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by: Gudrun Jacobson
Gudrun Jacobson
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gudrun Jacobson on Thursday September 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ 4614 at Florida State University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 75 views. For similar materials see /class/205512/ccj-4614-florida-state-university in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University.

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Date Created: 09/17/15
Chanter I Key Terms Sociological criminology the sociological understanding of crime and criminal justice stressing the importance of social structure and social inequality Sociological perspective stresses that people are social beings more than individuals Actus reus the actual criminal act of which a defendant is accused Common law the system of law originating in medieval England and emphasizing court decisions and customs Conflict Originates from Marx and Engels work and refers to a theory that assumes that people disagree on norms and act with self interest because of their disparate socioeconomic positions The powerful may commit very harmful behaviors but because they determine which laws are created their behaviors are often legal or at least not harshly punished even if they are legal Consensus Originates from Durkheim s work and refers to a theory that people agree on norms despite their disparate socioeconomic positions When crime and deviance occur they violate these widely accepted norms and punishment of the behavior is necessary to ensure continuing social stability Crime behavior that is considered so harmful that it is banned by a criminal law Criminal intent having the desire to commit a crime Criminogenic crime causing Criminology the study of the making of laws the breaking of laws and society s reaction to the breaking of laws Customs norms that are unwritten and informal Debunking motif part of the sociological perspective and refers to the challenge sociology poses to conventional understandings of social institutions and social reality Dependent variable an attitude or behavior that changes because of the influence of another variable independent variable Deviance behavior that violates accepted norms and arouses negative social reactions Duress threats or coercion on another to commit a crime Felony a serious criminal offense punishable by a prison term of more than a year Generalize to apply knowledge of particular cases to other similar cases Independent variable a characteristic or trait that influences change in another variable dependent variable Laws written formal norms Longitudinal studies research in which the same people are studied over time Mala in se behaviors that are wrong in and of themselves Mala prohibita behaviors that are wrong only because they are prohibited by law Mens rea a guilty mind or an individual having criminal intent Misdemeanor minor criminal offense punishable by less than one year in prison Norms standards of behavior Social control society s restraint of norm violating behavior Selfdefense violent of other actions committed to protect oneself or others Public issues social problems resulting from structural and other problems in the social environment Private issues individual problems that many people have that they think stem from their own failings or particular circumstances Social inequality the differential distribution of wealth power and other things of value in a given society Social structure the pattern of social interaction and social relationships in a group or society Survey questionnaire administered to a set of respondents Sociological imagination the ability to attribute private troubles to problems in the larger social structure Important Notes Crime rates in the United States has declined since the early 905 but the prison and jail population has almost doubled since then to make it the highest rate of incarceration in the Western world The sociological perspective stresses that social forces influence our behavior and attitudes and derives from the work of Durkheim and his suicide studies Many of criminology s important concepts including anomie relative deprivation and social conflict draw from concepts originally developed in the larger body of sociology Moreover research methodology originating in sociology provides the basis for much criminological research Because criminal law is obviously an essential component of the criminal justice system its most important goal is to help keep the public safe from crime and criminals or to prevent and control crime and criminal behavior A second goal of criminal law is to articulate our society s moral values and concerns emphasized by the consensus theory A third goal is to protect the rights and freedoms of the nation s citizens by protecting it from potential governmental abuses of power Law in the US has its origins in English common law Most US jurisdictions still retain common law concepts of the types of crime and the elements of criminal law violation that must be proved before a defendant can be found guilty Defendants may offer several types of excuses or justifications as defenses against criminal accusations including ignorance duress self defense entrapment insanity or mistake One of the most important types of research in criminology is survey research Experiments are very common in psychology but less so in criminology and sociology Criminological surveys gather information involving public opinion on crime and the criminal justice system self report data on crime and delinquency and information concerning criminal victimization All societies have social norms and violating these norms results in deviance What is defined as