Concept of the Month -- March/April 2013

The Criminal's Procrastination and Default

Unlike the person who is basically responsible, the criminal defers fulfilling obligations because they are outisde the range of his interests. He resents obligations because they interfere with his pursuit of excitement. What he puts off, he is likely to eventually ignore totally. He fails to pay bills, does not file a tax return, does not take care of his house, and so forth. He finds attending to such mundane tasks boring. He may even fail to visit a sick relative who has been kind to him because something offering higher voltage appeals far more.

The criminal may even avoid doing what is in his own best interest if more exciting opportunities are available. He postpones doing his own laundry until he runs out of clean clothes. He fails to file a tax return even if he can obtain a tax refund. Failing to maintain his car, he finds himself stuck without transportation when his vehicle unexpectedly breaks down.

As a youngster a pattern of postponement and default is evident in his approach to school. He does not get around to studying for a test. He fails to do homework. He puts off starting a project until it is too late to fulfill the requirements. When he receives a reprimand or bad grade, he blames the teacher for being unreasonable or unfair. The same pattern holds at work. When his employer assigns a task, the criminals is unresponsive and inconveniences others. When he receives a poor evaluation, he claims that he is being treated unfairly or is being discriminated against in some manner.

An exception to the above pattern is seen in the criminal who is punctual about fulfilling the requirements of others. He has an ulterior motive in promptly taking care of obligations. By appearing conscientious and punctual, it is easier for him to commit crimes and not raise suspicions. The less he defaults, the less others take him to task. Consquently, it is easier to pursue criminal objectives.

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