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Criminology Lecture Notes, Ch. 1-11

by: Korrin Cline

Criminology Lecture Notes, Ch. 1-11 CRM 102

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Korrin Cline
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These notes cover the lectures on chapters 1-11 in Introduction to Criminology.
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Date Created: 08/01/16
Chapter 1: Lecture Introduction • Crime-related entertainment extremely popular today • Inexplicability of crime fascinates people • This text examines causative factors in effect when a crime is committed • It encourages an appreciation of the challenges of crafting effective crime-control policy What is Crime? • Four definitional perspectives • Legalistic • Political • Sociological • Psychological • Perspective is important because it determines the assumptions we make and the questions we ask • This book uses the legalistic perspective Legalistic Perspective • Crime: • Human conduct in violation of the criminal laws of a state, the federal government, or a local jurisdiction that has the power to make such laws • Key shortcoming • Yields moral high ground to powerful individuals who can influence lawmaking • Laws are social products – crime is socially relative, created by legislative activity Political Perspective • Crime:  The result of criteria that have been built into the law by powerful groups and are then used to label selected undesirable forms of behavior as illegal • Laws serve the interests of the politically powerful • Crimes are behaviors those in power perceive as threats to their interests Sociological Perspective • Crime:  An antisocial act of such a nature that its repression is necessary or is supposed to be necessary to the preservation of the existing system of society • Crime is an offense against human relationships first, a violation of law second Psychological Perspective • Crime:  Problem behavior, especially human activity that contravenes the criminal law and results in difficulties in living within a framework of generally acceptable social arrangements • Any behavior which is maladaptive would be considered crime • Includes any harmful or potentially harmful behaviors Crime and Deviance • Deviant behavior  Human activity that violates social norms • Deviance and crime overlap – not identical • Delinquency: Violations of the criminal law and other misbehavior committed by young people What Should Be Criminal? • Lack agreement about appropriate legal status of behaviors such as drug use, abortion, gambling, etc. • Question answered differently by two contrasting perspectives  Consensus  Pluralist Consensus • Laws enacted to criminalize behaviors when members of society agree • Homogeneous societies • Shared consensus hard to achieve in diverse multicultural societies Pluralists • Behaviors criminalized through a political process, after debate over appropriate course of action • Involves legislation, appellate court action • Most applicable to diverse societies What is criminology? • Text definition of criminology:  An interdisciplinary profession built around the scientific study of crime and criminal behavior, including their manifestations, causes, legal aspects, and control • Includes consideration of possible solutions to crime problem Criminology’s Basic Questions • Why do crime rates vary? • Why do individuals differ as to criminality? • Why is there variation in reactions to crime? • What are the possible means of controlling criminality? What is Criminology? • Criminology is interdisciplinary • Criminology needs to be integrated • Criminology contributes to criminal justice:  Application of the criminal law and study of the components of the justice system  Police, courts, corrections  Focus on control of lawbreaking What do criminologists do? • Criminologist  Studies crime, criminals and criminal behavior • Criminalist  A specialist in the collection and examination of the physical evidence of crime • Criminal Justice Professionals  Do the day-to-day work of the criminal justice system Academic criminologists • Ph.D. in criminology, CJ, related field • Teach in universities • Conduct research to advance criminological knowledge • Publish in journals Other career tracks • Work in CJS • Private security or private investigation • Law school • Work for legislative bodies, provide expertise to civil organizations Theoretical Criminology • Subfield of general criminology mainly found in colleges and universities • Posits explanations for criminal behavior • Theory: • Made up of clearly stated propositions that posit relationships between events and things under study • Criminologists have developed many theories to explain and understand crime • General theory • Tries to explain all/most forms of crime through a single overarching approach • Unicausal theory • Posits a single identifiable source for all serious deviant and criminal behavior • Integrated theory • Tries to explain crime by merging concepts from different sources Criminology and Social Policy • Translational criminology  Focuses on translating research results into workable social policy • Sound social policy needs to be linked to objective findings of well- conducted criminological research The Theme of This Text Social Problems • Crime a manifestation of underlying social problems • Public health model to deal with crime • Macro approach Social Responsibility • People responsible for own behavior, choose crime over legitimate options • Personalized crime-reduction strategies • Micro approach The Social Context of Crime • Crime does not occur in a vacuum – every crime has a unique set of  Causes  Consequences  Participants • Crime provokes reactions from many sources • Reactions to crime may affect future criminal events The Causes and Consequences of a Criminal Event • Crime is a social event, not an isolated individual activity • Crime is socially relative • Crime results from the coming together of inputs provided by the offender, the victim, the criminal justice system, and society • Foreground – features that immediately determine the nature of the crime • Background causes – generic contributions to the crime • Crime and the Offender Background: • Life experiences • Biology/genetic inventory • Personality • Values/beliefs • Skills/knowledge Foreground • Motivation • Specific intent • State of mind (drug induced) Crime and the CJS Background • CJS contributes to crime through failure to:  Prevent crime  Identify/inhibit specific offenders  Prevent release of recidivists Foreground • Proper system response may reduce crime  