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All Info Leading Up to Exam 1

by: AC

All Info Leading Up to Exam 1 CRJU 101 001

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Covers Chapters 1 through 4, very detailed.
The American Criminal Justice System
Dr. Scott Wolfe
Criminal Justice, criminology, elective
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This 14 page Bundle was uploaded by AC on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Bundle belongs to CRJU 101 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Scott Wolfe in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see The American Criminal Justice System in Criminology and Criminal Justice at University of South Carolina.

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Date Created: 03/29/16
Victimization and Criminal Behavior: Chapter 2   Victimology    Victimology: subfield of criminology that investigates what a victim does that precipitates a crime.    Four questions a victimologist would ask in their research: o  Who is victimized?  Victimization is influenced by lifestyle  Routine activities influence risk exposure to dangerous people and places  Key factors: age, race, gender, & income  Misperception of the public that strangers are the greatest threat, rather about  70% of crimes are committed by acquaintances.    Who people associate with is one of the most important factors in  victimization: role of victim precipitation  College students are at the highest risk of victimization o  What is the impact of crime?  Crime affects everyone, not just the victim  Economic costs: loss of property, lower productivity, medical care = over 20  billion dollars annually (most victimologists would say this is an  underestimate)  Psychological and emotional costs: pain, trauma, and lost of quality of life  Costs of operating the criminal justice system = $227 billion per year  These previous figures do not include the costs of occupational and organized  crime to consumers.  Fear of crime    American’s fear of crime exceeds actual victimization risks    People mostly experience crime indirectly, rather than directly    Views of crime are shaped by the media, like newspaper and  television programs (including local news programs)    Fear of crime can limit the amount of freedom we possess o  What happens to victims in the CJ system?  System is not always sensitive to the needs of victims; however, improvements  have been made over the last 20 years  Justice for All Act of 2004    Dealt with the rights for crime victims in federal criminal cases    Compensation for people wrongfully convicted of a crime  32 states have amended their constitutions to provide similar protections for  crime victims o  What role do victims play in causing the crimes they suffer?   Causes of Crime    Criminology: the scientific study that focuses on learning about criminal behavior, the nature of  offenders, and how crime can be prevented.    Theory: a set of logically ordered propositions that explain and predict an event o  Theory helps us try to understand why people commit crimes o  How conditions make an event more/less likely o  Informs public policy    Theories are NOT excuses Major Criminological Theories  Classical School (of Criminology) – Before the 1800s  Beccaria – argued for supremacy of law over religion and superstition.  Before this, people said that people engaged in crime bc they were possessed by the devil or some other bullshit.   Back in this time, criminal justice system had a really high conviction rate. Always  “right” because divine intervention never saved anyone from being killed for the crime  they were accused of.  Classical Criminology o Views human behavior as stemming from free will o Demands responsibility of all perpetrators o Stresses the need for punishments sever enough to deter others from committing  the same or similar crime (costs/benefits)  Assumptions o Criminal behavior is rational  Weighing cost v benefits  Punishment should fit the crime  The criminal justice system must be predictable.   Before Beccaria’s time, these were not the way criminal justice was dealt with.  Positivist Criminology  Key features of positivism: o Human behavior is controlled by physical, mental, and social factors, but not  solely controlled by free will alone. o Criminals are different from non­criminals.  Therefore, we can research the factors that “cause” people be to criminals (or law abiding citizens) o Science can be used to discover the causes of crime and to treat deviants. We can  use science to intervene before they commit crimes. o Argues that punishment should be tailored to individual needs. (Mainly how  much crime you have engaged in in your past)  Biological Theories  Lombroso’s Criminal Man (1876) o Criminals born with “criminogenic” traits o Individual who commit crime tend to have physical traits that differentiate them  from law abiding citizens  Traits include: canine teeth, huge jaws, high cheekbones, pointy ears  Criminals are “ugly”  ATAVISMS – evolutionary “throwback” – said that these criminals tend  to resemble animals.   Argument that criminal behavior guided by biological disposition and  criminals had not evolved into a more civilized human as non criminals o Criminogenic Traits are acquired through heredity or through alcoholism,  epilepsy, or syphilis (and other STDs).  Contemporary Biological Explanations o Biological risk factors make probability of crime more likely (not a guarantee) o Certain genes could be responsible for violent behavior o Argue that is is nature AND nurture.  