Part 11, 12, 13 Theory Outline
Part 11, 12, 13 Theory Outline CRJ 308
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Date Created: 09/22/16
Part XI I. Rational Choice a. Argue individuals choose to engage in crime based on rational consideration of costs and benefits b. Cornish and Clarke i. Bounded Rationality Rationality constrained by limits of time and ability and availability of relevant information ii. Formal or informal cost of crime and also a moral cost to crime iii. Criminal involvement 1. Deals with the decisions to become involved in, continue with, and desist from crime. iv. Criminal events 1. Deals with the decision to commit specific criminal acts. II. Deterrence Theory a. Has the same agreement as Rational Choice Theory and also states that because people fear formal punishment they are deterred from committing crimes. b. Two types of deterrence i. Specific 1. Most people who are actually punished are deterred from crime 2. This could not work if the offenders are not rational and punishment can increase strain ii. General 1. Understanding and knowing the certainty of punishments of crimes can deter crime among people in the general population 2. General deterrence is shortlived and may only work with certain people in some situation c. Safford and Warr i. Argued that researchers focus on only specific or general deterrence, and do not consider the experiences of the people who avoid punishment. ii. They also argued that People have mixture of direct and indirect experiences with punishment and punishment avoidance 1. Most researchers do not, but they should look at whether individuals: a. Have been punished b. Are aware of others who have been punished c. Have avoided punishment d. Are aware of others who have avoided punishment The deterrence theory and the rational choice theory both come from the ideas of the classical school. The ideas they focus on came from the classical school, but these theories looked at them a different way and expanded on them. Crime is a choice and criminals rationalize whether the criminal event is worth it or not. If the costs out way the benefits then criminals are more likely not to commit crimes. While reading about the deterrence theory, we learn that there are two type of deterrence that researcher focus on, general or specific. Safford and Warr believed that there are many factors to consider when researching deterrence and that most researchers do not focus on those things. Part XII I. Environmental Criminology (deals with crime not the criminals) a. Focuses on the opportunity to commit crime i. Opportunity shapes when and where crime happens ii. Crime prevention is focused on removing either criminal or opportunity b. Two issues with all environmental criminological theories i. There is no clear explanation of criminal events ii. Exploring causal role of opportunity c. Four environmental criminological theories i. Routine Activity theory 1. According to Cohen and Felson, there are 3 elements needed for crime to occur: 1) motivated Offender, 2) Suitable target, 3) Lack of capable guardians 2. The spatial and temporal structure help determine suitable targets, the type and quantity of illegal acts a. Technological advances also impact the crime rate ii. Offender Search theory 1. Theory focus on how people commit crimes a. Offenders have routines just like everyone else i. Routine help offender find target 1. Create mental map of environment they travel so they can find potential targets (Offender’s awareness space) ii. Routines also make victims vulnerable to crime b. Routines structure crime in two ways i. Opportunity for crime presents itself while the offender travels ii. When actively searching for crime targets, offenders wish to reduce the effort and the risk of detection c. By minimizing the pathological nature of crime, it shows how crime is actually in our everyday lives. iii. Situational Crime Prevention theory (Main theory) 1. Nature of criminal opportunities influence the amount, type, and location of a crime 2. All theories of crime are theories of crime prevention 3. Clarke (1980) a. Argued that Criminologists have focused too much on the origins of criminal disposition and ignored the role of opportunity in both causing and preventing crime. b. Societal conditions are hard to change, but opportunities are easier to manipulate c. Strategies should focus on making the choice of crime less attractive d. Explores whether crime is concentrated in certain locations i. Sherman’s “hot spots” – places that are crime free in high crime area. ii. Situational crime prevention explores ways to make these places less vulnerable 4. Objections: a. Motivated offenders will find a way b. Prevention methods can be costly c. Instead of punishing offenders, it inconveniences law abiders 5. Prevent crime in 5 ways a. Increase effort offenders need to exert b. Increase risks of detection c. Reduce rewards of crime d. Remove excuses offered by crime setting e. Reducing environmental provocations 6. Defensible Space (Crime prevention through environmental design) a. An area where criminals perceive the spaces as controlled by its residents, leaving the intruder easily recognized and dealt with i. Ex] territoriality, natural surveillance. Image and milieu. b. Oscar Newman i. Studied urban residential housing communities and believed that the key to differences in crime was in the environmental designs ii. He emphasized the importance of building heights, proximity of buildings to street activity, amount of recreational space, and construction materials and how they effected crime in an area iii. Tests of defensible space Van Dyke had 50% more crime 1. Brownsville a. Built with: low walkup buildings, access off street, fewer people sharing door 2. Van Dyke a. Built with: Higher buildings, not street access, more people sharing door iv. Broken Windows theory 1. Wilson & Kelling (1982) a. Neighborhood Public fear Lack of social disorder as a reduces social control can source of public cohesion and result in fear informal social increased control