Presence/absence of police officers  Availability of official assistance  Willingness of officers to intervene pre-crime  Response time Crime and the Victim Background • Passive presence • Active contributions through lifestyle Foreground • Victim precipitation  Active victim participation in initial stages of criminal event  Victim instigates chain of events resulting in victimization Crime and Society Background • Legislation defining crime • Generic social practices and conditions • Socialization process Foreground • Distribution of resources • Accessibility of services The Consequences of Crime • Outputs/immediate consequences affect those parties directly involved • Real impact mediated by perceptual filters  Results in ongoing interpretations before, during, after crime  Everyone associated with a crime engages in interpretations Integrative Approach to Crime • Text takes 3-D integrative view of crime  Try to identify, understand causes of crime  Highlight processes involved in the criminal event  Analyze interpretation of the crime phenomenon • Crime seen as emergent activity that  Arises out of past complex causes  Assumes a course building on immediate interrelationships  Elicits formal response from CJS, shapes public perceptions, may lead to changes in social policy The Primacy of Sociology • Many disciplines have made important contributions to criminology • Many criminologists today operate primarily from a sociological perspective • Many modern theories of criminal behavior based in sociology • New and emerging perspectives being recognized, but sociological perspective dominates Chapter 2: Lecture Where do theories come from? Evidence-Based Criminology • Evidence-based criminology  Founded upon the experimental method  Emphasizes randomized controlled experiments  “Evidence” refers to scientific findings • Increasing importance in the field  ASC Division of Experimental Criminology  Academy of Experimental Criminology  Journal of Experimental Criminology The Evolving Science of Criminology • John Laub’s eras of criminological thought  Golden Age of Research (1900-1930)  Golden Age of Theory (1930-1960)  Empirical testing of dominant theories (1960-2000)  Current era/21st century criminology contains “all possible offspring” of what came before • Present-day criminology has moved away from armchair criminology and is more scientific • Scientific criminology involves:  The systematic collection of related facts  An emphasis on the scientific method  General laws, a field for experimentation or observation, control of academic discourse • Scientific criminology involves:  Acceptance into the scientific tradition  Emphasis on a worthwhile subject • Modern criminology meets these criteria Theory Building • Goal of criminological research:  Construct theories or models that improve our understanding of criminal behavior and help us create effective strategies to deal with the crime problem • Theory  A series of interrelated propositions that attempt to describe, explain, predict, and ultimately control some class of events  Test by how well they describe, predict reality Uses of Theory • Provide patterns for interpreting data • Link studies together • Supply frameworks within which concepts and variables have special significance • Allow us to interpret the larger meaning of findings The Role of Research and Experimentation • Research  The use of standardized, systematic procedures in the search for knowledge • Types of research  Pure vs. applied  Primary vs. secondary Stages in Research • Problem identification • Development of a research design • Choice of data collection techniques • Review of findings Problem Identification • Choosing the problem/issue to be studied • Frequently involves testing hypotheses • Hypothesis • An explanation that accounts for a set of facts and that can be tested by further investigation • Something that is taken to be true for the purpose of argument or investigations • Variables • Concepts that can undergo measurable changes • Operationalization • Turning a simple hypothesis into one that is testable • Making the concepts measurable turns them into variables • After concepts in hypothesis are measurable, hypothesis can be tested Development of a Research Design • Research design  The logic and structure inherent in any particular approach to data gathering • Simple research design - One-group pretest-posttest O 1 x O2  This design does not eliminate confounding effects Validity in Research Designs • Internal validity  The certainty that experimental interventions did indeed cause the changes observed in the study group • External validity  The ability to generalize research findings to other settings Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research Designs • Controlled experiments  Attempt to hold conditions other than the experimental intervention constant • Quasi-experiments  Give the researcher control over the “when and to whom” of measurement (but not exposure) Experimental Design • Pretest-posttest control group design  Experimental group: O x O 1 2  Control group: O3 x O 4 • Randomization is critical to the success of an experimental design  Subjects are assigned to study groups without biases or differences resulting from selection  No self-selection allowed, no personal judgment used in subject assignment  Controls threats to internal validity Choice of Data Collection Techniques • Data gathering strategies provide approaches to the accumulation of information needed for analysis • Selection based on:  Ease/simplicity  Cost  Time  Form required for data • Key issue  Will the strategy produce information in a usable form? Types of Data-Gathering Strategies • Surveys • Case studies • Participant observation • Self-reporting • Secondary analysis Surveys • Use questionnaires or surveys to gather “survey data” • May interview respondents in person, over the telephone, by e-mail, by fax, or by mail Case Studies • In-depth investigations into individual cases  Life history – a single subject is the focus of a case study • Suffer from high levels of subjectivity but provide the opportunity to examine individual cases in depth Participant Observations • Involves various strategies in which the researcher observes a group by participating, to varying degrees, in the activities of the group • Researcher may operate undercover or make their purpose and identity known from the start • Main types • Participant as observer • Observer as complete participant Self-Reporting • Subjects are asked to report rates of certain behaviors, such as crime  May provide information when official records are lacking  Often