conflict model | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Criminology

The conflict model in criminal justice is a perspective that views crime as a result of social and economic conflict within a society. According to this model, crime is not simply the result of individual choices or pathologies, but rather is influenced by the wider social and economic structures in which individuals live.

The conflict model emphasizes the role of power and inequality in shaping criminal behavior. It suggests that crime is often committed by people who are marginalized or disadvantaged in society and that criminal laws and enforcement practices are used to maintain the status quo and protect the interests of those in positions of power.

Proponents of the conflict model argue that the traditional criminal justice system is biased and disproportionately targets marginalized groups, such as people of color, the poor, and the LGBTQ+ community. They advocate for alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system, such as restorative justice programs, that seek to address the root causes of crime and promote social and economic equality.

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Last Modified: 01/08/2023


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