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SOC 339 Wk 4

by: Adriana Gonzales

SOC 339 Wk 4 SOC 339

Adriana Gonzales
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About this Document

Class notes and notes from the readings of Wk. 4
Introduction to criminology
Dr. Carrie Oser
Class Notes




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Adriana Gonzales on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 339 at University of Kentucky taught by Dr. Carrie Oser in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views. For similar materials see Introduction to criminology in Sociology at University of Kentucky.


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Date Created: 02/07/16
nd February 2 TRENDS & PATTERNS 1. HISTORY OF CRIME Crime has excited as longs as rules existed for people to break A clear idea of trends has only existed since the 1940s Crime is motivated by economic need or gain but not always instead inequality in income is a better explanation for crime trends A. Crime trends: 1940-1960 i. Crime during WWII and postwar era was lower than now at days ii. Postwar: Decline in murder and crime rates B. Crime trends: 1960-1980 i. By the mid- to late-1960s: largest rise of crime in history ii. Murder rate doubled in less than 20 yrs. iii. Late 1960s and 1970s sent the nation to panic over a crime wave iv. Baby-boomers C. Reasons for a crime wave I. Civil unrest: civil rights movement & Vietnam war protest II. All time high drug use (indirect or direct participation in criminal activities) III. Increased police professionalism IV. Baby-boomers age group of (13-20) had highest rates of criminal behavior D. Crime trends: 1980-1990 I. Murder rates declined II. Crime rate began to rise III. Arrival of crack cocaine IV. Property and violent crimes associated with the substance (crack cocaine) took drug markets, therefore crime rates V. Late 1990s and begging of the 21 century the US reported the lowest murder rates since 1960s E. Crime trends: 1960-2010 I. Crime rose between 1960 and 1980 II. Declined in early 1980s III. Rose again in 1991and has declined ever since F. US as a crime nation I. Crime is only remarkably higher in murder rates II. UCR (2013) murder rate of the US is 4.5 III. Property crime dominate the crime index IV. Crime doesn’t have the same rates in all regions V. the south has the highest crime rates G. Global comparisons I. To compare crime within nations you need to consider:  Differences in definition, development, cultural context and available measures. II. Measures of crime: UN, Interpol, WHO 2. OFFENDING PATTERNS HISTORY OF CRIME The profile of a typical offender, notes categories of age, gender, race, and social class. A profile indicates that more people with a certain characteristic, have committed crime. Profiles are investigative tools rather than a source of understanding. A. Age patterns I. Criminal offending is mostly a youthful endeavor. II. 48% of those arrested are under 25. III. Criminal behavior peaks in ages 13-20 and drops afterwards IV. Hormonal changes can be a factor for criminal activity B. Gender patterns I. Most criminal offenders are male II. Only in prostitution women outnumber men in criminal offending III. Biological differences in size, strength and testosterone are reasons why men are more likely to commit crime IV. Women’s liberation in the 1970s initiated a female crime wave C. Racial patterns I. African-Americans are 13% of the U.S population, if blacks and whites committed the same amount of crime it would mean that blacks represent 13% of criminal offenders II. Majority of criminal offenders are white III. 70% white 28% black (2008 statistics) 2 IV. Racial profiling refers to any practice by officials that targets individuals based on their racial background or appearance D. Social class patterns I. Lower-class areas and inner cities have high rates of crime II. Social class is the weakest demographic predictor of criminal behavior E. Crime I. Crime is more common at night II. Crime peaks in the summer time III. Crime is highest in the south and western U.S IV. Violent crimes occur near the victim’s home V. In the majority of violent crimes, the victim and offender know each other VI. Alcohol or drugs are involved in about half of all crimes 3. VICTIMIZATION PATTERNS Criminal victimization has clear patters by age, sex, and race A. Age patterns I. Young people are more likely to be in risky situations and less likely to take safety precautions against crime B. Gender patterns I. Males are more likely to be victims of every type of major crime with the exception of rape II. The most dangerous place for a woman is their own home III. Women an children are victimized by those whom they love and trust and are more likely to be sexually violated and emotionally damaged C. Racial patterns I. African-Americans victimization rates are six times those for white D. Social class patterns 3 I. Lower class are targets of crime because of their proximity to the offenders E. Situational factors I. # of evenings spent outside home II. how often one walks on the street alone III. alcohol consumption IV. carelessness 4. VICTIMS & OFFENDERS A. Offending and victimization patterns i. Black males from lower class are more involved in crime ii. Victims and offenders may come from the same subpopulation iii. Victimization may be an outgrowth to exposure to criminals iv. Cycle of abuse: children who were abuse will more likely grow to be criminals (not always the case) v. Having friends who commit criminal offenses increases one’s risk to become a victim or an offender 4


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