considered a form of survey research • Introspection/personal reflection techniques – purely subjective Secondary Analysis • New analysis or evaluation of existing data that was gathered by other researchers • Secondhand analysis of information originally collected for a different purpose Problems in Data Collection • Scientific observation must meet two criteria  Intersubjectivity: Independent observers report seeing the same thing under the same circumstances  Replicability: When the same conditions exist, the same results can be expected • Observations meeting these criteria may still lead to unwarranted conclusions Review of Findings • Most data subjected to some form of data analysis using statistical techniques  Descriptive statistics: describe, summarize, highlight relationships within data  Inferential statistics: attempt to generalize findings by specifying how likely they are to be true for other populations or locations  Correlation: a casual, complementary, or reciprocal relationship between two measurable variables  Test of significance: A statistical technique intended to provide researchers with confidence that their results are, in fact, true and not the result of sampling error Quantitative vs. Qualitative • Quantitative methods  Techniques that produce measurable results that can be analyzed statistically  “Mystique of quantity” • Qualitative methods  Techniques that produce subjective results, or results that are difficult to quantify  Verstehen: the kind of subjective understanding that can be achieved by criminologists who immerse themselves in the everyday world of the criminals they study Values and Ethics in the Conduct of Research • Values affect all stages of the research process  No research is free from preconceptions, biases  Control their effect by being aware of them at the onset of the research • Ethical issues do not affect validity but may impact the lives of researchers and subjects  Protection of human subjects  Privacy  Need for disclosure of research methods  Data confidentiality: the ethical requirement of social scientific research to protect the confidentiality of individual research participants while preserving justified research access to the information participants provide • Informed consent  Strategy used to overcome ethical issues inherent in criminological research  Inform subjects as to nature of research, their anticipated role, the uses made of the data • Institutional review boards  Established by universities, research organizations, government agencies  Examine research proposals to determine whether expectations of ethical conduct have been met before the proposals are submitted to funding organizations Social Policy and Criminology Research • Ideally, research should significantly impact public crime control policy • Realistically  Public officials may be ignorant of current research  Public officials may ignore research findings  Meta­analysis: a study that combines the results of other studies about a  particular topic of interest. Also a comprehensive and systematic review of other  studies. Writing the Research Report • Title page • Acknowledgements • Table of contents • Preface • Abstract • Introduction • Review of existing literature • Description of existing situation • Statement of hypothesis • Description of research plan • Disclaimers/limitations • Analysis/discussion • Summary/conclusions • Endnotes/footnotes • Appendices • List of references • Refereed journals • Journals that use peer reviewers to gauge the quality of the manuscripts submitted to them • Manuscript submission requirements vary by journal Chapter 3 Lecture Introduction • Majority of crimes are likely to be planned, at least to some degree • This chapter looks at perspectives based on the believe that at least some crime is the result of rational choices by offenders Forerunners of Classical Thought • All human societies had notions of right and wrong • William Graham Sumner - behavior is governed by:  Mores • proscriptions covering potentially serious violations of a group’s values • William Graham Sumner - behavior is governed by:  Folkways • customs whose violation is less likely to threaten group survival  Laws • codified into formal structures for enforcement purposes • Mala in se  Acts said to be fundamentally or inherently wrong regardless of time or place • Mala prohibita  Acts said to be wrong only because they are prohibited The Demonic Era • Humans always preoccupied with good vs. evil • Explanations for evil that appears cosmically-based (plague) include divine punishment, karma, fate, vengeful activities of offended gods • Explanations for evil due to individual behavior (personal victimization, crime, deviance) include demonic possession, spiritual influences, temptation by fallen angels Early Sources of Criminal Law • Code of Hammurabi: An early set of laws established by the Babylonian king Hammurabi, who ruled the ancient city of Babylon from 1792 to 1750 B.C.  Emphasis on retribution: the act of taking revenge upon a criminal perpetrator • Early Roman Law  Twelve Tables: early Roman laws written approximately 450 B.C. that regulated family, religious, and economic right  Justinian Code • Common Law: law originating from usage and custom rather than from written statutes. The term refers to nonstatutory customs, traditions, and precedents that help guide judicial decision making  Based on shared traditions supported by court decisions  Major source of modern criminal law • Magna Carta  Individual rights  Due process: “assembly line”…to skip a step would be against the law The Enlightenment • Thomas Hobbes  Social contract: people are agreeing to give up certain individual rights to benefit society • John Locke  Blank slate  Expanded social contract concept  Checks and balances: legislative, executive, and judicial branches • Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Humans intrinsically good  Natural law • Thomas Paine  Natural rights The Classical School • Enlightenment led to view of humans as self-determining entities with freedom of choice • Led to Classical School of criminological thought  Explained crime as resulting from the exercise of free will  Moral wrongdoing fed by personal choice **Cesare Beccarria • Essay on Crimes and Punishments (1764): consisted of writings about his philosophy on punishment • Philosophy of punishment  Purpose of punishment – deterrence rather than retribution  Swift, certain, and severe  Only severe enough to outweigh personal benefits derived from crime • Opposed to capital punishment, torture **Jeremy Bentham • Introduction to the Principles of Moral Legislation (1789) • Hedonistic calculus/utilitarianism  People act to maximize pleasure, minimize pain  Therefore, pain from punishment must exceed pleasure from crime • Panopticon – model prison Neoclassical Criminology • Positivism began to dominate in 20th century  Use of scientific method to study crime  Based on hard determinism - belief that crime results from forces beyond individual’s control • Assumptions undermined in 1970s  Studies suggesting failure of rehabilitation  Fear of crime è “get tough on crime” policies  Reaffirmation of belief in rationality • Resurgence of classical ideals in 1970s – middle ground between total free will and hard determinism • Key influences  Robert Martinson’s survey of rehabilitation programs leading to “nothing-works doctrine” • Key influences  James Q. Wilson – crime is not a result of social conditions and cannot be affected by social programs  David Fogel’s justice model – criminals deserve punishment because of their choices Rational Choice Theory (RCT) • Criminals make a conscious, rational choice to commit crime • Cost-benefit analysis  Behavior result of personal choices made after weighing costs and benefits  Crime will decrease when opportunities, limited, benefits reduced, costs increased • Two main varieties  Routine activities theory  Situational choice theory Routine Activities Theory • Lawrence Cohen and Marcus Felson  Lifestyle and changes in society contribute to volume, type of crime • Elements needed for crime:  Motivated offender  Suitable target  Absence of capable guardians • Lifestyles that contribute to criminal opportunities likely to result in crime because increase risk of potential victimization Situational Choice Theory • Ronald V. Clarke and Derek Cornish • Soft determinism  Crime is a function of choices and decisions made within a context of situational constraints and opportunities  Crime requires motivation and opportunity • Reduce crime by changing the environment Situational Crime Control Objectives • Increase the effort involved in crime • Increase the risks associated with crime • Reduce the rewards of crime • Reduce the provocations for crime • Remove the excuses that facilitate crime The Seductions of Crime • Jack Katz explains crime as the result of positive attractions of the experience of criminality  Crime is often pleasurable for offenders, which is a major motivation behind crime  Crime is sensually compelling • Suggests criminology be redirected to situational factors that directly precipitate crime and reflect crimes’ sensuality Situational Crime Control Policy • Situational crime prevention shifts the focus away from the offender and onto the context in which crime occurs • Begins with opportunity structure of crime – reduce opportunities to reduce crime • Focus on context of crime as alternative to traditional offender- based crime prevention policies Critique of Rational Choice Theory • Overemphasis on individual choice, relative disregard for the role of social factors in crime causation • Assumes everyone is equally capable of making rational decisions • Displacement may occur as a result of situational crime prevention strategies Punishment and Neoclassical Thought • Classical School emphasizes deterrence as purpose of punishment • Neoclassical view adds retribution  Someone who chooses to violate the law deserve to be punished  Criminals must be punished to curtail future crime Just Deserts • Just deserts model of sentencing - offenders deserve the punishment they receive and punishments should be appropriate to type/severity of crime • Justice is what the individual deserves when all circumstances are considered Deterrence • Types of deterrence  Specific – goal of sentencing seeking to prevent a particular offender from engaging in repeat criminality  General – seeks to prevent others from committing similar crimes • For punishment to deter, it must be swift, certain, and sufficiently severe • High recidivism rates suggest specific deterrence does not prevent repeat crime Capital Punishment • Brings together notions of deterrence, retribution and just deserts  Considerable disagreement over the efficacy of death as a criminal sanction  Much research into efficacy, fairness of capital punishment • Capital punishment and race  Opponents cite research suggesting it has been imposed disproportionately on racial minorities  Advocates more concerned with whether penalty is fairly imposed Policy Implications of Classical and Neoclassical Thought • Determinate sentencing  Mandates a specific and fixed amount of time to be served for each offense category • Truth in sentencing  Requires judges to assess and make public the actual time an offender is likely to serve • Incapacitation  The use of imprisonment to reduce the likelihood that an offender will be able to commit future crimes A Critique of Classical Theories • Represents more a philosophy of justice than a theory of crime causation • Lacks explanatory power over criminal motivation – does not really explain how choices for/against crime are made • Little empirical scientific basis for claims of Classical School Chapter 4 Lecture Traditional Biological versus Modern Biosocial Theories • Criminology has been slow to give credence to biological theories • Roots grounded in the social sciences • Criminology today is interdisciplinary and recognizes contributions from many disciplines Principles of Biological Theories • Early biological theorists focused mainly on physical features and heredity • Contemporary biosocial theorists take a more in-depth look at human biology • Major distinction is the emphasis placed on the interplay between biology and the social and physical environments • How does the body interact with the environment? Early Biological Theories • Built on scientific tradition of positivism • Positivism  associated with the belief that all valid knowledge is acquired only through observation • Key principles  Social determinism  Application of scientific techniques to the study of crime Physical Features and Crime • Focus on identifying physical abnormalities that could be used to distinguish offenders from others • Phrenology • The study of the shape of the head to determine anatomical correlates of human behavior • Franz Joseph Gall – located the roots of personality in the brain • Johann Gaspar Spurzheim – brought phrenology to the U.S. The Italian School • **Cesare Lombroso - atavism  Criminality is the result of primitive urges that survived the evolutionary process  Stigmata of degeneration – physical features indicative of criminality • Criminaloids  “occasional criminals,” people led into crime by environmental influences • Masculinity hypothesis  Criminal women exhibited masculine features and mannerisms Evaluations of Atavism • Earnest A. Hooton  Criminals are physiologically inferior to the general population • Canadian atavism study (2000) found subtle physical abnormalities were associated with an increased risk of behavioral and psychiatric problems among boys Constitutional Theories • Explain criminality by reference to offenders' body types; genetics; or external, observable physical characteristics • Somatotyping  Ernst Kretschmer  William H. Sheldon Criminal Families • Sir Francis Galton – systematic study of heredity è field of behavioral genetics • Criminal families  The Juke family – Richard L. Dugdale  The Kallikak family – Henry H. Goddard • Eugenic criminology  Root causes of criminality were passed down in the form of “bad genes.”  