a crime depends not only on the behavior but the social conditions under which it occurs The consensus view assumes an agreement of opinions of different people on what the social norms of behavior are and should be People obey the laws because they reflect their values and punishment is necessary to ensure continuing social stability The conflict view assumes that members of the public disagree on what is considered socially appropriate Laws represent the powerful and help the ruling majority maintain their social position Research is a fundamental part of criminology with criminological research asking whether one variable independent influences another variable dependent Independent variable X influences or has an effect of the other variable The dependent variable y is the variable being changedaffected For example alcohol use independent causes aggressive behavior dependent The rules to follow include X precedes Y in time X and Y must be related X and Y must not be a spurious relationship Chanter 3 Key Terms Chronic offenders a small number of offenders who commit a disproportionate amount of serious crime and delinquency and who persist in their criminality Criminal careers the continuation of criminal behavior past adolescence and young adulthood Measurement the determination of the frequency of criminal behavior and of the characteristics of offenders and victims Property crime theft and other crime committed against property Violent crime interpersonal violence especially homicide rape assault and robbery Climatological refers to the variation of crime rates with climate and seasons of the year Seasonal when crime rates vary from season to season Selfreport studies surveys in which respondents are asked to report about criminal offenses they have committed Prevalence the proportion of respondents who have committed a particular offense at least once in the time period under study definition according to PP how common a disease or crime is in a population or the proportion of the community the has the disease or crime Incidence the average number of offenses per person in the time period under examination definition according to PP the number of new cases that occurs in a year International comparisons cross national comparisons of crime rates NCVS an annual survey of criminal victimization sponsored by the US Department of Justice Interviews people from randomly selected US households and gathers information not available through the UCR including the context of a crime and the characteristics of crime victims Patterning the social distribution of criminal behavior according to certain characteristics of locations and of individuals Underreporting the failure of crime victims to report crimes they have suffered or of respondents in self report surveys to report crimes they have committed UCR the FBI s annual compilation of crime statistics Involves massive data collection from almost all the nation s police precincts Victimization the suffering of a crime Important Notes The UCR is the nation s official crime source and is based on police reports of crime to the FBI Part 1 crimes such as homicide robbery arson etc are the most serious crimes reported Information on part 2 offenses are also gathered including crimes such as fraud curfew laws or drug abuse Violent crimes comprise about 12 of all part 1 crimes and property crimes about 88 Problems with the UCR include many crime victims don t report their crimes to police people have different views of what the definition of crime is police have discretion of what crimes to ultimately report changes in police behavior including whether and how they record reported crimes may affect UCR statistics and underreporting of white collar crimes The strengths of the UCR include its large coverage it being a major source of official crime statistics and it being an effective method of gauging serious crime as serious crime is more likely to be reported Validity raises the question to what degree does the method accurately measure crime Reliability raises the question to what degree does the method provide consistent results regarding crime Research shows that immigrants have lower rates of crime than non immigrants Neighborhoods with a larger concentration of immigrants have lower rates of crimes One important finding is that a small group of people commit a disproportionately high number of offenses 6 percent committed more than half of all crimes The NCVS interviews individuals from randomly selected US households every six months for three years and was created to avoid the UCR problems above and to gather information not available from the UCR This includes the where and when the crime occurred gender and income of crime victims and relationship with the offenders It provides a more accurate picture than the UCR of the amount of crime The NCVS has at least two major advantages over the UCR It yields a much more accurate estimate of the number of crimes Also NCVS information on the characteristics of victims and the context of victimization has furthered the development of theories of victimization It also uses the victims as the source of receiving their data The disadvantages of the NCVS include its lack of attention to white collar crime lack of detailed geographical analysis the fact that it is survey administered and that it is self reported data Self report studies focus mainly on adolescents and measure the extent of their offending They ask respondents about many aspects of their lives and backgrounds which is why they have been invaluable for the development and testing of criminological theory They are relatively inexpensive and use accessible samples such as high school students and inmates Self report studies have been criticized as