Criminology (Professor Carey) Exam #1 Study Guide
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Lesson #1The Criminological Enterprise
∙ Criminology is concerned with
o Crime Measurement: Understand the extent of crime with statistics
◊ How much Crime?
◊ Who commits it?
◊ When/Where does it happen?
Looking at official statistics (such as those provided by a court or police department)
We can design surveys to track such information NOT appearing in official records
o Investigation changes in THE LAW
What social forces act up on the law?
How does the law shape society, and how do these things change?
Why do these things change:
◊ Science: research on harmfulness can impact drug laws
◊ Popular Opinion: we see changes from decade to decade/ generation to generation
about WHAT SHOULD BE ILLEGEAL
◊ Morality: popular opinion is influenced by shifts in morality (it is NO LONGER SEEN AS IMMORAL for gays to get married)
◊ Politics and Political Will: even when we see shifts in popular opinion or morality, we still need POLITICAL WILL to change polices, including the law
CONSERVATIVE OR LIBERAL
If you want to learn more check out How does individualism influence american family life?
PUNISHMENT OR REHABILITATION
o Crime Causation: Why do people commit crime?
There are many possible explanations for crime such as:
◊ Psychological: how do personality, social learning, and cognition impact crime?
◊ Biological: are these traits that make someone more criminal? Law IQ? Genetic
Predisposition (such as tendency toward substance abuse)
◊ Sociological: what about poverty? Croup interaction? How do we explain disparities in
RACE within criminal justice outcomes?
◊ Ecological/Environmental: where does crime happen? When?
o Penology: What to do about crime? (penology is the study of corrections)
o Victimology: Who becomes victims and why?
If one were to engage in RISKY BEHAVIOR (such as crime), they are more likely to become VICTIMS We also discuss several other topics like Why is marginal thinking important?
◊ Victims are NOT always wholly “innocent.” This is not “VICTIM BLAMING,” which is how some interpret it
◊ VICTIM BLAMING: she should not have been wearing that
◊ VICTIM PRECIPITATION: gang members are more likely to be shot by other gang
members than other people
Lesson #2Criminological Theories
∙ Crime has not always been studied in a scientific manner
∙ MIDDLE AGES: those who broke the rules/laws where thought of in DENOMIC terms. SUPERNATURAL explanations were common
∙ Crime arose from SIN: we are created in the IMAGE OF GOD, so crime can only result from possession or WITCHCRAFT
∙ Punishment included TURTURE, DEATH, EXORCISIM. We were interested in FIRM, FORMAL, and often PEMANENT solutions to problems
∙ Classical Criminology
o Free will
o Hedonistic calculus
∙ Positivism: External factors
o Society If you want to learn more check out What is the free fall formula?
o Critical Race Theory
Lesson #3What is Crime?
∙ Crime v. Deviance
∙ Deviance can become crime
∙ Definitions of crime
o Consensus view: everyone agrees about what should be illegal. MURDER is illegal across time and place
o Conflict view: we do NOT agree what should be illegal. The POWERFUL determine that, and they use the LAW to protect their own interests
o Interactionist view: we are always INTERACTING with each other in a conversation about deviance. The prevailing MORAL CRUSADERS are the ones who shape definitions of crime
∙ There are four Components of crime:
o Intentionally: the action (or the failure to act), must be done on purpose If you want to learn more check out What are the oxidation numbers for k, s, and o in k2so4?
Don't forget about the age old question of How do you calculate turbine efficiency?
That does not mean that the consequences must be intended, merely the act that precipitated the consequences
Example: if you punch someone and they die, you will be charged with murder, despite having had no lethal intention Don't forget about the age old question of What is one way todetect estrous in swine?
o No justification: This means, for example, that while homicide is usually a crime, there are instances in which it is not. It is not a crime to shoot someone who breaks into your house, for instance
o Breaks a law: we have to have a rule against an act before that act can be criminal
o Is punishable: as either a felony or misdemeanor
Lesson #4Purposes of Criminal Law?
∙ Social control
∙ Discourages revenge
∙ Express public opinion
∙ Expresses moral values
∙ Changes equity
∙ Maintains social order
Lesson #5Formal Justice Process?
