Criminal Justice 101- Chapter 2 NOTES
Criminal Justice 101- Chapter 2 NOTES Criminal Justice 101
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Renée on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Criminal Justice 101 at Grand Valley State University taught by Angela Morrison in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see Justice and Society in Criminal Justice at Grand Valley State University.
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Date Created: 02/03/16
Criminal Justice 101 February 2, 2016 Chapter 2: Measuring and Explaining Crime *** All notes ardirectly from the book of Criminal Justice in Action*** ***None of the writing is my work, it is an outline of the notable information from the book*** Types of Crime: Violent crime- classified by degree o The four most common types: Murder: The unlawful killing of one human being by another Sexual Assault: Forced sexual intercourse or other sexual acts Assault & battery Assault: A threat or an attempt to do violence to another person that causes that person to fear immediate physical hard Battery: The act of physically contacting another person with the intent to do harm, even if the resulting injury is insubstantial Robbery: The act of taking property from another person without the use of force with the intent of keeping that property Property crime o Three most common types: Larceny: The act of taking property from another person without the use of force, threat of force, or intimidation Burglary: The act of breaking into or entering a building without permission for the purpose of committing a felony Motor vehicle theft, which includes attempted theft Public order crime: Behavior that has been labeled criminal because it is contrary to shared social values, customs, and norms o Most common are public drunkenness, prostitution, gambling, and illicit drug use o “victimless crimes” due to only harms the offender White collar crimes: Nonviolent crimes committed by business entities or individuals to gain a personal or business advantage Organized crime: Illegal acts carried out by illegal organizations engaged in the market for illegal goods or services, such as illicit drugs or firearms o Groups take part in organized crime desire to obtain economic gain by means of violence, corruption, and intimidation o Operates under a hierarchical leveled structure High-tech crime o New type of crime is due to the increased use of computers called cyber crimes Selling pornographic materials, soliciting minors, and defrauding costumers Corporations are vulnerable to sabotage, fraud, embezzlement, and theft of propriety data Measuring Crime in the United States: The Uniform Crime Report: An annual report compiled by the FBI to give an indication of criminal activity in the United States o To obtain the data needed for the UCR, the FBI relies on voluntary participation of local law enforcement agencies that base their information on: The number of people arrested The total number of crimes reported Police employee data o The FBI presents the data by: A rate per 100,000 people As a percentage change from past years o These reports are released annually Part 1 offenses: Crimes reported annually by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Report o Includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft o Most covered by media Part 2 offenses: All other crimes besides part 1 offenses o Includes misdemeanors and felonies o Most common are drug abuse violations, simple assaults, driving under the influence, and disorderly conduct o Measured only by arrest data The national incident-based reporting system o Took action to improve the data collected starting in the 1980’s Result was the National Incident-Based Reporting Systems Became available to local agencies in 1989 Victim surveys: A method of gathering crime data that directly surveys participants to determine their experiences as victims of crime o This is an alternative way to collect crime data o Dark figure of crime: A term used to describe the actual amount of crime that takes place o First large scale victim survey happened in 1966 Self reported surveys: A method of collecting crime data from offenders that relies on participants to reveal and detail their own criminal behavior o Participants are asked directly o There is no penalty for admitting to criminal activity Crime Trends: Currently there are low levels of crime compared to the past o This is thought to be due to: Improvements in law enforcement The aging population The end of a crack-cocaine epidemic from the 1980’s Gentrification of high crime areas Crime, race, and poverty o Blacks are more likely to be homicide victims in comparison to whites o Blacks are more susceptible to gun violence than other races o Blacks are more likely to be sent to prison than whites for the same offence o What influences crime rates has more to do with the level of poverty an area has Women and crime o Female arrests from 1980 to 2009 has doubled It is either due to: Life circumstances and behavior of women has changed The attitude of the criminal justice system towards women has changed What Causes Crime: Criminology: The scientific study of crime and the causes of criminal behavior Correlation: The relationship between two measurements or behaviors that tend to move together in the same direction Causation: The relationship in which a change in one measurement or behavior creates a recognizable change in another measurement or behavior Main Theories: o Rational Choice Theory o Trait Theory o Sociological Theories o Social Conflict Theories o Social Process Theories o Life Course Theories The Role of Theory o Theory: an explanation of a happening or circumstance that is based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning o Hypothesis: A possible explanation for an observed occurrence that can be rested by further investigation o Scientific method is used to find out more about criminal behavior The brain and the body o People make a willful decision to commit crime and can do so at any given time o Rational choice theory: A school of criminology that holds that wrongdoers weigh the