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Criminological Theories on Community-Based Rehabilitation


Social control is a multifaceted phenomenon that entails community structures and institutions that influence human behavior. Over the decades, different scholars carried out research studies to establish the various elements that compose the phenomenon. Other scholars focused on the ways that the components influence character. Hirschi (2017) argues that social control is a typology that encompasses three main perspectives. These perspectives include legal, medical, and informal and further compare social control theoretical constructs from other scholars to enhance an in-depth understanding of the typology. It comprises three elements, that is, direct, internal, and indirect control. Direct concept enshrines the impact of physical restraint or punishment due to committing a crime. An example of a crime is imposing house arrest on a sex offender. Internal charge refers to the inculcation of norms, beliefs, rules, and values of an individual to avoid breaking the law. Indirect guidance entails the relationship building that influences personality, such as the bond between a child and a parent (Hirschi, 2017). The framework engulfs an array of institutions and factors, such as culture and law, that influence the nature of human behavior.

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Social control significantly defines the nature of human behavior mainly because of the ability to gear order. According to William and Clarke (2018), it is the central concept in the life of people. Primarily, the framework is composed of a reaction imposed upon deviance by an individual. Therefore, it contributes as a central factor to the essence of the character, and it is crucial to understand the core definition and the elements that foster the ideology. The researcher establishes that there is a slight difference between social control and order. Although the former encourages lawfulness, the latter is an independent phenomenon that involves an array of concepts and experiences. Maxwell et al. (2018) postulate that social control contest encompasses the interpretation of dynamic and influential concepts. The different mainframes impacting behavior among persons refer to the daily experiences of an individual, such as social media interactions, the influence of capitalism and communism, and the evolutionary utilization of space.

Social learning theory in criminology renders the emergence of a dynamic overview of mental healthiness. In most cases, children get cognitively altered to function under antisocial behavioral prospects through social learning. Poor parenting fosters structures’ negative development due to its independent, influential state. Individuals further appreciate negative actions in puberty and adulthood without the stress of punishment. In other cases, a person realizes the consequence of witnessing intimate partner violence as a foundation of poor social relations (Wagner et al., 2019). As a result, these victims seek treatment in the form of punishments. An excellent example is a survivor who realizes the negative impact on society and commits crimes that justify the necessary discipline. This form of psychological illness increases the victim’s physical and psychosocial health, mainly because of hostile social learning ideologies. Domestic violence’s dynamic impact plays a vital role in promoting the evolution of the model of care. Van Den Bos et al. (2017) depict that the evolving models of care for intentional violence victims encompass community programs on drug abuse and addictions. The model fosters the development of a therapeutic environment for the victim’s mental health.


Human behavior is a reflection of the social code within a particular community. An excellent example of a country whose crime rates were significantly reduced is the Portuguese, which focused on the implementation of community-based programs that intensify the rehabilitation of criminals’ character than the ideal solution to punishment. In this case, one of the causes of the decline in the U.S crime rates is the integration of community-based interventions in the rehabilitative processes. It is a form of an approach that elevates social learning among individuals based on the necessary behavior and engagements with other people. Another reason for the decline in offenses in America is embracing diversity and focusing on cooperating in nation-building. Cultural diversity fosters dynamism in the ideals of growth and development. Therefore, the incorporation of strategies that enhance coherence among the parties involved renders the ultimate solution to the continual decline in the violations of the law.

A major policy to implement in the court system to boost the decline in crime rates is the consideration of community-based interventions for the criminals accused of minor offenses. A major framework to integrate within the correctional setting is the necessity for introducing team building activities. It is an initiative that contributes to the effective social learning and development of order that orients character towards living harmoniously with other people. It is crucial that the law enforcement agencies spearhead the community-based interventions in rehabilitation through constantly monitoring the engagements and relationships among the criminals within the program. The aspect boosts the integral value of apprehending efficiency in the adoption of a good personality.


Research Questions

The study will utilize both qualitative and quantitative analysis to enhance the in-depth derivation of information regarding the impact of decriminalization policy in Portuguese and in the criminological field. In this case, the researcher developed research questions to spearhead the collection of data and including:

  • Does the current legal framework foster effective rehabilitation among criminals?
  • Is decriminalization of certain activities a solution to the crime rates within the country?
  • Is community-based intervention a better solution to the punishment of criminals charged with minor offenses?


The sample will involve representatives from different departments, that is, community members, prisoners, and government officials. In this case, the researcher will use at least one hundred respondents.

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Data collection

The researcher will use primary data for analysis regarding the decriminalization policies and strategies that impact the rehabilitation and crime rates in the U.S.

The data will be collected using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

The researcher will gain access to the respondents through the use of online platforms such as survey monkey and emails to enhance the diversification of the demography. Further, the researcher will optimize booking zoom interviews with government officials in the prison department.

Measurement Issues

The researcher is measuring the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. The former includes community-based interventions, while the latter encompasses the criminal’s rehabilitative behavior. The conceptualization of the entities encompasses the Portuguese decriminalization policy that rendered optimal decline in violations while intensifying peace and harmony within the society.

Reliability and Validity

The reliability of the test will encompass the use of test-retest strategies based on the repetition of questions to ascertain the honesty among the respondents. A validity test will involve the use of piloting to ensure the ability of the interviewees to answer the questions appropriately.

Ethical Issue

The main ethical issues involved in this study encompass the determination of the participation of the respondents with the consideration of COVID-19 rules. In this case, the researcher seeks to establish initiatives such as consent and social distancing while collecting data.

Implications of the Study

This research study seeks to enhance the collection of integral analysis of human behavior and legal framework that boosts the quality of information for rehabilitation within the justice system.

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Hirschi, T. (2017). On the compatibility of rational choice and social control theories of crime. The Reasoning Criminal (pp. 105-118). Routledge.

Maxwell, S. R., Zepeda, A., & Rzotkiewicz, A. (2018). Peers, social control, or guilt? Self-conscious emotions as explanation for antisocial behavior. Deviant Behavior, 39(3), 322-331. Web.

Van Den Bos, J., Creten, N., Davenport, S., & Roberts, M. (2017). Milliman Research Report: Cost of community violence to hospitals and health systems. American Hospital Association. Web.

Wagner, J., Jones, S., Tsaroucha, A., & Cumbers, H. (2019). Intergenerational transmission of domestic violence: practitioners’ perceptions and experiences of working with adult victims and perpetrators in the UK. Child Abuse Review, 28(1), 39-51. Web.

Williams, P., & Clarke, B. (2018). The black criminal Other as an object of social control. Social Sciences, 7(11), 234. Web.

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