People commit crimes for various reasons. Chronic burglars usually are motivated by profit, sometimes to procure drugs. Some people with multiple assaults go to bars “looking for a fight.” Domestic violence is rooted in power, control, emotional imbalance and poor anger management. Homicide most often is an impulsive event fueled by anger, betrayal and jealousy. Other homicides are revenge or to eliminate a witness. Some crimes are committed by persons with serious mental illness who act under delusional thinking or while psychotic and detached from reality.
Many of the cases in which I consult involve sex offenses. Sometimes the case is puzzling, as when the offender has absolutely no prior criminal conduct. Some of these offenders have lived wholesome and productive lives for decades. The courts often want to know more about why the offense was committed by such a person. Can they be rehabilitated? If the offense was against a family member, how can the person safely remain involved in family relationships without posing a danger? Of keen interest is the extent of risk or danger posed by an individual. Sentences for these crimes can range from probation to an extensive period of incarceration, and the risk posed often influences that type of sentence imposed.