o MAOAA gene—genetic allele aka the “Warrior” gene—impulsive decision  making o High testosterone can be a risk factors—XYY vs XY in males (“super male”),  people who have XYY are more likely to go into risky careers or sports like law  enforcement, military, football, etc. Can lead to risky behavior when not properly  socialized.   Psychological Theories  Main focus of these theories is often o Mental conditions o Personality disturbances  Antisocial personality disorder, etc. o Limited intellect  Policy implication: people with personality disorders should receive treatment o Example: rehabilitation programming while in prison  Sociological Theories of Crime  Emphasizes social conditions o Criminality is caused by external factors o Social Environment  o Criminals are made, not born—biological explanations would hold no weight o “Born as blank slates”  Three Major types of sociological theories of crime:  Social Structure Theories o The focus is on a stratified society and the unequal distribution of wealth and status  as causes of crime. o Disorganized neighborhoods and crime o Inability of neighborhood (community) to engage in informal  social control.  o Inability to intervene within themselves. o Deviant values and subcultures and crime. (Legal cynicism) o Inability to achieve social success and crime o Poverty and Crime—poverty creates system of social  inorganization. Lack ability to mobilize and have social  organization. o Strain theory—people are strained bc inability to achieve  American Dream  Policy: Reform the conditions that breed crime, such as poverty, urban  redevelopment, and heath care. o Social Process Theories  Crime results from socialization in family life, the educational  experience, and institutions in society—family, education, peer  relationships.  These theories try to explain the processes by which certain people  become criminals.  Argue that everyone has the potential to become a criminal, depending  on…  The influences that drive one toward or away from crime  (example; learning, control)  How is one regarded by others? Labeling—ex convict, etc.  Significantly increased likelihood of continued offending. o Social Conflict Theories  Economic and political forces in society cause crime  The CJ system and the law are designed mainly to control the poor  Crimes are defined in ways that meet the needs of those who control  society.  Policy implications: Reduce class­based conflict and injustice. Chapter Three Goals of criminal justice 1. Doing justice 2. Controlling crime 3. Preventing crime  Goal #1—Doing Justice o This goal embodies three key principles:  Offenders will be held fully accountable for their actions  The rights of persons who have contact with the system will be protected.  Similar offenses will be treated alike and officials will take into account  relevant differences among officers and offenses.   Goal #2—Control Crime o Crime control is achieved by arresting, prosecuting, and punishing offenders. o There is tension between protecting individuals’ rights and controlling crime. o Taking action helps to control crime in a given area.  Goal #3—Preventing Crime o Crime can be prevented in various ways, perhaps the most important is the  deterrent effect of the actions of cops, courts, and corrections  Arrest, conviction/sentencing, and punishment o Deterrence is the underlying philosophy of crime prevention o Crime prevention depends on the actions of CJ officials and citizens  Target hardening, community policing—addressing crime  proactively  Two Justice Systems o Like other aspects of the American gov, criminal justice is based on federalism in  which the power is divided between one central government and individual state  governments o The activities of national and state systems of criminal justice differ in scope and  purpose  o State systems handle alleged violations of state law o The federal system handles alleged violations of federal law  Expansion of Federal Involvement o Federal involvement in the CJ system has slowly expanded o The geographical area of many crimes span the jurisdictions of many  governments o Example: Bank robberies—all bank robbery investigation is  done by the federal government—FBI  o Federal Gov insures the banks—FDIC  o When someone robs a bank, they’re robbing the federal  government  They occur in a specific state (normally) o Disputes over jurisdiction, fragmentation, and duplication of  services sometimes result.  Criminal Justice as a System o Criminal justice in the United States is a system  It is a complex whole made up of interdependent parts whose actions  are directed towards goals and influenced by the environment in which the function.  The main subsystems are interconnected and include:  Police  Courts  Corrections o Between the subsystems exists exchange  Example plea bargaining Characteristics of the Criminal Justice System 1. DISCRETION  Refers to the officials’ freedom to act according to their own judgment and  conscience  Discretion exists throughout the system o Arrest, sentencing, and probation/parole  Why do we need discretion? o System as a whole lacks the resources to treat every case the same o Allow for greater justice (in some respects) o Justification: every case is different  Criticism: Discriminatory decision­making.  