Criminology Test 1 Study Guide
Criminology Test 1 Study Guide 1300
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This 9 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amelia Hernandez on Monday February 8, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 1300 at Tulane University taught by Professor Hall in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 176 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 02/08/16
Criminology Chapter One Notes Sociological Criminology: A sociological understanding of crime and criminal justice. It gives explicit attention to issues of poverty and race and ethnicity as well as to the structure of communities and social relationships. social backgrounds influence the likelihood of someone committing crime. Sociological Perspective: stresses that people are social beings more than mere individuals. This means society shapes their behaviors, attitudes and like chances. Emile Durkheim is the founder of this. He stressed that deviance will always occur because no social norm is strong enough to prevent all rule breaking. Because deviance is normal, it is part of societal stability. A society can have no social change without deviance. Social Structure: refers to how a society is organized in terms of social relationships and social interaction. It is both horizontal and vertical. Vertical Social Structure is more commonly called Social Inequality and is how society ranks different groups of people. These ranks can be influenced by class, race, ethnicity and gender. C.Wright Mills said social structure lies at the root of private troubles or public issues. He says that the ability to understand the structural and historical basis for personal troubles as the Sociological Imagination. Debunking Motif: things in sociology are not always what they seem and sociological research often exposes false claims about reality and taken for granted assumptions about social life and social institutions. Deviance: Behavior that violates social norms. Deviance is relative in space. Meaning what is considered deviant depends on where the act happens. (ie. Murdering someone in a war gets you a medal, but in your home can get you executed.) Deviance is also relative in time. What is deviant in one time period, might not be in another. (ie. Gay marriage.) Social Control: the restraint a society has of behaviors that violate norms. It enforces the customs of societies. Laws: formal norms that are written down or codified. Classical School of Criminology: 18 century. This method stressed that criminals rationally choose to commit crime after deciding that the rewards outweigh the risks. Legal punishment would have to be severe enough to stop these potential criminals before this crime was blamed on the devil. Edwin Sutherland: sensitive to the crimecausing or criminogenic conditions of urban neighborhoods. He looked at how conditions influence criminality and how peer influences are important. differential association theory. Defined criminology as the study of the making of laws and of a society’s reaction to the breaking of laws. Social Control or Social Bonding Theory: 1970s. emphasized the criminogenic effects of the weal bonds to social institutions. This theory focused on social relationships. Crime: is behavior that is considered so harmful that it is banned by a criminal law. Consensus Theory: First appears in Durkheim’s work. It assumes a consensus among people from all walks of life on what the social norms of behavior are and should be. Conflict Theory: Originates in Marx and Engels works. It is the opposite of consensus theory. It assumes members of the public disagree on many of society’s norms, with their disagreement reflecting the different positions of money and power. Goals of Criminal Law: 1) to help keep the public safe from crime and criminals or to prevent and control crime and criminal behavior. 2) To articulate our society’s moral values and concerns. 3) to protect the rights and freedoms of the nation’s citizenry by protecting it from governmental abuse of power. Mala in se Crimes (evil in themselves): refer to behaviors that violate traditional norms and moral codes. Direct Victim Mala Prohibita (wrong only because prohibited by law): behaviors that violate contemporary standards only. (ie. Illegal drug use and white collar crime.) No direct victims. Actus Reus (actual act): refers to the actual criminal act of which the defendant is accused. For a defendant to be found guilty there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they committed the criminal act. Mens Rae (guilty mind): refers to criminal intent, which means that the defendant intended to commit the crime. Also covers reckless behavior or negligence. Legal Defenses Accident or Mistake Ignorance: Didn’t know the law Duress: You were in fear of your life or your safety SelfDefense Entrapment: a person only committed a crime because a law enforcement officer induced the offender to do so. Insanity: few criminals actually plead insanity. Research Methods Used In Criminology Surveys Experiments Qualitative Research: Observing and Intense Interviewing. Longitudinal Studies are where people are studied over a long period of time. Research Using Existing Data Comparative and Historical Research Criminology Chapter 2 Notes Democratic Theory: policy decisions by public officials should reflect public opinion. politicians are often more influence by the elite than the general public. Public opinion is often inaccurate. Overdramatization: Of crime in media because the more dramatic it is, the more captivating to the audience it will be. The news will also tend to only focus on the most dramatic kinds of crime. often very misleading on what the actuality of the crime was. Crime Waves: where a city’s news media will suddenly devote much attention to a small number of crimes to create a false impression that crime is rampant. Even if crime rates are declining the media will make it seem like the opposite. Crime Myths: false beliefs about crime that the media instills in us. One myth is that crime is rampant and overly violent. Racial and Ethnic Minorities: News will often focus on African American and Latino offenders and white victims. Over exaggerates the involvement and menacing nature of people of color in crime. Understates their victimization. Youths: disproportionately portrays young people as offenders. Only about 14% of violent crime if committed by youth. Virtuous Victims: The news gives most coverage to victims who seem completely innocent and pure. (ie. Small children and wealthy white women who both have relatively low victimization rates.) Other Media Problems: 1) people interviewed show the reporter’s POV. 2) Using language like “preying on victims” instead of neutral terms. 