Criminogenic needs are the requirements of an individual criminal that must be satisfied in order for him to be less likely to commit future crimes. Risk factors address an offender's risk of committing a crime again and are addressed when an offender's criminogenic demands are supplied. Needs that cannot be met may lead to recidivism.
Needs are divided into three categories: physical, psychological, and social. Physical needs include requirements such as food, water, sleep, and shelter. Psychological needs include things like love and respect. Social needs involve requirements such as belonging to a group or team and having connections with others.
Risk factors are also divided into three categories: personal, environmental, and behavioral. Personal risk factors are qualities of an individual offender such as mental illness, drug abuse, or a history of violence. Environmental risks are conditions surrounding an individual offender such as poverty or racial discrimination. Behavioral risks are activities performed by an offender while attempting to meet his needs that may increase his likelihood of reoffending. For example, if an offender has trouble controlling his anger then he would be at risk for violence if he loses his temper during an argument.
Each category of risk factor can be further subdivided into specific variables. For example, mental illness is a broad category that can be broken down into diagnoses such as antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression.
Criminogenic demands are dynamic characteristics of an offender that, when altered, are linked to the potential of recidivism. Non-criminogenic demands are similarly dynamic and variable, although these changes are not always related to the likelihood of recidivism (McGuire, 2005). Needs are defined as "the requirements or desires of a person." Needs can be divided into two broad categories: criminogenic needs and non-criminogenic needs.
Criminogenic needs are those factors within an individual that cause him to turn to crime for their satisfaction. These factors may be internal, such as a desire for power and control, or external, such as poverty or prejudice. It is important to understand that not everyone who exhibits criminal behavior does so because they meet some need for gratification. Some criminals commit crimes for reasons such as anger management or escape from reality, but others may do so because of more permanent factors such as a personality disorder. Still other individuals may satisfy their needs through less violent means (such as gambling or drug use), and yet others may be able to meet them without resorting to crime at all.
Non-criminogenic needs are those factors that exist within an individual that are lacking in his social environment. For example, an adolescent who fails to obtain certain information necessary to succeed in school or face an uncertain future may have a non-criminogenic need for security.
Individual qualities that raise the probability of recidivism are known as criminogenic requirements (Latessa & Lowenkamp, 2005), and the research has classified these risk factors as significant, moderate, and small (Andrews, Bonta, & Wormith, 2006). Criminogenic needs are factors that contribute to the fulfillment of these requirements.
Criminogenic needs can be divided into six categories: physical, social, psychological, economic, and cultural. Any factor that raises the likelihood of committing a crime is considered a criminal need. These needs may be met directly through engagement in an activity or indirectly by taking measures such as seeking employment or counseling (Latessa & Lowenkamp, 2005).
For example, if an individual lacks any form of regular income but at the same time has a desire to stay off drugs, this would be an example of a criminal need that cannot be fulfilled directly through engaging in an activity but could be fulfilled by taking measures such as looking for part-time work or entering drug treatment.
The presence of these needs does not necessarily mean that they will be violated; rather, it increases the probability that they will be met by someone else (i.e., socially).
CRIMINOGENIC REQUIREMENTS 1 ANTISOCIAL BELIEFS AND VALUES In general, incarcerated men and women make specific cognitive mistakes that influence how they understand and process information.
Substance use, antisocial cognition, antisocial associates, family and marital relations, employment, and leisure and recreational activities were identified as important criminogenic needs by Andrews and Bonta.
These researchers developed the following model to explain why some individuals who suffer from poverty become involved in crime while others do not: involvement in crime is caused by lack of responsibility attitudes, negative expectations about the future, feelings of hopelessness, involvement with delinquent peers, experiences with violence, and limited opportunities for successful completion of tasks.
The key ingredients that lead up to criminal activity are lack of responsibility attitudes, negative expectations about the future, feelings of hopelessness, involvement with delinquent peers, experience with violence, and limited opportunities for successful completion of tasks. These factors can be seen as criminogenic needs that trigger people to look for ways to satisfy them. When these needs are not met, they will likely continue to exist and cause someone else pain in search of satisfaction.
Andrews and Bonta's model has been very influential in the field of criminology. Since then, other scholars have added their ideas on what constitutes a criminogenic environment. They include: Mark Lazer; Robert Martinson; John McCarthy; James Gilligan; Gerald Peters; Michael Miller; and Jean Twenge.