Buck v. Bell (1927) The XYY Supermale • Research in 1965 led to concept of “supermale” with XYY chromosome – considered potentially violent • Chromosome-based defense in court • Recent research demonstrates conclusively that XYY males are not predictably aggressive Twin Studies and Heredity • Twin studies compare MZ and DZ twins to examine role of heredity in crime causation • Research supports relationship between heredity and risk of criminality • Minnesota Twin Family Study found MZ twins reared apart are about as similar as those reared together Biological Roots of Human Aggression • Charles Darwin:  Interspecies aggression favors the strongest and best animals in the reproductive process • Konrad Lorenz – On Aggression (1966)  Human aggression serves other purposes but takes on covert forms (drive to acquire wealth and power)  Human behavior is adapted instinctive behavior Sociobiology: The New Synthesis • Introduced by Edward O. Wilson in 1975 • Systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior • A new paradigm in criminological theories Sociobiology • The main determinant of behavior is the need to ensure the survival and continuity of offspring throughout generations • Altruism facilitates the continuity of the gene pool • Territoriality as an explanation of human conflict • Used to explain both intergroup aggression (tribalism) and intragroup aggression Criticisms of Sociobiology • Fails to consider the significance of culture, social learning, individual experiences • Fundamentally wrong in its depiction of basic human nature (nature vs. nuture) • Rationalizes labeling, stigmatization of minorities • Humans are too different from other animal species to apply findings from animal studies to human behavior Critique of Early Biological Theories of Human Behavior • Disregard the role of free will in human behavior • Crime is a social construct and its meaning varies over time and place • Unlikely that any biological feature or combination of features could explain the wide variety of crime today Chapter 5 Lecture The Human Genome Project • International research project mapping the human genome • HGP sequenced entire genomic sequence of a reference human genome • Current focus of genomics  Finding variants from reference sequence • Knowledge developed by HGP may have major implications for individuals and society Genetics and Heritability • Dutch research found male descendants of a “criminal family” had high proportion of violent crime arrests • Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA):  Enzyme that breaks down neurotransmitters serotonin and noradrenaline  Excess amounts of MAOA linked to aggression • Pleasure-seeking gene may play a role in deviant behavior, addictions, violence • Heritability linked to callous-unemotional behavior • Genes and environment work together to produce significant antisocial behavior Future Directions in the Study of Genes and Crime • Explanatory power of heritability limited – may apply only to environments existing at the time of a given study • If population or environment changes, heritability may change also • Genes appear to be both the cause and consequence of our actions – they enable rather than determine human action. The Dysfunctional Brain • PET scans found lower glucose levels in prefrontal cortex of murderers • Prefrontal cortex dysfunction may predispose someone to crime rather than being a direct cause of crime • Frontal brain hypothesis • Allergic reactions to foods have been linked to violence and homicide • Physical injuries, emotional trauma, disease, longer term exposure to stress can lead to changes in the brain • Link between stressors in the social environment and brain structure • Neuroplasticity • Brain can alter its structure or function in response to experience or injury Body Chemistry and Criminality • Body chemistry is influenced by factors such as eating habits, vitamin deficiencies, environmental contaminants, and the endocrine system • You really ARE what you eat! Ingested Substances and Nutrition • Early research linked excess sugar consumption to crime but the current evidence on the sugar/behavior link is unclear • Some food additives (MSG, dyes, artificial flavorings) may be linked to violence • Coffee and sugar may trigger antisocial behavior • Vitamins, other nutrients may have behavioral impact Environmental Pollution • Several studies have found a link between industrial and environmental pollution and violent behavior • Correlation between juvenile crime and exposure to lead and manganese • Prenatal substance exposure may lead to higher rates of conduct disorders, delinquency, psychiatric problems Hormones and Criminality • Testosterone  Relationship between high blood levels of testosterone and increased male aggressiveness  Effect may be moderated by social environment  Small changes in female testosterone levels also linked to personality changes • Androgens – male hormones  High blood levels linked to aggression in boys but not girls • Fluctuations in female hormones may also be linked to crime • Serotonin – behavior-regulating chemical  Elevated blood levels/lower brain levels linked to violence in men  Imbalance between levels of serotonin and dopamine highly associated with psychopathic traits • Other hormones implicated in delinquency and poor impulse control include cortisol and T3 (thyroid hormone) Climate, Weather, and Crime • Temperature is the only weather variable consistently related to crime • Relationship moderated by temporal factors • Research findings consistent with routine activities theory • Possible link between barometric pressure and violent crime • Historical correlation between high temperatures, extreme rainfall patterns, and violence Biosocial Criminology • Crime