Routine Activities Theory

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Routine Activities Theory

  1. 1. * By: Kenisha Green
  2. 2. Routine activities theory (RAT) was developed from the basic concepts of the classical school of criminological thought. Classical school theorists believe that humans are rational individuals who make decisions based on their own free will. They also believe that individuals make the decisions after knowing the benefits and costs associated with the behavior.
  3. 3. RAT was developed in the late 1970’s by criminologists Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson. RAT is one of the main theories in environmental criminology and the theory states that in order for a crime to be committed 3 particular elements must be present.
  4. 4. The three elements that must be present are: *A motivated offender *A suitable crime *Absence of a capable guardian
  5. 5. *A motivated offender is a person who is willing to commit a crime when opportunities are presented. *A suitable target is based on a persons availability as a victim as well as its attractiveness to an offender. *Guardianship is the ability of persons and objects to prevent a crime from occurring.
  6. 6. “The crime triangle offers an easy way to visualize and understand crime problems. Three things must exist in order to have a crime: an offender, a victim, and a location.” (The Crime Triangle 2012)
  7. 7. Cohen and Felsen were quick to emphasize that an individuals routine activities were activities that occurred through the natural and most frequent routines of a person's life such as going to work and school for example a burglar could take notice that the victim is gone Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for work, which leaves her house unguarded or a rapist takes note that a single female walks home alone from her job at the bar every night at 3am in a dark alley.
  8. 8. * Robert Lilly, J., Cullen, F. T., & Ball, R. A. (2011). Criminological Theory. SAGE publications Inc. * The Crime Triangle. (2012). Retrieved November 29, 2013, from National Criminal Justice Training Center: http://www.ncjtc.org/CJCI/TRGP/Documents/ The%20Crime%20Triangle.pdf *

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