, there was a marked increase in cases of crimes. The theory explains that neighborhoods that cannot sustain social cohesion provide a suitable environment for crime to flourish because such places have limited legal representation thus offer a high degree of anonymity hence criminals cannot be identified and apprehended[ CITATION AAn10 \p 12 \l 1033 ]. The other reason as to why weak social cohesion led to increased levels of violent crimes is that residents remained inactive and failed to notify the police whenever a crime was committed in the immediate neighborhood. The citizens could not identify each other, hence made it even harder to be aware of outsiders who often conducted committed the crimes.
The paper has assessed the two theories of criminology and how they can be related to the explanation of the increase in property and violent crimes in Wonderland between the 1980s and 2000. Rational choice is the first theory identified and it explains that individuals make decisions to commit crimes after considering the costs and benefits of the punishment and the revenue to earn after a successful crime. The other theory, social disintegration theory, concluded that crimes were increased due to the lack of social cohesion in between the low and high socio-economic status residents thus made it hard for the crimes committed to be reported.