respondents sometimes fib about offenses they have committed Also self report studies focus on minor and trivial offenses running away minor drug use and truancy Examples of public health surveillance systems include traffic fatality review national violent death reporting system and behavioral risk factor surveillance system Their purpose is to measure the burden of a disease monitor the trends in the burden of a disease evaluating public policy and to guide the planning and implementation of the programs to prevent and control disease and injury exposure When looking at geographical patterns different nations have varying definitions and interpretations of criminal behavior and alternative methods of collecting crime data which is why some nations have higher reported crime rates than others In the US crime is higher in cities than in rural areas and higher in the South and West than in the East and Midwest Crimes are normally higher among men than women as well as blacks and Latinos over whites The poor are more likely to commit crime over the wealthy and crime is also prevalent in the warmer months When looking at age and crime street crime is primarily a young persons phenomenon with it declining after adolescence and young adulthood This could be because we are getting more mature and our demand to get a job and raise a family is coming into the picture Chanter IO Key Terms Assault an unlawful attack by one person on another to inflict bodily injury Simple assault involves only minor injuries and no use of a weapon Aggravated assault involves a serious injury or the use of a weapon It could be broken up into simple and aggravated assault Aggravated assault physically attacking another person resulting in serious bodily harm and usually involved a deadly weapon Usually a felony punishable by a term in state prison Simple assault committed when a person is threatening to use non life threatening ways to do bodily harm to another person there is usually little or no injury Manslaughter an unjustified killing considered less serious of blameworthy than murder Homicide the unjustified killing of a human being Intraracial within one race Child abuse physical violence or sexual misconduct committed against children by their parents or other adults Handgun control efforts to restrict the supply and ownership of handguns Interpersonal violence physically injurious acts committed by one or more people against one or more others Political violence terrorism genocide Corporate violence pollution unsafe products Nonphysical harm fear anxiety and other emotional states Mass media modes of communication such as TV radio and newspapers Robbery taking or attempting to take something from one or more people by force or threat of force Victimoffender relationship refers to whether the victim and offender knew each other before the victimization occurred Important Facts Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter are divided into four categories including first degree murder second degree murder voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter These categories often overlap which makes it hard to determine which category a crime would fall under Young people are way more likely to be both murdered and the murderer Men over women also fit the previous statistic Almost all black murder victims are murdered by blacks and most white murder victims are murdered by whites Homicide rates are disproportionately high among urban residents and southerners as well Most homicide victims knew the person who killed them Homicides tend to be relatively spontaneous emotionally charged events involving hand guns Mass murder and serial killings receive a lot of media attention but are very rare events Men commit most of these crimes but why individuals commit these crimes is still unknown Almost 15th of violence occurs in the workplace most often by strangers committing robberies In contrast to mass murderers serial killers tend to murder strangers typically prostitutes homeless and runaway youths The homicide rate has decreased dramatically since several centuries ago History tells us that increased economic opportunities for the poor and people of color are necessary to decrease their relatively high homicide rates Robbery is also much of a young person s crime and larger in urban areas and in the South than elsewhere Again men and blacks are disproportionately likely to be victims of robberies and are accounted for most of robbery arrests A difference is robbery is more likely to be committed by a stranger than by someone the victim knows Black males are more likely to be robbed than other races The UCR and NCVS differ on the number of robberies the NCVS reporting a higher number The social patterning for robbery is similar to homicide and assault in some ways The key factor in determining if a crime is a hate crime is the motive of the offenders Most hate crimes are committed by organized groups or individuals not by mobs We know relatively little about the members social backgrounds or motivation beyond their racism or other prejudice The issue of guns is one of the most controversial topics in criminal justice today The major question addressed is whether handguns deter crime or make firearm violence more likely Chanter ll Key Terms Battering domestic violence Physical attacks committed by intimates Cultural myths false beliefs in society that make crimes such as rape and battering more likely Dowry deaths murders of women in India and Pakistan because their families could not pay the expected dowry Femicide the murder of women and girls Genital mutilation the excision of a clitoris Male dominance the supremacy of men in society Patriarchy male supremacy Rape forced or nonconsensual sexual intercourse Sexual