possible benefits of criminal activity against the expected costs of being apprehended The larger the ratio of net rewards of crime vs not committing crime, the more likely someone will commit the crime Thrill offenders o Some criminals get a rush when committing crimes and that is the reason that drives them to do so The excitement achieved from committing crime is called the seduction of crime Trait theory o Some people argue that it is a biological instinct for some people to commit crimes o Biology: The science of living organisms including their structure, function, growth, and origin o Psychology: The scientific study of mental process and behavior Genetics and crime o Genetics: The study of how certain traits or qualities are transmitted from parents to their offspring o Genetics gives biological traits that are more likely to produce a person who commits crimes Hormones have been an area of study by criminologists for this reason Hormones: Chemical produced that controls certain functions in the body Ie: Testosterone: The hormone primarily responsible for the production of sperm and the development of male secondary sex characteristics o The testing of inmate populations has shown that violent inmates have higher levels of testosterone in comparison to nonviolent inmates o More than half of the inmates of jails and prisons in the U.S. have some form of mental illness Can not be directly causing violence Psychology and crime o Social psychology is used to see how crowds influence someone’s behavior Social Disorganization Theory: The theory that deviant behavior is more likely in communities where social institutions o Sociology: The study of development and functioning of groups of people who live together within a society o Factors that lead to crime when high in number (from Social Disorganization Theory): High school drop outs Unemployment Old and unfit structures (ie houses) Single parent households Strain Theory: The theory that crime is the result of frustration and anger felt by individuals who cannot reach their financial and personal goals through legitimate means o Individuals who do achieve social status usually move out when they have the means Social Conflict Theories: A school of criminology that views criminal behavior as the result of class conflict o Holds capitalism at fault Social Process Theories: A school of crime that considers criminal behavior to be the predictable result of a person’s interaction with their environment o The potential to commit crime is something everyone possesses o Includes: Learning theory: The theory that delinquents and criminals must be taught the emotional and practical skills in order to do crime Control theory: A theory that assumes all individuals have potential for criminal behavior but most people are too aware and afraid of the consequences that would occur socially to them Social bonds promote following social norms Life Course Criminology: The study of crime based on the belief that behavioral patters developed in childhood can predict delinquent and criminal behavior later in life o Self control theory: criminal behavior that occurs predominantly due to the subject having low self control Someone with low self control: Act impulsive Thrill-seeking Likely to turn to violence Continuity theory of crime: Once bad behavior has been established it is hard to reverse Victims of Crime: Criminal acts require: o A likely offender o Suitable target o Absence of a guardian Repeat victims o Offenders attach a value to targets, the higher the value the more likely the person will commit a crime o Those who are seen as weak are likely to be a victim of multiple crimes due to being an easy target o Repeat victimization: The theory that certain people and places are more likely to be subject to repeated criminal activity and that past victimization is a strong indicator or future victimization Women as crime victims o Usually involves someone that the victim has had a relationship with in the past o A male is two times more likely to experience violence from a stranger than a woman o Women are five times more likely to victims of intimate partner violence o Women are at a greater risk than men of being victims of domestic violence Domestic violence: maltreatment, including physical violence and psychological abuse, that occurs within a familial or other intimate relationship o Stalking is another crime that women are more at risk for Stalking: The criminal act of causing fear in a person by repeatedly subjecting that person to unwanted or threatening attention Mental Illness and victimization o People with mental illness are more likely to be victims due to: Their ability to maintain a job therefor causing poverty Being homeless which makes them an easy target Having a hard time making decisions in potentially dangerous scenarios The Link Between Drugs and Crime: Theories of drug use: o Social disorganization theory says that a lack of institutions of social control can cause people to turn away from mainstream society and therefor drugs o Control theory insinuates that a lack of social controls can lead to antisocial behavior o How first time users become habitual users: Learn how to properly use the drug Find the effects to be pleasurable Enjoy the social aspect of the drug Drug Abuse: The use of drugs that results in physical or psychological problems for the user, as well as disruption of personal relationships and employment o Most illegal users are not abusers o Abusers sustain the market Addiction o Most extreme abusers are physically dependent on a drug Dopamine is what causes physical dependence o Continuous use of drugs causes physical changes to receptors, or nerve endings in the brain and will make them be less sensitive Drug-crime relationship o Prescription Drugs: Medical drugs that require a physician’s permission for purchase Second most abused drug in the United States o Meth and Heroin: The process to make these substances include ingredients that are legal and over the counter therefor is very easy to make o Marijuana is the number one most used illicit drug
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