THE LIKELY DIFFERENTIAL ETIOLOGY OF VIOLENCE

Where do we go from here? While it is true that there are many commonalities between violent offenders and property offenders and that most violent criminals commit all sorts of other crimes, we need not throw up our hands and surrender; there is considerable logical and empirical evidence that the etiologies of violent crime and other forms of crime are not identical and that it is worthwhile to distinguish between the two in theory development, empirical research, rehabilitative treatment and policymaking. While many of the causes of violence probably are the same as causes of other types of deviance and criminality, the assumption that violent behaviors will be randomly distributed across the frequent offender pool is not viable in our view. Because there is significant evidence that violent offenders are frequent offenders, it is our burden to make the case for a distinct etiology of violence and we will attempt to do so. Here we provide a series of arguments why violence is likely to have causes that can be differentiated from those of other types of crime.

 
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