assault nonconsensual or forced sexual contact that does not involve sexual intercourse Stalking the persistence following observing and harassment of an individual Important Facts Rape and battering are two common crimes within the US and seem more common among people who are young adults and are among the poor The evidence on racial or ethnic differences in rape and battering is inconsistent but substantial differences do not seem to exist Studies estimate that about 20 30 of US women will be raped or sexually assaulted at least once in their lifetime and that the same proportion of women will be physically assaulted by a husband or partner Myths or cultural myths exist to blame women for their victimization These myths include that women like to be raped and ask to be raped by their dress and behavior Another myth states that because many women do not leave their batterers or call the police the battering cannot be that bad Another myth about battering says that they must have done something to anger their male partners Young women over older women are more likely to experience IPV Higher rates for Native American and black women than for whites This could be due to cultural traditions as well as underreporting And lastly poorer women have higher rates of being raped which could include college women Along with crime rates IPV against women has decreased dramatically since the early 19905 one of the major accomplishments of the women s movement has been the establishment of rape crisis center and battered women s shelters If violence against women is a consequence of gender inequality then to reduce it we must first reduce male dominance One other solution lies in the hands of the criminal justice system Police and judges are more likely now a days to view rape and battering as real crimes not just as private matters in which the woman is to blame Chanter 12 Key Terms Amateur theft property crime committed by unskilled offenders who act when the opportunity arises Booster skilled professional shoplifters who sell their stolen goods to fences or pawn shops Decision making processes the way judges and prosecutors determine what happens at various stages of the criminal justice system Fencing the selling of stolen goods Fraud deceit or trickery used for financial gain or for some other material advantage Identity theft acquiring someone else s credit card number 55 number bank account information or other information that is then used for illegal economic gain including the draining of an individual s bank account Joyriding the temporary stealing of a car or other motor vehicle in order to drive or ride in it for thrills Professional theft property crime committed by skilled offenders who carefully plan their offenses Rationalization a justification or technique of neutralization that minimizes the guilt that criminal offenders may otherwise feel Sneaky thrill crimes offenses committed for the excitement Snitch an amateur shoplifter Social organization the pattern of relationships and roles in a society Support system the network of tipsters and fences that help burglars carry out their burglaries and dispose of their stolen goods Target hardening efforts to make homes stores and other buildings less vulnerable to burglary and other crimes Tax fraud the intentional failure to pay all taxes owed Important Facts The major types of property crime are burglary larceny motor vehicle theft arson and fraud Statistics show that property crime is highest in the South and West by whites although blacks have disproportionately high rates by males urban areas and by younger people Part 1 property crimes include arson burglary and larceny theft Part 2 property crimes include forgery fraud buyingreceiving stolen property and embezzlement Although the UCR and NCVS provide different estimates of property crime both indicate that it has declined since early 19905 This is because of more funding for police forces target hardening less cash being carried around more alarm systems being used and more people staying at home to watch videos and cable TV Social organization makes a distinction between amateur thieves and professional thieves Amateur criminals snitches comprise the vast majority of property offenders as they are in their teens or early twenties They are unskilled and commit crimes when the opportunity arises rather than professional criminals boosters who plan them far in advance When it comes to motor vehicle theft joyriding stealing cars taking them for a short ride and then dumping them before the owner knows the car is gone is primarily done by amateur teenage boys Professional thieves tend to break into very secure vehicles drive them away and quickly dismantle them for parts in chop shops where they make money off of the car parts they sell Burglary is broken up into three categories low level middle range and high level Low level burglars are young adults who get together to commit spontaneous burglaries and only steal small amounts of money Middle range burglars tend to be older and more apt to spend time searching for attractive targets They normally act alone and spend most of their time in the residences they enter in order to find the most valuable items High level burglars are the most skilled and tend to act in groups They spend much time and travel to commit the perfect crime Many types of fraud occur including identity theft tax fraud computer fraud and insurance fraud A major type of insurance fraud is auto insurance fraud which adds an estimated 200 to the insurance premium for the average car Check forgery involves the writing of bad check and is committed by both amateur and professional forgers modern equivalent is credit card fraud


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