3) Presenting misleading data. 4) Neglecting whitecollar crime. 5) Failing to provide social and historical context. 6) Media can often be biased. Obscuring Underlying Forces: the media can hide underlying social and cultural forces behind crime. Fear of Crime: We are often afraid of crime by strangers when most crimes happen by someone you know. We are afraid of night, being alone, men over women, new locations. Structural Factors: A community’s characteristics. (Quality of living, neighborhoods, the number of people of color, level of urbanization.) People in big cities are more likely to perceive a higher crime rate. Consequences of Fear: fear of crime can weaken social ties within a community. Mistrust of others. Threatens economic value of neighborhoods. Public Judgments on the Seriousness of Crime: they reflect the value placed on human life and on personal property. They affect your own views of appropriate punishment. These judgments influence the penalties made by legislators for violations of criminal laws and the sentences judges give criminals. different demographics usually agree on the seriousness of crimes. They have similar Sentencing Preferences. Punitiveness: judgments of appropriate punishment for convicted criminals. Some people in society hold more punitive views than others. Racial differences exist in certain views on the treatment of criminals. African Americans are less punitive than whites because they think the criminal justice system in biased. Death Penalty: Men, whites, older people, those with less education, Southerners, political conservatives, religious fundamentalists, and residence of areas with higher homicide rates and a higher number of African Americans are more likely to support the death penalty. Is the death penalty Constitutional? Many people think the criminal justice system in unjust. Types of Criminal Offenses: Felony, misdemeanor, infractions. Misdemeanor: fine less that $1,000 and incarceration less than a year. Most crimes get resolved through a plea bargain. CHAPTER 3: THE MEASUREMENT AND PATTERNING OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR Uniform Crime Reports: done by the FBI. Started in the 1930s. Primary source of U.S. crime statistics. massive data collection from most of the nation’s police precincts. The most extensive reporting is done of Part 1 offenses. Part 1 Offenses: The crimes that the FBI considers to be most serious: Homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. (Classified as violent crimes.) Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (Property crime). Part 2 Offenses: fraud and embezzlement, vandalism, prostitution, gambling, disorderly conduct, weapons, etc. FBI reports the number of part 1 crimes that occurred the previous year by state and major city and they also report the number of crimes cleared by arrest and age, race, gender. Arson is not included in the UCR. FBI only reports the number of people arrested for part 2 offenses. How a crime becomes official: typically a crime only becomes known to the police if the victim reports it. 60% of victims of violent and property crimes don’t report. The police only discover 34% of crimes themselves. this makes the UCR data somewhat unreliable. unless the victim IDs the offender or the police catch them in the act, there will probably not be an arrest. Critique of UCR data: 1. Underestimation of the amount of crime. 2. Diversion of attention from white collar crimes. 3. Misleading data on the characteristics of arrestees 4. Citizens’ reporting of crime is sometimes unlikely. 5. Police recording practices and scandals: sometimes the police will want it to look like there is more crime than there actually is because it would mean more funding and job security. 6. Different Definitions of Crimes. 7. School Reporting Practices: some might think schools underreport things like rape because they want to look good. NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System): will eventually replace the UCR. This report will include more information like relationships between criminals and their drug use. Calls to the Police: some people think taking all the calls that come into the police should be the recorded data because not all calls make it into police records, but it would be a more accurate description of types of crime. NCVS (National Crime Victimization Survey): includes the context of crime, the characteristics of the victims, the relationship the victim had to the offender. Randomly selected households get the survey every six months for a period of three years. survey asks about aggravated and simple assault, rape and sexual assault, robbery, burglary, various kinds of larcenies, motor vehicle theft. Homicide and arson are excluded, as are part 2 crimes and commercial crimes. has a much better estimate of the number of crimes than the UCR because the sample is so large the info on the criminals and victims makes theories on victimization much more accurate. the NCVS does underestimates some crimes because of all the ones it excludes, also people might not answer truthfully. It can overestimate other crimes because some people might mistake noncriminal events as crime. Self Report Studies: tend to focus on minor crimes and are often given to high school students. some research says that African American youths are more likely to underreport offending. Recent Trends in U.S. Crime Rates: Crime rates rose during the 1960s and 70s before declining in the 80s and rising again in the late 80s. After 1990 crime rates start to fall every year fast at first and then slowly. Patterning: Crime rates change according to location, season/climate, and demographic factors like gender, race, class. Geographical Patterns: U.S. has the highest homicide rate of any western democratic nation. Crime rates can possibly attributed to culture. For example. Japan values harmony and are expected to be peaceable and respectful of authority. Their crime rates are somewhat low. The south and west