and Human Nature (1985)  Comprehensive theory of crime that included constitutional factors  Constitutional factors predispose one to specific types of behavior; societal reactions to these predispositions determine the form of continued behavior • Biosocial criminology – Anthony Walsh  Biological factors do not operate in an environmental vacuum, environmental factors do not operate in a biological vacuum Gender Differences in Criminality • Gender ratio problem  need for an explanation of the fact that men are more involved in crime than women • Early explanations focused on culture and the social environment – lack contemporary validation • Biosocial criminologists say that if we admit that there is something about gender itself that is responsible for the observed differences, the problem is resolved Evolutionary Theory • Evolutionary perspective suggests that behavioral traits are manifestations of multiple genes working independently and synergistically in response to the environment • Evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory • Propensity for crime commission evolved as part of the male reproductive strategy • A particular neurochemistry, characteristic of males, increases the probability of crime among males relative to females • Men and women have two separate goals in evolution. Men = reproduction. Policy Implications of Biological Theories • Steven Pinker claims social scientists unjustly ignore the biological basis of human behavior and replace it with three myths  The blank slate  The Noble Savage  The Ghost in the Machine • No genes for criminal behavior but genes may affect brain functioning and influence chances of learning socially unacceptable behavior patterns Critique of Biological and Biosocial Theories • Fail to predict criminality accurately • Methodological problems • Findings difficult to generalize • Do not explain regional, temporal variations in crime rates • Cannot explain why some crimes are more likely to occur in certain parts of the country, certain types of communities, among members of specific subcultures rather than in others • Some biosocial criminologists have been accused of racial and class bias Chapter 6 Principles of Psychological and Psychiatric Theories • **Forensic psychology  The application of the science and profession of psychology to questions and issues relating to law and the legal system (also called criminal psychology) • **Forensic psychiatry  A medical subspecialty applying psychiatry to the needs of crime prevention and solution, criminal rehabilitation, and issues of the criminal law • The individual is the primary unit of analysis • Personality is the major motivational element • Crimes result from abnormal, dysfunctional, or inappropriate mental processes within the personality • Criminal behavior may be purposeful insofar as it addresses certain felt needs • Normality is generally defined by social consensus • Defective, or abnormal, mental processes may have a variety of causes History of Psychological Theories • Key ideas characterizing early psychological theories  Personality  Behaviorism/behavioral conditioning • Psychoanalytic theory – an outgrowth of personality theory Personality Disturbances • Psychopathology  Any psychological disorder that causes distress for an individual or for those in the individual's life • Psychopathy  A specific and distinctive type of psychopathology The Psychopath • Personality disorder characterized by antisocial behavior and lack of sympathy, empathy, embarrassment • Hervey M. Cleckley – developed the concept of a psychopathic personality  Psychopath as “moral idiot”  Poverty of affect – inability to accurately imagine how others think and feel Types of Psychopaths • Primary psychopaths  Born with psychopathic personalities • Secondary psychopaths  Born with a “normal” personality but develop psychopathic tendencies due to personal experiences • Charismatic psychopaths  Charming, attractive, habitual liars • Distempered psychopaths  Easily offended, fly into rages with slight provocation The Psychopath • Psychopathy Checklist (PCL)  definitive modern measure of psychopathy • Recent research suggests psychopaths do know the difference between right and wrong • Recent study of adolescent psychopaths found intensive treatment was linked to reduced violent recidivism Antisocial Personality Disorder • Antisocial/asocial personality  Individuals who are basically unsocialized and whose behavior patterns bring them into repeated conflicts with society  Individuals who exhibit an antisocial personality are said to be suffering from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) • Causes unclear  Somatogenic causes  Psychogenic causes Trait Theory • Eysenck explained crime as result of fundamental personality traits  Introversion/extraversion  Neuroticism/emotional stability  Psychoticism • Personality stable throughout life, largely determined by genetics • Psychoticism closely correlated with criminality Cognitive Theories • Learning theories – examine thought processes and try to explain how people  Learn to solve problems  Perceive and interpret the social environment • Multiple branches Moral Development Theory • Jean Piaget – human thinking goes through stages of development  Sensory-motor stage  Preoperational stage  Concrete operational stage  Formal operational stage • Child moves from moral absolutism to moral relativism • Kohlberg said preference for higher levels of moral thinking universal in humans • Research shows offenders have less ability in making moral judgments Cognitive Information-Processing Theory • Study of human perceptions, information processing, decision making • Violent individuals may be using information incorrectly when making decisions • Script theory – generalized knowledge about specific types of situations stored in the mind • Career offenders develop scripts to guide them through criminal activity • Criminal scripts help form criminal identity The Criminal Mind-Set • Criminals make different assumptions about living and behaving than noncriminals • Criminal personality develops early in childhood, includes ways of thinking characteristic of many types of criminals but not shared by noncriminals The Psychoanalytic Perspective – Criminal Behavior as Maladaptation • Psychiatric criminology envisions a complex set of drives and motives that operate from within the personality to determine behavior • Sigmund Freud – psychoanalysis • Criminal behavior is maladaptive, the product of inadequacies in the offender's personality The Psychoanalytic Perspective • Violent criminal behavior dominated by the id, leaving