∙ Know these 11 steps in order
o Initial contact
o Preliminary hearing
o Bail Decision
o Plea Bargain
Lesson #1Informal Justice
∙ Criminal Justice Assembly Line
o It has been proposed that the steps in the process that we talked about earlier correspond to thinking of
CJ as being an assembly line, and while this dehumanizes the process, it is also very realistic. o Ultimately have to have a way to process the huge volume of cases that begin each year. ∙ Courtroom Work Group
o Shared Subculture
o Presumption of Guilt
o The stereotypes of CJ are that the relationship between prosecutors and defense attorneys is antagonistic, that police and suspects are full of mutual hatred, and that every person in the process is
doing their job, and only their job. (This is impractical and also untrue)
o The Courtroom Work Group is comprised of attorneys and judges
o Know this: the courtroom work group requires a few things
1. Decision making about a case is a collaborative process. The defense attorney and the
prosecutor will talk about how to resolve the issue
2. The work group has a shared subculture, meaning they agree on basic norms of behavior 3. The work group employs socialization. Basically, new members are told and shown how to
behave by people who have been around
4. The informal rules of the work group are enforced by rewards and punishments
∙ Wedding Cake Model
o The cases are sorted into 4 tiers
Level 1: Celebrated Cases
◊ Cases that everyone knows such as OJ Simpson, Trayvon Martin, and Boston Marathon
◊ The media attention causes the courtroom work to behave in a way that corresponds to
Level 2: Serious Felonies
◊ Such as robbery, rape, and murder, and they will also get the full component of formal
◊ The more serious the crime is, generally, the more formal the process is for dealing with it Level 3: Less serious Felonies
◊ Can still be serious crimes
◊ However, they are also more common, so they are seen as more routine
◊ Typically, nonviolent, drug related, and financial
Level 4: Misdemeanors
◊ Can have very real and damaging consequences to those who are victimized, but the
courtroom work group doesn’t function by taking minor crimes all that seriously. This is
where assembly line justice is more apparent.
◊ Example are DUI’s, simple assaults, and domestic disturbances
◊ This is called “the going rate” which basically says that if I know what somebody is
charged with and their criminal history, I can successfully predict the range that their
sentence will fall into
◊ This is because low level crimes are treated in a similar fashion by the courts
Lesson #2Crime Data
∙ Official Statistics
o UCR: is compiled of the federal level by the FBI from data obtained from thousands of local police
Index Crime: They group crime into what is known as Index, or part 1 crime, which consist of
murder, rape, burglary, larceny, arson, car theft, and aggravated assault
o Records from police, courts, corrections: Local departments keep records of offenses, then they tell the
feds what happened every year
o The Dark Figure Crime: reliance on official measures like the UCR poses some problems and the biggest
problem is one of completeness and what is referred to as “The Dark Figure of Crime”
Creation of the Dark Figure:
◊ Victims think the crime is trivial (your car got keyed or someone punched you at a party) ◊ Lack confidence in police (think they either don’t care or are not competent to solve the
◊ Fear reprisals (particularly in cases of domestic violence/disputeyou think the offender
will come back and hurt you)
◊ “dirty hands” (if the victim is also involved in crime, they wont call police. Drug deal gone
wrong? Police are not getting called)
o SelfRepot: They are surveys asking respondents to report on their own participation in crime o Victimization Surveys: a large national survey asking people about their own victimization, so we learn
about things that happened but that were not reported to police
Lesson #3Crime Trends
∙ Crime rates have been declining sharply since the early 90s
∙ Violence has decreased by about 700,000 crimes, while the population has grown by millions since the early 90s Lesson #4The Demographics of Crime
∙ Poverty: Crime correlates with poverty
∙ Age: the relationship of age to crime is summarized by the “agecrime curve”
o AgeCrime Curve: shows us the peaks of offending for particular crimes with respect to the age of
offenders (Property crime spikes at 16 years of age)
o As people age, they are less inclined toward crime as opposed to young people
∙ Gender: most crimes are committed by males (testosterone increases aggression, which is related to crime in
which men have more testosterone)
o Racial disparities exist in arrest, prosecution, and sentencing
o AfricanAmericans and other minorities (particularly young men) are disproportionately subject to criminal
o One reason is the unfair bias in the system and/or more criminality within minority groups o System Bias
Racial Threat Hypothesis: as minorities become more numerous, they will receive greater attention from police and the Criminal Justice System (says that minorities will be subject to
greater police control in order to protect entrenched interests that may be threatened by them) Once someone is incarcerated, they cease to be a threat
o Cultural Bias
The idea of cultural bias as an explanation of criminal justice racial disparities specifically has to
do with AfricanAmericans
Crime as Rebellion/Demand for Respect
◊ Crime as Rebellion against an unfair system
◊ Our cultural behaviors and social policies, beginning with slavery and continuing now,
have fractured the family structure of AfricanAmericans and installed in its place an
exaggerated demand for “respect”
o Structural Bias
Attack your Neighbor
◊ This is more general, and says that because of the disruptions caused by poverty,
disadvantaged groups will rarely be able to contact or target the people responsible for
◊ Therefore, they target people who they do come into contact with, which are the people in their own neighborhoods. This is a sociological attempt to account for innercity violence
that is interracial (“Black on Black” crime is an example)
∙ CAREER CRIMINALS or CHRONIC OFFENDERS, are responsible for LOTS of crime
∙ MOST people who commit minor crime and are caught, DESIST from it (they stop), or they continue to commit
∙ SOME people ESCALATE their criminal involvement over a LONG period of time
∙ CAREER CRIMINALS tend to start offending very young, and come from disadvantaged backgrounds o LOW IQ
o BAD PARENTINGdrug involved parents
∙ Implications of Chronicity:
o Mandatory minimums and threestrikes laws are aimed at these people
o We have a high recidivism rate
Lesson #1Victimology Intro
∙ SubField of Criminology
o Criminologystudy of crime and criminals
o Victimologystudy of victims
Risk factors (Causes of victimization)
System treatment of victims
◊ How are victims seen by courts or police?
