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what type of things does criminals think about on a day to day basis?

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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Ashya,

What an interesting question. I'm a registered nurse, so I don't have criminal forensic expertise, but I love to research. There are many reasons that people become criminals which include external environment, politics, social/economic factors, and interestingly, their own biology.

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Please consider this: any one of us might turn to criminal activity if our external situations warranted. If you had to feed your child, would you steal a loaf of bread? There are situational factors to consider.

I hope you receive many more replies to your excellent question.


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Nicholas’s Answer

One of my favorite courses in college was Criminology. I also worked two years as a Substance Abuse Counselor for a prison work release program. My supervisor at the time would often say "the only difference between them and myself is they got caught." Many of us are guilty of engaging in some form of criminal thinking to varying degrees. This is an old, yet basic way to examine criminal thinking from a treatment perspective: https://www.hazelden.org/HAZ_MEDIA/and_release_9729.pdf. Same material but presented as a questionnaire: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/take-all-prisoners/200910/could-your-thoughts-be-criminal-part-i.

I would advise against visiting jails or seeking a prison pen pal unless you have family there and a strong support network outside. Many people get brought into dangerous situations through manipulative behavior justified by the thinking patterns listed in these articles. Too many of my colleagues fell prey to this even as seasoned professionals. I had a lot of heart for my clients and my program but I had to put on my armor every day and be vigilant of words, body language, and manipulation of my environment. If you are considering a career in Criminal Justice or anywhere near the inmate population I strongly suggest reading the book "Games Criminals Play" by Bud Allen and Diana Bosta.

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Estelle’s Answer

I am a physician and do not have a good grasp of criminal psychology. However, I often ponder how great it would be if criminals used their intelligence and resources to create instead of destroy. Really brilliant minds are wasted in trying to hack into private computer systems, for example. The show "Catch Me if You Can" tells the real life story of a man who faked his way into some amazing jobs then went to work for the government helping them catch people committing similar crimes. Might be interesting for people to watch again.

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Xavier’s Answer

To answer this question, I would advise visiting a jail (not a super dangerous one) or use an anonymous name and get a pin pal.