offenders unable to control impulsive and pleasure-seeking drives • Repressed needs provide another path to criminality • Many criminals have a secret need to be punished The Psychotic Offender • Psychosis  mental illness characterized by a lack of contact with reality • Characteristics of psychotic individuals  A grossly distorted conception of reality  Inappropriate moods and mood swings  Marked inefficiency in getting along with others and caring for oneself • Schizophrenics and paranoid schizophrenics Frustration-Aggression Theory • Freud  Aggression is a natural response to frustration and limitations • Frustration-aggression theory  Direct aggression toward others is the most likely consequence of frustration  Aggression can be manifested in socially acceptable ways or engaged in vicariously by watching others act aggressively (displacement) Crime as Adaptation • Crime as an adaptation to life's stresses  Alloplastic adaptation • Crime reduces stresses by producing changes in the environment  Autoplastic adaptation • Crime leads to stress reduction as a result of internal changes in beliefs and value systems • Stress as a causative agent in crime commission Criminogenic Needs • Criminogenic Needs  Dynamic attributes of offenders and their circumstances associated with rates of recidivism • May not be actual needs but rather psychological symptoms of maladaptive functioning Attachment Theory • Healthy personality development requires that children have a close, continuous relationship with their mothers • Forms of attachment: • Secure attachment (a healthy form) • Anxious-avoidant attachment • Anxious-resistant attachment • Difficulties in childhood appear to produce criminality later in life Behavior Theory • Pavlov  behavior can be conditioned or shaped • Classical conditioning  behavior can be predictably changed by association with external changes in the surrounding environment Behavioral Conditioning • Operant behavior – behavior choices operate on the surrounding environment to produce consequences  Rewards increase the frequency of behavior  Punishments decrease frequency of behavior • Major determinants of behavior exist in the environment, not in the individual • People can be conditioned to respond with prosocial or antisocial behavior Social Cognition and the Role of Modeling • Gabriel Tarde's three laws of imitation:  People in close contact tend to imitate each other's behavior  Imitation moves from the top down  New acts and behaviors either reinforce or replace old ones Social Cognition Theory • Albert Bandura  Everyone is capable of aggression but must learn how to behave aggressively  Key ideas: observation, imitation, modeling • Most behavior learned by observing and modeling • Aggression can be provoked through assaults, verbal threats, thwarting hopes, obstructing goals • Disengagement allows people who devalue aggression to engage in it Policy and Treatment Implications • Correctional psychology  Concerned with diagnosis and classification, treatment, rehabilitation of offenders • Some of the most successful treatments emphasize changing offender personality characteristics, such as impulsivity Cognitive Behavioral Intervention • Offenders need to acquire better social skills to become more prosocial • Lets offenders modify their cognitive processes to control themselves, interact positively with others • Target offender's environment, behavioral responses skill development • Increase reasoning skills, problem-solving skills, expand empathy Assessing Dangerousness • Selective incapacitation  Based on the notion of career criminality  Protect society by incarcerating most dangerous individuals  Use of psychological techniques to identify future offenders and those likely to reoffend • Strategy depends on accurately identifying potentially dangerous offenders • Risk assessment/classification tools continually being developed, improved Predicting Criminality • Recent study found strong relationship between childhood behavioral difficulties and later problem behavior • Prediction requires more than generalities – difference between predicting percentage of people in a population who will be criminals and predicting which individuals will violate the law Critique of Psychological and Psychiatric Theories of Crime • Theories criticized for failing to consider social or environmental conditions that produce crime • Idea of moral reasoning sense puts loss of control within individual – physical/social barriers to crime may be more effective • Individual theories have also been criticized on various levels Criminal Psychological Profiling • Psychological profiling  Based on idea that behavioral clues left at crime scene may reflect offender's personality  Assist police investigators • Profiling techniques used in hostage negotiation, contributed to criminological literature • Some psychologists discount value of profiling Insanity and the Law • Insanity  Legal concept, refers to type of defense allowed in criminal courts • ***M'Naughten Rule  Individuals cannot be held criminally responsible if they did not know what they were doing or did not know that what they were doing was wrong • Irresistible-Impulse Test  Defendant is not guilty if by virtue of his/her mental state s/he was unable to resist committing the action Guilty But Mentally Ill • Individual can be held responsible for a criminal act, even though a degree of mental incompetence is present • Requirements for verdict  All required statutory elements proven  Defendant found mentally ill at time of the crime  Defendant not found legally insane at time of the crime • GBI offenders sent to psychiatric hospital for treatment – transferred to prison after “cured” Problems with the Insanity Defense • Must be brought before court, proven by defense • Rarely used - less than 1% of defendants adopt insanity defense, 75% still convicted • Defendant found NGRI likely to spend a long time in court- ordered institutional psychiatric treatment • Critics question whether idea of mental illness or insanity useful in study of criminology Chapter 7 Major Principles of Sociological Theories • Social structure theories examine institutional arrangements within a social structure and social processes as they affect socialization and have an impact on social life • Macro focus  stress types of behavior likely to be exhibited by group members ***Key Sociological Explanations For Crime • Social structure theories  Crime is the result of an individual's location within the structure of society • Social process/social development theories  Crime is the end product of various social processes • Conflict