Media treatment of victims
◊ How are victims popularly portrayed?
Consequences of victimization
◊ Why should we care?
Lesson #2Early History of Victimology
∙ As with much of Criminology, victimology is relatively new
∙ That said, in practice, victims have a LONG history of being given precedence in criminal actions ∙ LEX TALIONISan eye for an eye
o Guiding principle for much of Western History
o PUNISH the guilty
o This OFTEN fell to the victimextract vengeance for wrongs
Ex. Make thieves return property, with other acceptable restitution
The essential goal in the middle ages and earlier was to MAKE THE VICTIM WHOLE
Shift to State Focus
∙ INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONthis saw the rise of many of our formal systems of justice ∙ In brief, the STATE displaced the VICTIM as the injured party
∙ This persists today
o If you are accused of a crime, you are prosecuted BY the state, for harming the PUBLIC good o INDIVIDUAL VICTIMS are no longer the priority
Instead, the STATE is acting on their behalf as the aggrieved party
∙ GREAT for the statethey can collect fines, etc.
∙ POOR for victimsthey are excluded from the process except to act as WITNESSES FOR THE STATE Lesson #3Victimology in the 20th century
∙ Started looking more closely at victims in the 1940s
∙ NOT about what they needed, but WHY they became victims
o Did they contribute to their own victimhood???
∙ VICTIM PRECIPITATION the extent to which victims are RESPONSIBLE for their own victimization o Crime has two agents offender and victim
o Victim is NOT NECESSARILY completely innocent
o Call someone a name and get knocked out you still are the victim, but you aren’t completely innocent.
You would NOT have been knocked out had you not instigated a confrontation.
o PROBLEM with thisfocus too much on victim precipitation, EXCUSING THE OFFENDER ∙ Victim Responsibility
o Victim Facilitation: person makes it more likely that they will be victimized because of their actions o Victim Provocation: inciting someone else to commit an illegal act
∙ BENJAMIN MENDELSOHN lawyer, and “father of victimology”
∙ Classified victims thusly
o COMPLETELY INNOCENT victim bears ZERO responsibility for victimhoodsuch as children. They
o MINOR GUILT victimization due to IGNORANCEdid not recognize a threat, such as someone not knowing that a given area was dangerous
o EQUAL GUILT victim and offender are equally to blamesuicide pacts, extortion gone wrong, etc.. o MORE GUILTY victim is MORE to blame for victimhood than offender because they INSTIGATE it (I
dare you to punch me)
o MOST GUILTY victim becomes victimized while perpetrating a crime
o IMAGINARY VICTIM FALSLY claiming to be a victim
Lesson #4Who is Most Likely to be a Victim?