o Racial profiling 2. RESOURCE DEPENDENCE  Criminal justice agencies depend on other agencies for funding  Criminal justice officials depend on politicians and voters o CJ agencies rely on public funds to operate  Criminal justice officials seek positive coverage from the news media o Maintain positive image with voters o Make budget cuts politically unappealing 3. SEQUENTIAL TASK  Decisions in the criminal justice system must follow a specific sequence. o Example: Arrest (police)—Prosecution (prosecutor)—Trial (judge + jury)— Conviction (judge OR jury)—Sentencing (judge and/or criminal code)— Corrections (corrections agencies  POLICE o Four major duties of police:  Keeping the peace  Apprehending violators and combating crime  Preventing crime  Providing social services  COURTS o Major responsibilities of courts:   Adjudication  The process of determining guilt or innocence of a defendant  Disposition  Post­conviction remedies o The US has a Dual Court System  State courts  Federal courts (national system)  CORRECTIONS o More than 7 million Americans are under the supervision of local, state, and  federal correctional systems everyday (1 out of every 32 adults) o Major responsibilities of corrections:  Provide custody for sentenced individuals  Particularly those in prison  Provide a range of community­based correctional programs NOTES NOTES NOTES  Criminal Law v. Civil Law o Criminal Law  Crime is a public offense  Sanction can range from a fine to incarceration or even death  Right of enforcement belongs to the state (government)  The gov. ordinarily does not appeal decisions  Fines paid to the state o Civil Law 1. Regulates relations between individuals (property, contracts) 2. Getting sued  Substantive Criminal Law o Seven Principles of Criminal Law 1. Legality­ some law violated 2. Actus reus – act of commission or omission so you did something or failed to do something that constitutes the breaking of a law 3. Causation­ Must be a causal relationship between the person’s act and the  harm that was suffered 4. Harm­the act caused some type of harm to something of legal value  (person, property) 5. Concurrence­ simultaneous occurance of the intention and the act “I wish  they were dead” die later 6. Mens rea – guilty mind, person had the intention to commit harm.  7. Punishment – must be some type of provision of the law to lay out  punishment if all 6 other principles are met  Responsibility for Criminal Acts o The Model Penal Code (MPC) lists four mental states that can be used to meet the requirements of mens rea  Act must be performed:  Intentionally  Knowingly  Recklessly  Negligently o EXCEPTION: Strickt liability offenses o Strict liability refers to an obligation or duty that when broken is an offense o Intent is not required  Parking violations  Doesn’t matter that you didn’t intend to park illegally, it  only matters that you did   Criminal Defenses o Justification Defenses: “yes I shot him, but here is why!”  Self­defense   Necessity  o Excuse Defenses – here’s why I HAD to commit the offense  Duress (coercion)  Entrapment  Infancy  Insanity  Mistake of fact  Intoxication  Self­Defense o A person who has reasonable fear that he or she is in immediate danger of being  harmed by another person may ward off the attack o Level of force must be “reasonable,” not excessive  Necessity o Used when people break the law in order to save themselves or prevent some  greater harm  Example: speeding through a traffic light to transport an injured child to  the hospital  Duress (coercion) o Arises when someone commits a crime because another person coerces (forces)  him or her to do so o If possible, one must escape rather than commit a crime. If escape is not possible  then the legal defense of duress can be used  Entrapment o The defense that the police induced the individual to commit the criminal act o Key question is the predisposition of the defendant and whether the crime would  have happened if the police had not induced the crime  Citizens can be excused from the criminal liability if they can show that  the gov’t ENCOURAGED them to commit an offense they wouldn’t have  otherwise committed.   Extremely rare  Infancy o The law excused criminal acts by children younger than age 7 on the grounds of  immaturity. o Age requirements vary by state o Under certain circumstances, children can be tried as adults:  Repeat offenders  Committed a very heinous violent crime  Mistake of Fact o Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but if an accused person had made a mistake it  may serve as a mistake  Example: buying “hard lemonade” for a child without knowing that is had  alcohol in it  Buying stolen items on Craigslist.   Intoxication o Voluntary intoxication is not excuse for the commission of a crime o Involuntary intoxication can be used as a defense if the accused can show that he  or she had been given an intoxicating substance without consent or knowledge  Insanity o A legal defense to determine if a person’s state of mental balance negates criminal responsibility o Insanity is a legal term o Present federal law limits the insanity defense to those who cannot, because of  severe mental disease or defect, appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her conduct o Burden of proof is laid on the DEFENSE o If found NOT GUILTY by reason of INSANITY, the defendant is committed to a mental hospital.   Still held responsible for action  Put into mental hospital for hope to address their concern  Typically serve longer “sentence” in mental hospital than prison 


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