theories  Crime is the product of class struggle Social Structure Theories • Look at formal and informal economic and social arrangements of society as the root causes of crime and deviance • See the negative aspects of social structure as producers of criminal behavior • Highlight arrangements within society that contribute to low SES of identifiable groups as significant causes of crime Social Disorganization Theory • Associated with the ecological school of criminology • W.I. Thomas and Florian Znaniecki  Found crime rates rose among displaced persons  Suggested cause was social disorganization resulting from immigrants' inability to successfully transplant norms and values from home cultures into the new one The Chicago School • Social ecology  Links structure, organization of human community to interactions with its localized environment  Social pathology-based disease model • Robert Park and Ernest Burgess  Viewed cities as having five concentric zones, each with unique characteristics and populations Shaw and McKay • Applied concentric zone model to the study of juvenile delinquency • Found offending rates remained constant over time within zones of transition • Cultural transmission • Traditions of delinquency are transmitted through successive generations of the same zone • Key contribution of ecological school • Society has a major influence on human behavior The Criminology of Place • Environmental criminology  Emphasizes the importance of geographic location and architectural features as they are associated with the prevalence of victimization  “Hot spots” of crime • ***Broken windows thesis (Wilson and Kelling)  Physical deterioration and unrepaired buildings lead to increased concerns for safety among area residents  Led to increase in “order maintenance policing” and crackdown on quality-of-life offenses • Defensible space  The range of mechanisms that combine to bring an environment under the control of its residents  Architectural changes that enhance barriers, define boundaries, and remove criminal opportunity can reduce the risk of crime • Location can be as predictive of crime as the lifestyles of victimized individuals or social features of victimized households • Places can be criminogenic Strain Theory • Strain  The pressure that individuals feel to reach socially determined goals • Anomie (Robert K. Merton)  A disjunction between socially approved means to success and legitimate goals • Crime results from attempts to achieve legitimate goals through illegitimate means Relative Deprivation • Messner and Rosenfeld blame crime on inconsistencies in the American Dream • Relative deprivation  The economic and social gap that exists between rich and the poor who live in close proximity • Distributive justice  An individual's perception of his or her rightful place in the reward structure of society General Strain Theory (GST) • Robert Agnew reformulated strain theory into a comprehensive perspective • Crime seen as a coping mechanism enabling those who engage in it to deal with the socioemotional problems generated by negative social relations Central Propositions of GST • Strain refers to events and conditions that are disliked by individuals • Strains increase the likelihood of particular crimes primarily through their impact on a range of negative emotional states • Those strains most likely to cause crime (a) are perceived as high in magnitude or (b) as unjust; (c) are associated with low self- control; and (d) create some pressure or incentive to engage in criminal coping • The likelihood that individuals will react to strains with criminal behavior depends on a range of factors • Patterns of offending over the life course, group differences in crime, and community and societal differences in crime can be partly explained in terms of differences in the exposure to strains conducive to crime • Crime can be reduced by reducing individuals exposure to strains that are conducive to crime and reducing their likelihood of responding to strains with crime General Strain Theory • Expands upon traditional strain theory  Widens focus  Strain may have cumulative effect on delinquency  More comprehensive account of adaptations to strain  More fully describes wide variety of factors affecting choice of delinquent adaptations to strain • GST has been further refined to incorporate the possible existence of biological factors that may make some individuals particularly susceptible to effects of strain Culture Conflict Theory • Thorsten Sellin  Root cause of crime found in different values about what is acceptable or proper behavior  Conduct norms provide the valuative basis for human behavior and are acquired early in life through childhood socialization  Clash of norms between variously socialized groups results in crime • Types of culture conflict  Primary: a fundamental clash of cultures  Secondary: smaller cultures within the primary one clash Subcultural Theory • Subculture  A collection of values and preferences communicated to participants through a process of socialization • Subcultural theory  Sociological perspective emphasizing the contribution made by variously socialized cultural groups to the phenomenon of crime Focal Concerns • Walter Miller identified existence of a lower class culture:  A long established, distinctively patterned tradition with an integrity of its own  Behavior that upholds lower class norms may be seen by the middle class as deliberately nonconforming • Violation of middle-class norms is a byproduct of actions primarily oriented to the lower-class system • Trouble  Getting in, staying out, dealing with trouble • Toughness  Concern with masculinity • Smartness  Ability to outsmart or con others and avoid being duped • Excitement  Search for thrills • Fate  The concept of luck, being lucky • Autonomy  Taking care of oneself, not getting pushed around Delinquency and Drift • Sykes and Matza • Members of delinquent subcultures also participate in the larger culture • Offenders use neutralizing self-talk to mitigate shame and guilt associated with violating social norms • Delinquents tend to drift between crime and conventional action – choose the most expedient • Use techniques of neutralization to keep from being alienated from larger society • Soft determinism: • Delinquents are neither forced to make choices nor entirely free to make choices Violent Subcultures • Ferracuti and Wolfgang  violence is a learned form of adaptation to problematic life circumstances • Learning to be violent takes place within the context of a subculture emphasizing violence ov


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