of the U.S. have the highest crime rates. Seasonal and Climatological Variations: violent crime is usually higher in warmer months. Summer can cause increased temper, we interact more with each other in summer, so more opportunities for violent behavior to start are possible. There are more empty homes in summer. Gender and Crime: Men account for 80% of violent crime and 63% of property crime arrests. Police bias may have something to do with this (less threatened by women). Cesare Lombroso attributed women’s low criminality to their natural passivity. Freud’s followers thought women commit crime because of penis envy. Masculine traits are more aggressive than typical female traits. Parent’s usually monitor a girl’s actions more so they have less opportunity to commit crime. Girls also create stronger bonds, so they are more attached to their parents and feel more likely to follow their values. Girls have fewer ties to delinquent peers. They are less vulnerable to negative influences. Race, Ethnicity and Crime: Most criminals are white. African Americans commit a disproportionate number of crime relative to their numbers in the population. They also have higher street crime rates. Some people say African Americans show higher rates of violence because they are most likely to be in communities with higher poverty levels, unemployment, family disruption, and residential instability. Similar picture painted for Latinos. Immigrants have relatively low rates of crime. These neighborhoods have strong social institutions and stable employment. Immigrant crime rates rise the longer they’ve been in the U.S. Social Class and Crime: Most people arrested are poorly educated with low incomes. Most don’t have a high school diploma. However this just accounts for street crime. Middle and upper class people are more likely to commit white collar crimes. So there may not be much of a difference between the amounts of crime between lower and upper class. Age and Crime: Street crime is mostly committed by young people (peer influences, financial resources and immaturity could be reasons that young people commit more crimes). Older people commit whitecollar crime. African American men between 1824 have the highest crime rates. White woman 25 and older have the lowest rates. Chronic Offenders: often continue their offending into adulthood. Career criminality is more common of the urban underclass, people with low education and bleak job prospects. CHAPTER 7: SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES: EMPHASIS ON SOCIAL STRUCTURE Durkeim: Member of the conservative intellectual movement after the French Revolution. Felt that human nature is basically selfish, with individuals having unlimited aspirations that if left unchecked by a strong society would result in chaos. Socialization and social ties, by which society was able to hold individual impulses in check. Through socialization, we learn social norms and become good members of society. The ties we have to family, friends and others help socialize us and integrate us into society. Collective Conscious: a strong set of norms and social ties are necessary for a stable society Suicide rates are influenced by external forces and they tend to be higher in times of social change. Ie. Protestants have higher suicide rates than Catholics and unmarried people have higher suicide rates than married people. Anomie and low social integration contribute to higher suicide rates. Anomie: Crime results from the failure to achieve the cultural goal of economic success through the institutional means of working. results when people’s aspirations become uncontrolled and unfulfilled. Conformity: Even given anomie most poor people continue to work and strive for economic success and be law abiding citizens. Innovation: People continue to accept the goal of economic success, but reject the means of working to undertake new means or achieve. Ritualism: people reject the goal of economic success, but continue to accept means of working Retreatism: people reject both the goal of economic success and the means of working. They give up. Rebellion: People reject both economic success and means of working, but try to bring about a new society with different, more egalitarian goals. Social Disorganization: a breakdown in social bonds and social control and on the accompanying confusion of how to behave. Theorists thought that high crime rates were inevitable in neighborhoods with high divorce rates and dilapidated housing and other problems. Key figures of this are Shaw and McKay Increases stereotypes In new selfreport and victimization data results show that crime is highest in areas with 1)low participation in voluntary organization 2) few networks of friendship ties 3)low levels of collective efficiency or community supervision of adolescents and of other informal social control mechanisms 4) high degrees of residential mobility, population density, single parent hoes, dilapidated housing and poverty. Social disorganization increases crime and delinquency because it weakens a neighborhoods social relationships. Relative Deprivation: It is one thing to be poor if everyone is poor, its another to be poor when many are not. People who depend on other for money feel like they have lower selfworth and are more prone to violent crime. General Strain: Negative emotions and thus delinquency result from the failure to achieve desired goals, from the removal of positive stimuli, and from the introduction of negative stimuli Status Frustration: Delinquency results from the failure of lower class boys to do well in school because of its middleclass values Focal Concerns: Delinquency results from several lowerclass subcultural focal concerns: trouble, toughness, smartness, excitement, fate and autonomy. Differential Opportunity: Whether individuals respond to their lack of access to legitimate means with criminal behavior depends on their access to illegitimate means. Subculture of Violence: High rates of urban violence result from a subculture of violence that favors violent responses to insults and other interpersonal conflicts. Code of the Street: A variation of a subcultureviolence approach that emphasizes the use and threat of violence to maintain respect; the need for respect results from the despair and alienation in which the urban poor live.
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