Chapter 6 Notes
Chapter 6 Notes CJ 240
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michela Spicer on Monday September 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CJ 240 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Joshua Wakeham in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Juvenile Delinquency in Criminal Justice at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 09/26/16
Two Criminological Observations The vast majority of serious adult offenders began their criminal careers as children/adolescence The vast majority of delinquents will not become serious adult criminals The Developmental Perspective KEY: delinquent/criminal activity needs to be understood in the context of human development (aka life course) The Life of Crime Two key patterns to notice oChildren become involved in crime around adolescence oParticipation in crime decreases significantly in young adulthood What happens around 12-15 years old? oPuberty o Hormonal changes that have significant biological and psychological effects Not just biology- place in society matters too Crime over the Life Course Most delinquents will “age out” of crime oSome will become career criminals Different life course theories offer different explanations Life Course Theories Propensity theory: some individuals have a underlying propensity or latent trait that drives them to crime oFocus on latent trait Examples: psychological/neurological disorder, genetic abnormalities, brain damage Assumed to be stable over lifetime oSource of variation: opportunities in environment Trajectory theory: different pathways to different types of criminal behavior oNot an underlying trait, but a kind of pathway oThere are multiple pathways to delinquency oPathways to delinquency Adolescent limited Begin criminal career mid-to-late adolescence Delinquency/crime social reasons Eventually turn away from crime Life Course persistent Anti-social behavior begins in early childhood Verbal, cognitive, neuropsychological deficits Trouble with social relationships Delinquent trailblazers oEarly onset vs. late bloomers oNon-starters? Life Course theory: an interaction of individual traits and social factors determine life of crime or not o An integrated theory- includes personal, social, and developmental factors o Sampson & Laub’s age-graded or “turning points” theory Interaction between individual traits and key social institutions at particular times in a person’s life Emphasize free will Turning points Those who desist Experiences with social institutions become motivation to leave criminal life behind Marriage, military, school, reform schools, steady job all potential sources for change Those who persist Struggle with authority, across institutions Choose to resist potential institutional experiences Those who zig-zag Some leave crime behind, only to fall back in again Establish some positive relationships with positive social institutions, but the effects are not enduring Key Concepts Related to Life Course Theories Problem Behavior Syndrome Offense Generalization vs. Specialization Age onset Persistence vs. Desistence General Theory of Crime Gottfredson and Hirschi- central characteristic Critiques of GTC oTautological oNot just low self-control oPeople change oRational, calculating delinquents oSelf-control varies
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