In this last video from Riviera Maya, Mexico, we examine the Five Types of Offenders to make a determination as to their level of character. Having the discernment to see below the surface of behavior into the heart of their character is essential to applying the Discretion Maxim.

NOTE: Regretfully, the battery in my camera apparently died just before the end of the video and cut off the last few seconds. However, I was only making a summary at that point so you don’t miss much…

The Five Types of Offenders gives us a pattern for recognizing the character of criminal offenders, inmates, employees, or even children. Once you determine which level of offender you are dealing with, then you can apply the Discretion Maxim to choose which enforcement action you might take along a continuum of discretionary options.

Discretion Maxim
Let the nature of the offense determine your range of options.
Let the character of the offender determine which option you choose. 

Graphically, it looks something like this:

Five Types of Offenders

Five Types of Offenders




Each progressive level of offender reflects a further step out from under authority and demands a more severe enforcement option.

Here are the characteristics of each type of offender:

The Simple Offender

  • Very naive and easily misled
  • Looking for a leader
  • Ignorant of cause and effect
  • Corrupted by Scorners

The Silly Offender

  • Out for a “good time”
  • Has fun breaking the rules
  • Committed to bad relationships
  • Feels guilt for wrongdoing

The Sensual Offender

  • Immoral lifestyle
  • Generally involved with drugs and other bad habits
  • Skilled in deception
  • Should be turned over to higher authority when possible

The Scorning Offender

  • Gets the Simple Offender in trouble
  • Despises rules and authorities (by extension, he despises you)
  • Creates unrest and contention
  • Proud of evil exploits

The Steadfast Offender

  • Has a seared conscience
  • Believes it is right to do wrong (and by extension, it is wrong to do right)
  • Skilled in argument
  • Seeks following for self-gain

After determining your range of enforcement options based on the nature of the offense, try to discern which level of offender you are dealing with. Then make your decision on which option within the discretion continuum best fits the situation.

In a future series on the Dynamic of Compliance, we will look at some easy techniques for quickly determining which type of offender you are likely dealing with.

About the Author

7 Responses to Five Types of Offenders

  1. Andy Pinelli says:

    Great video!
    Simple and to the point!

    Posted by Andy Pinelli via LinkedIn

  2. Luis Munar says:

    Is good, really the video and the schemas, explanations that have in your page. I teach in Valencia University in a Post-grade course of Director of security. I teach about non verbal language and security. Non verbal language is one of the three pillars of the security.

    All my best regards

    Luis Munar via LinkedIn

  3. Nice one Ray, I am working on a youth development project at the moment and this fits nicely in managing behaviour in the classroom.

    Dominic Black via LinkedIn

  4. • Ray – Very useful! Will be helpful in the planning portion of the Body Language Interviewing course I teach. Great stuff!

    William Ritch via LinkedIn

  5. Sheriff Ray says:

    Always glad to see practical applications of the principles! Thanks for sharing…

    Sheriff Ray

  6. […] Comments In the Dynamic of Discretion, we identified the Five Types of Offenders. In this series on the Dynamic of Compliance, we look at how to overcome challenges to lawful […]

  7. […] Comments The Sensual Offender wants to know “What’s in it for me…? In other words, they need Mediation to help […]

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