Intro Criminology

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a violation of ever-changing social norms (incudes behaviors, physical and mental conditions, and beliefs)
a violation of a formal, written law
Violent Crime
acts that involve physical harm or threat of physical harm against another person (kidnapping, murder)
Property Crime
acts that involve taking or damaging the property of another person or entering another person's property without permission (theft)
Status Offenses
acts that are only considered illegal based on specific social characteristics of an individual (legal age for alcohol and tobacco)
Victimless/ Public Order Crimes
acts that could result in self-harm or behavior between consenting adults (gambling, prositution)
White-Collar Crimes
acts that are committed by individuals or corporations for financial gain within the context of their business/employment (tax evasion)
Crimes Against the Government
acts committed against government officials or again the general public (terrorism, assassination)
not doing something you are legally supposed to do (not paying taxes, registering your children for school)
doing something you are not allowed to do (breaking laws)
Mala Prohibita Crimes
acts that are considered crimes because people have decided they should be a crime (prostitution, marijuana, gambling)
Mala in Se Crimes
acts that are inherently bad (murder)
less serious crimes that are punishable by a maximum of one year jail (low drug charges, trespassing)
more serious crimes that are punishable by at least one year in prison (aggerated assault, armed robbery, murder)
4 Criteria for Determining the Seriousness of a Crime
1. harm inflicted (how severe are the injuries) 2. status of the victim (age, gender, disabilities, political) 3. moral judgments (how personally offended) 4. offender characteristic (child vs adult, male vs female)
3 Parts of Criminal Justice System
1. policing - filling reports, detaining suspects, gathering evidence, making arrests ($100 billion) 2. legal systems - guilty/innocent of crime, punishments ($50 billion) 3. corrections - implements the punishments ($75 billion)
(Punishment) Retribution
getting back at the person who committed the crime
(Punishment) Incapactation
looking at the public safety component, prevents them from continuing more crime (death penalty, jail/prison time)
(Punishment) Deterrence
make punishment so severe so people stop or do not commit the crime (proactive)
(Punishment) Rehabilitation
trying to get the person back to normal life (addiction treatment, help with assisting)
Clearance Rate
the percent of crimes reported to the police that result in a suspect found and being arrested
the likelihood that someone who is released from prison will re-offend and end up back in prison. (83% of men & 74% of women)
exiting crime
Correlates of Crime
sex (second strongest correlation), age (strongest correlation), social class, race, substance use, & mental illness
Differential Involvement Explanation
people are involved in a crime at different rates based on various social characteristics due to cultural, biological, or structural level factors
Differential Treatment Explanation
people are not involved in crime at different rates based on various social characteristics, but rather crime rated different are a result of being treated differently in a criminal justice system
Deductive Research
research that starts with a theory and then tests the theory with data
Inductive Research
research that starts with data and then develops a theory
aspects of your research that can change or vary
a specific prediction on how you expect two or more variables to be related
Dependent Variable
the variable that is hypothesized to change depending on or under the influence of another variable
Independent Variable
the variable that is intended to influence, or lead to, changes in another variable
Positive Relationship
both variables change in the same direction (positive, positive)
Negative Relationship
both variables change in opposite directions (positive, negative)
Direction Not Applicable
one or more of the variable cannot be quantified (sex, race)
the entire set of individuals or other entities to which study findings are to be generalized
a subset of the population that participates in the research study and/or the data that is used in the research study
Sampling Frame
a list of all units in the population subset from which the sample is drawn
(Sampling Type) Random
each person in the population has equal chance of being selected into the sample
(Sampling Type) Representative
the sample is selected so that is accurately represents the entire population being studied
(Sampling Type) Non-Representative
the sample does not accurately represent the entire population being studied
Cross-Sectional Research
a study that collects data at only one point in time
Longitudinal Research
a study that collects data at two or more points in time
Trend/Repeated Cross-Sectional Design
a longitudinal study in which data is collected at two or more points in time from different samples of the same population
Panel Design Longitudinal Research
a longitudinal study in which data are collected from the same individuals - the panel - at two or more points in time