∙ Anyone can become one, and CRIMINALS are very likely to become victims
∙ There are other categories of likely victims as well
o The poor
o The young
o The old
o The “dull” (stupid people)
o Mentally challenged
o The INTOXICATED
∙ VICTIMHOOD often proceeds from either some PHYSICAL or SOCIAL vulnerability, OR the INABILITY to recognize dangerous behavior
Lesson #5Victims Rights Movement
∙ In the 1960’s, we were undergoing LOTS of social change, and the emergence of the VICTIM’S RIGHTS
MOVEMENT was part of that
∙ First version of the NCVS (national crime victimization survey)
o It had a different name then, but it uncovered LOTS of victimization that had previously gone undetected
(which is what survey research is meant to do)
o So, we see a swing BACK toward acknowledging victims as part of our concern over crime. This move
had a few components…
∙ Results of victims rights movement
o Programs put forth to provide victims with financial compensation and social support (counseling) o Task forces on family violence
o Victims of crime act: embarked funds to be distributed to victims of crime
o Violence against women Act: funds research into issues of domestic abuse and other violence against women
Lesson #1Types of Costs
∙ Physical Harm
∙ Mental Harm
o Loss of SelfEsteem
Tension, Restlessness, elevated heartrate, excessive vigilance, possible paranoiabaseless or
delusional suspicion of others and their motivations
Linked to other traumas, including victimization
Must have experienced or witnessed something that caused injury or death
Must have caused nightmares, flashbacks, or other incidents “reliving” the event
Should avoid conditions which trigger such things (circumstances similar to the traumatic event) ∙ Learned Helplessness
Lesson #2Mental Harm
∙ Physical harm is selfexplanatory, so we’ll move to Mental Harm
o Loss of interest
o Inclination toward selfharm
o YOUTH are especially vulnerable, especially in instances of bullying
NOTE: This is related but potentially distinct from CLINICAL DEPRESSION, which does not necessarily have
a readily identifiable catalyst.
∙ LOSS of SELFESTEEM
o Related to depression, but manifesting in thinking poorly of one’s self.
o Difference between “my circumstances are bad”, and “I am bad”.
∙ What is sounds like: the victim blames him or herself for what happened, and there are TWO KINDS o CHARACTEROLOGICAL SELFBLAME believe that they deserved it because of who/how they are, for
whatever reason. Any version of “I’m a bad person, so this is what I get”
o BEHAVIORAL SELFBLAME blaming themselves, not because of who they are, but for what they DID.
This is changeable, the first kind isn’t.
∙ LEARNED HELPLESSNESS
o belief that they CANNOT resist. Stop struggling, stop fighting, don’t report. All are manifestations of helplessness.
Lesson #3Economic Costs
∙ Losses from theft (obvious)
∙ Missed time at work (lost productivity)
∙ Medical bills
∙ Legal fees
∙ AVERAGE costs of a crime is only $125, but that skews low because of how numerous MINOR crime is ∙ TOTAL cost of crime is over $17b annually, and that isn’t low at all
Lesson #4Quality of Life
∙ This is the most insidious cost of crime
∙ Can come from physical harm (becoming disabled as a result of victimization)
∙ Can also come from mental harm (must quit job because of associations with victimization) ∙ Can manifest in changed behavior (don’t go out alone), or with the insistence on being armed (don’t feel good
without a gun).
∙ Makes people move and change their routines
∙ IT CHANGES THEIR LIVES, and while the individual changes may be beneficial, it is also UNFAIR.
Lesson #5System Costs
∙ CJ system costs over 200b annually. It employs almost 2.5 million people, whose salary alone is over 9b. That a
TON of people and money that largely wouldn’t be spent without victims.
∙ INSURANCE costs 45b annually (health insurance, mostly)
∙ GUNSHOT victims alone account for 4.5b in costs
∙ Victimization doesn’t JUST have costs for the victim. Through SYSTEM COSTS, everyone in here has paid some price for victimization, even if it is only obscure economic cost.
Lesson #6Vicarious Victimization
∙ This is how victimization impacts the families and loved ones of victims. There is a cost associated with seeing
someone close to you be victimized.
o HOMICIDE SURVIVORS are the most widely studied group
o Have similar responses to actual victims of crime
o SelfBlaming (why couldn’t I save them/what else could I have done?)
o Often relive their reactions when they testify
∙ AVOIDANCE BEHAVIORS this is when people avoid the situations/places/people that they FEAR might result in
them being victimized
o This is GOOD, provided it is REASONABLE. If people are able to enjoy life while taking reasonable
precautions, its no problem.
o This is BAD when it is EXAGERRATED. If people are scared to leave their house, their quality of life is
∙ PROTECTIVE/DEFENSIVE BEHAVIORS this is when you install security, like cameras, locks, or lighting. It is
ALSO when you arm yourself for protection.
o Again, GOOD when it makes sense (a shotgun in the closet, probably okay), but BAD when it is extreme (you don’t need to bring a shotgun to Crim class).