crime b. The main idea is that unchecked social disorder is the cause of most serious crime c. Problem (Macrolevel) i. Bad people take over, good people get afraid and change, criminals get message that nobody cares. d. Solution (Fix “broken windows”) i. Police should initiate zerotolerance of qualityof life policing 1. Ex] Newark a. Argued foot patrols removed barrier of car in motorized patrols & elevated level of public order in neighborhood 2. Ex] Operation Crossroads a. Clean up Time Square 3. Ex] OrderRestoration Projects a. NYC subway upkeep b. Fix NYPD “qualityoflife issues” 2. Key Assumptions a. Disorder and crime are closely related b. If citizens see disorder, they assume that is social disorder c. Police can lower serious an violent crime by reducing neighborhood disorder 3. Limitations a. Research suffers from weak research designs b. Simultaneous application of more than one program c. Variability in implementation by police agencies d. Original Wilson & Kelling approach vs. zerotolerance 4. Conclusions a. Many underlying assumptions find empirical support b. Wilson & Kelling advocated for communitybased policing strategy to deal with public disorder and fear c. Problems with implementation d. Contributions i. Recognized complexity between formal and informal control ii. Provided police with important social support function iii. Renewed interest in: community policing, problem oriented policing, etc. Environmental criminology is a bit different from the other theories because it deals more with the crime and why it happened, instead of why the criminal committed a certain crime. This theory discusses how the area and time are big factors for why crimes happen. Many people work during the day and their homes are empty and vulnerable to be burglarized. If the house is in a nice neighborhood where there is defensible space it is less likely to get burglarized. If the house is in a rough neighborhood then it is more likely. These places have a lot of social disorder, that lead to fear and less social control, which leads to an increase in crime. These rough areas send a message to criminals that nobody cares, so do what you want. This idea is known as Broken Windows. Cleaning up that area and having police implement a no tolerance or quality of life policing tactic can really help lower the rate in some places. Part XIII I. Developmental Theories (LifeCourse) a. Tries to explain why people develop in and out of crime and they see if behavior stays the same or changes over time. b. Argues the most kids do not suddenly become serious chronic offenders, but kids start to offend because of problems they face as they grow up. c. Implications i. The main cause of crime comes from childhood ii. Many incomplete theories based of the teen years iii. The link between childhood and later adult deviance shows a dynamic development process d. 3 types of developmental theories i. Theories of Continuity 1. Ex] Individual trait perspectives 2. Ex] Self control theory (look at block outline II) ii. Theories of continuity or change 1. Says that there are 2 different pathways and a person cannot be on both 2. Ex] Moffitt’s Theory a. Life Course Persistent (LCP) [Continuity] i. A small percent of the population continue to have antisocial throughout their life, because their developmental process began with neuropsychological deficits that are linked to misconduct and social failure. ii. 2 reasons that prevent change 1. Failing to learn conventional prosocial behavior 2. Becoming ensnared in a deviant lifestyle by crimes consequences b. Adolescent Limited (AL) [Change] i. Most kids start and finish their criminal behavior during the teen years. This happens because their social age and actual age differ, maturity gap. They act older then they are, but this gap gets smaller as they get older. c. Some kids do not commit crime because they do not experience a maturity gap or they have a role model who has been through it and advice then not to. iii. Theories of continuity and change 1. Argues that people can be on one pathway, but a major life event can change what path they were on. a. Ex] Sampson and Laub: Agegraded social bonds i. They added to the Glueck study ii. Argued the lifecourse is characterized by the complex factors that start a child on a pathway and the turning points. iii. Social bonds lead to social control which in turn leads to behavioral change (marriage) b. Ex] Girodano et al.: Cognitive Transformation i. Argues desistance is a dynamic, interactive process that involves opportunities for change and efforts to interpret world and themselves differently ii. 2 things needed for desistance 1. Offenders must have opportunity to develop conventional ties 2. 4 cognitive changes need to happen a. Openness for change b. Exposure to hook for change c. Ability to envision replacement self d. Transform the views of deviant behavior and the lifestyle associated iii. Useful for: 1. Emphasizes important period when actor makes initial attempt to turn off the deviant pathway 2. Accommodates observation that not all individuals expose to good social experiences take advantage of them 3. Focuses on cognitive change rather than small set of predictors Developmental theories are addons to previous theories. This theory explains how crime starts and how it will either continue or stop during the course of a person’s life. Individual and social factors both effect if a person is a LifeCoursePersistent (LCP), Adolescent Limited (AL), or neither. Which mean that they continue with crime their entire life or they commit crimes and as they get older and slowly stop. This is known as continuity or change. Another developmental theory is continuity and change. This is when someone is constantly committing crimes, but then because of a major life event such as marriage they stop. We also discuss desistance. This is when a criminal changes his mind. He or she starts to think differently about things and they stop committing crime and they change their lives.
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