Official Statistics : UCR
police departments submit information to the FBI, which is compiled into annual statistics, collects limited demographic information, "hierarchy rule", index & non-index crimes
Index Crimes
murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson
Official Statistics: NIBRS
created 1982 to expand UCR statistics, divides offenses into groups A & group B, and collects information related to the type of offense, demographics characteristics of victim and offender, and type/value of any stolen or vandalized property
National Crime Victimization Surveys : NCVS
redesigned in1993 to measure a broader range of crimes and collect more detail
Self Report Surveys
makes it easier for cross-national comparison, sample limitations
Routine Activities Theory
motivated offender - suitable target/victim - the absence of a capable guardian
Social Disorganization Theory
physical dilapidation, poverty, radical heterogeneity (more racially diverse neighborhood, more crime), residential transiency (more people move in and out of neighborhood, more crime)
a person's behavior depends on their genes and their psychological/biological makeup at birth
a person's behavior depends on their socialization and enviorment
a person's criminality can be detected from their outwards appearance, particularly by looking at their facial features
the size, shape, and location of different parts of your brain and skull can predict criminality
Biological Positivism (Lombroso): Atavistic
born criminal, distinguishing physical traits
Biological Positivism (Lombroso): Criminaloid
people who commit crimes but are not "wired" or born criminals and do not have the distinguishing physical traits
facilitates pleasure-seeking and impulsive behaviors
discourages use of aggression or violence
Deterrence Theory (Beccaria)
severity of punishment, celerity of punishment, certainty of punishment
Rational Choice Theory
indivduals make choices that maximize benefits and minimize costs, as many rewards as possible with as few punishments as possible, assumes people make rational choices
Zone 1
business/industrial (second highest crime rate)
Zone 2
transition zone (highest crime rate)
Zone 3 and 4
residential zone
Zone 5
commuter zone
Classic Strain Theory: Strain (Merton)
the tension that results from wanting to attain monetary success, 5 possible choices accepting, rejecting, or replacing two factors: cultural goals of success, legitimate means of achieving the cultural goal
Adaptations to Strain (Merton): Conformity
adaptation in which an individual chooses to achieve culturally accepted goals via institutionalized means
Adaptations to Strain (Merton): Ritualism
goes through the motions without hope of success happening
Adaptations to Strain (Merton): Innovation
achieves goals the unconventionally , cheat/steal
Adaptations to Strain (Merton): Retreatism
reject goals and reject success, criminal/noncriminal (drugs, alcohol)
Adaptations to Strain (Merton): Rebellion
do not share goals and do not follow others, replaces money goals with new goals (joins religious cult)
General Strain Theory (Agnew)
failure to achieve positively valued goals (relationships, family, education) removal of positively valued stimuli (lost job, lost house, relationship ends) presentation of negatively valued stimuli (child abuse, spouse abuse, or drug abuse)
Differential Association Theory (Sutherland)
Edwin Sutherland argued that deviant behavior is learned, like any other behavior. having negative (differential) associations with others increases our likelihood of engaging in crime through socialization; deviance gap
Deviance Gap
difference between your involvement in crime compared to your best friend
how often are you exposed to the criminal activities
time it happened (age, younger= more impactful)
association with friend groups (all the time vs sometimes)
how frequent
Social Bond Theory (Hirschi) Most Important : Attachment
how close our ties are with other people or caring about what they think
Social Bond Theory (Hirschi): Involvement
time we spend participating in noncriminal activities
Social Bond Theory (Hirschi): Commitment
long term goals, how important they are to the individual
Social Bond Theory (Hirschi): Belief
share moral beliefs and believe in laws/police/authorities
General Theory of Crime (Hirschi)
assume we are born selfish and must learn and be taught self control to keep ourselves out of crime. self control must be learned by the age of 10 research shows people with low levels of self control are less likely to feel shame for their actions and more likely to seek out pleasurable feelings regardless of risk.
Labeling Theory
came about during the 1960s and early 1970s cxamines how reactions to deviance and official labels influence the likelihood of future deviance and access to resources in societies. argues that many people evaluate people based on retrospective behaviors
Primary and Secondary Deviance (Lemert): Primary deviance
less serious and infrequent crime
Primary and Secondary Deviance (Lemert): secondary deviance
more serious and frequent crime
Ethic Group with Highest Victim Rate
Native Americans
Ethic Group with Lowest Victim Rate