Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences


This paper describes a chapter from a book on crime and the study of methods for combating it. Critical evaluation is based on the analysis of the acceptability of the proposed findings and statements and their relevance. As a conclusion, an assumption was proposed about the need for the state to shift the emphasis of the authorities from punishment to the prevention of crime, and the rationale for this proposal is given. The course on decriminalization is not criticized, but additional spheres of activity for the state are offered to improve the protection of the population and prevent serious violations of the law.

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The criminal law system works in such a way that all offenses are stopped, and corresponding penalties provided by the law are implemented. Nevertheless, as practice shows, government interference is not always beneficial, and some aspects of the activity in this direction exacerbate crime but do not stop it. Based on the chapter from the book by Lilly, Cullen, and Ball (2011), it is possible to trace the detrimental impact of the authorities’ work on the prosecution of offenses. Criminality should be considered a social phenomenon, and the main emphasis should not be on punishment but the prevention of delinquency to reduce the criminogenic situation.

Evaluation of the Authors’ Position

The possibilities for improving the situation regarding the prosecution of offenses are detailed. Nevertheless, the authors concentrate too much attention on the issue of decriminalization, arguing that the search for criminals is one of the most crucial conditions for the work of the state system (Lilly et al., 2011). At the same time, it would be logical to emphasize that preventive measures aimed at stopping deviant behavior would be no less effective than the activities carried out by the authorities.

Despite the legal assessment of the actions of the penitentiary system, insufficient attention has been paid to the practical application of identifying crimes. A “legitimacy crisis” that is described by Lilly et al. (2011) is the reflection of the existing working structure that is supported today (p. 153). The authors insist on the need to reassess the government involvement in the prosecution of criminals to reduce attention to this issue and thereby slow down the activity of offenders (Lilly et al., 2011). However, if more attention were paid not to the consequences of crimes but their causes, it could be a valuable topic for discussion. Therefore, the excessive emphasis on the theory of labeling as one of the fundamental concepts of law cannot be called logical in the context of this topic.

Evaluation of the Findings and Conclusions

The voluminous and detailed overview of different criminal cases is presented, which makes the work done credible and valuable in terms of fallibility by examples. Various points are touched upon, including clarifying the difference between intentional and unintentional homicides, social crimes, and other motives. According to the authors, “the key issue is not simply whether a sanction is applied but also the quality of the sanction,” and this statement is one of the essential conclusions given in the chapter (Lilly et al., 2011, p. 157). There is no need to describe the merits and demerits of punishment if it does not bear sufficient value for preventing further offenses. The use of a preventive measure should be encouraged, and the authors touch on this point but do not focus enough attention on it (Lilly et al., 2011). Therefore, some additional work may be carried out regarding the search for relevant ways of protecting the population through appropriate developments in the field of decriminalization.


The social background of criminality should be considered one of the primary ones, and additional work to prevent severe offenses is to be encouraged by the state and officials. Opinions on decriminalization as one of the central courses of the criminal system’s work can be supplemented by the urgency of describing preventive measures and specific ways to improve the current situation. The presented examples and cases are useful resources that allow evaluating various manifestations of social offenses and delineating the degree of perpetrators’ responsibility. The work can be supplemented by up-to-date information on potential changes, and the study of new preventive measures may be encouraged.


Lilly, J. R., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2011). Criminological theory: Context and consequences (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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"Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences." StudyCorgi, 2 June 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences." June 2, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences." June 2, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences." June 2, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Criminological Theory: Context and Consequences'. 2 June.

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