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Types of offenders in Bangladesh

Offenders may be classified differently from different dimension and with the variation of point of view. The following passages are indebted to a sort-length discussion on the classification or types of offenders.
On the basis of target as well as victim of an offence, offenders may be three types:
i. Offenders against person: It refers to those offenders who cause physical or bodily pain by any means against the person. This type includes murder, assault, grievous hurt, rape, and the like.
ii. Offender against property: An individual committing misappropriation by any means of goods or property belonging to other persons and on which the individual committing that misappropriation would have no right to claim is an offender against property. For instances, theft, robbery, pick pocketing, misuse of public funds, and so on.
iii. Offender against public order: Individuals committing acts, which result in social or public nuisance, disorder, or undermining of the established law and values of the society, are offenders against public order. Examples of these types of offenders are drug-abusers, prostitutes, racists, sexists, psychopathetics, etc.
Based on the age or status of an offender recognized by the state, wrongdoers may be classified scientifically as follows (Rajendra K. Sharma, 1998):
1. Delinquents: From legalistic point of view, the minors committing criminal acts are not called criminals but delinquents. The persons under eighteen who commit violations of law are called delinquents. The penal codes of almost all civilized nations make special provision for the treatment of delinquents in law courts.
2. Offenders: Offenders are new to crime. An offender has no background of crime and the offence in question includes minor crimes and, therefore, offenders are treated leniently by the law court. It includes first dereliction of duty or adventure with law. The offences are usually is believed that rarely is it the case than individual without any previous criminal record would commit crimes like murder, rape, etc.
3. Criminals (recidivists): A criminal is a person who is in the habit of committing crime. Repetition of crime is the special feature of the criminal. A criminal takes to crime not out of any compulsion but out of free choice and adopts it as his/her valid profession. A criminal therefore chooses to commit a crime and will do so whenever there is suitable opportunity.

Lemert identifies three types of offenders based on the circumstances of commission of an offence:
1. Situational or circumstantial offender: Situational offenders include individuals who commit unlawful act in which outward situation or circumstances are primarily responsible for the production of crime. In lemert’s word, “External stresses and strains temporarily disrupt a person’s equilibrium and induce tensions, which are expressed in criminal behavior. For instance, due to extreme poverty, an individual may lead to commit many a crime.”
2. Planned or deliberate offenders: These are the criminals who commit crimes voluntarily and after careful deliberation. Such persons have no moral compunction about what they are doing; they tend to regard it as an inevitable part of their existence. Most of the organized, corporate, as well as professional crimes are committed by this type of offenders.
3. Offenders involving confidence: There are certain crimes which may be regarded primarily as crimes of deception and crimes of confidence. A big business executive who recruits a pretty girl nor for her intellectual talents bur for her willingness to offer her bodily talents against service is also guilty of the crime of confidence (Sharma, 1998).

On the basis of personal characteristics or habit of an individual, we may classify offenders as follows:
1. Casual or occasional offender: This is a type of criminals who are basically non-criminals; but on account of certain temptations, compulsions or associations are drawn to crime. They do so only occasionally and are not perfect or well-trained in crime. They stand on the borderland of criminal and non-criminals.
2. Occupational offender: This type includes all persons committing illegal activities that occur in connection with their jobs or work. According to Sutherland (1940), these are persons who violate criminal law belonging in the upper socio-economic class in the course of their occupational activities. Occupational offenders commit white collar crimes such as embezzlement, corruption, financial fraud, employee pilferage, consumer fraud, shady land business, etc.
3. Habitual offender: These are the persons who have developed habit of crime; they commit crime whenever there is an opportunity to do this. Such persons derive certain pleasure out of crime; and this pleasure generates in them an urge to repeat these experiences.
4. Professional offender: In a word, offenders who take criminal activities as his/her profession is a professional offender. According to Sutherland (1965), when applied to offenders, the term professional refers to the four features: (i) the pursuit of crime as a regular normal occupation, (ii) the development of skilled techniques, (iii) careful planning, and (iv) status among criminals. It is on the basis of factors like these that the professional criminal is differentiated from the occasional criminal or amateur offenders.
5. Violent offender: Individuals who commit crime directly against the will of the victims and make physical injury if getting obstacles in achieving their needs. This type includes offenders who commit such offences as murder, manslaughter, rape, spouse abuse, child abuse, kidnapping, robbery, terrorism, etc.
6. Political offenders: The seeking of power is a legitimate aim of any political group in a democratic set up; but there are limits on the means which may be adopted for this purpose. When some persons violate democratic and state rules for personal gain, they are called political offenders (Binger, 1916). Sedition, incitement to violence, alliance with an alien power, organization of violence, state-level corruption by politicians, vandalism for political purpose, etc. are examples of political offences.
7. Psychopathetic and lunatic offender: Persons with psychopathetic personality are believed to posses some abnormal or psychopathetic trends like being ruthless, indiciplined, defiant, aggressive, vindictive, unstable, etc. which may tend him/her to anti-social behavior. Dealing with a person of psychopathetic trends is almost like dealing with a child who never become cooperative, reciprocal, socialized or with someone who developed such an outer shell of defence as to insulate himself against society. Besides, persons who indulge in criminal acts on account of total disintegration of personality and complete loss of it still are lunatic offenders. Even under law they are not held responsible for their doings.

Whatsoever, the above types of the offenders are the part of our society. No individual is inherently offender. After birth they run through a continuing process called socialization by which individuals learn to act as well as behave in society. The first assumption of the differential association theory (Sutherland, 1960) is “criminal behavior is learned.” This learning process begins from family. Family is the primary and most important agent of socialization. Now we will discuss the influences of family which probably make an individual offender.

The homes from which, delinquents or criminals come are frequently characterized by one or more of the following conditions (Sutherland and Cressey, 1960):

(a) Other members of the family criminalistic, immoral, or alcoholic. Eleanor T. Glueck (1930) found that 84.4 percent of the offenders released from a Reformatory had been reared in homes in which there were other criminal members.
(b) Absence of one or both parents by reason of death, divorce, or desertion. The belief is found even in preliterate tribes; for instance, a Bantu tribe in southern Africa has a proverb “If the old bird dies, the eggs are addled.”
(c) Lack of parental control through ignorance, blindness or other sensory defect, or illness. Burt (op. cit.) concluded that the most important difference between the situations of criminals and non-criminals was in the home discipline. Discipline was four times as important as poverty in the home in relation to criminality.

(d) Home uncongeniality, as evidenced by domination by one member, favoritism, oversolicitude, overseverity, neglect, jealousy, crowded housing conditions, interfering relatives.

(e) Racial or religious differences, differences in conventions and standards, foster home, or institutional home.

(f) Economic pressures, such as unemployment, insufficient income, mother working out.

Source : Crime Index Bangladesh