Criminology Week 5 Notes
Criminology Week 5 Notes Soci 288
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Melanie Kopriva on Wednesday September 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soci 288 at Northern Illinois University taught by Michael Ezell in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Criminology in Sociology at Northern Illinois University.
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Date Created: 09/28/16
Fear of Crime Afraid of walking alone: urban/rural o Much higher percentage for urban rather than rural o “Are you afraid of being a victim of crime? Afraid of walking alone: gender o Massive gender effect way higher for females Females tend to be more worried about crimes like rape Afraid of walking alone: race/ethnicity o Blacks more likely than others Afraid of walking alone: income o Lower income more likely to be afraid Their stuff is easier to get at, they have less to lose Fear of Crime o Structural factors: concern the social and physical characteristics of locations where people live Population density – denser means there is more fear Neighborhood structure – concentrated disadvantage means more fear o Individual characteristics Age – elderly have more fear than younger people Race – blacks have more fear than whites Gender – females have more fear than males Social class – lower class have more fear o Fear of crime and the social construction of reality People and communities Public Opinion Common Crime Myths Crime myths o False beliefs about crime o Distorts the public’s understanding of crime and crime control o Common myths Overdramatization of crime Crime rampant/getting worse/crime wave Was worse in the 1980s but many believe it gets worse as time goes on Overly violent o Minority involvement: overestimated and underestimated o Overestimate teen involvement in violence o Crime victims are “virtuous” (they survived, they had never done anything wrong before) Most victims are criminal offenders Effects of Media Coverage o Contributes to public ignorance o Increases fear of crime o Obscures underlying social forces o Diverts attention from white collar crimes o Stereotyping (racial/ethnic) Public beliefs on crime and punishment o Is their demographic variation on views about: Crime seriousness? Punitiveness? (Want to use harsher punishments) Death penalty? The police? Criminal injustice? Deterrence Theory Three Questions o Why are some people more likely? Individual (psychological/biological) o Why are some categories/groups of people more likely? Social process and social reaction o Why is crime more common in some locations? Social structure Brief History of Criminological Theory Spiritualism: God controls individual behavior o Demonic possession causes people to commit crime o Arbitrary/capricious punishment o “Enlightenment”: People behave rationally and hedonistically Deterrence Theory: Individual rationally chooses behavior o Make punishment slightly more painful o Industrialization/urbanization o “Scientific method”: We can measure/understand/predict/correct behaviors Punishment has limited, if any, effect Follows Darwinism Positivism: Behavior affected by forces beyond individual control o Genetics, within them Biological Psychological o Sociological Social structural Social process Developmental Three Key Components of Deterrence Theory Celerity: How swift the punishment is Certainty: Probability of punishment is very high Proportionality: Punishment should fit the crime o Often interpreted as severity Key Types of Deterrence Absolute deterrence: The effect of punishment vs no punishment at all General deterrence: Response to threat of punishment in general population Specific deterrence: Response to punishment of the individual punished o Also called individual deterrence Marginal deterrence: Increased deterrent effect from increasing punishment further Key Issues with Deterrence System capacity argument o Simultaneity problem Very difficult to rigorously study o Spuriousness – all things aren’t the same between places and people Can’t randomize punishment across people and places o Results in an understanding that is flimsy Summary of Findings There is an absolute deterrent effect Marginal deterrence effects o Unknown size but likely small to none and certainty matters more o Very expensive to induce People “update” punishment costs o Less experienced have more punishment o Chronic offenders – much less Immediate benefits count more Later possible costs discounted heavily o Celerity/certainty problem Informal/social punishments more critical than formal punishments
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