Intro to Criminal Justice
Intro to Criminal Justice CRJU 1100
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Orion Turcotte DDS on Monday October 12, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to CRJU 1100 at Georgia Southern University taught by Bryan Miller in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see /class/221969/crju-1100-georgia-southern-university in Criminal Justice at Georgia Southern University.
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Date Created: 10/12/15
Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide Crime gt An act committed or omitted that is prohibited by law or statute for which there is government sponsored punishment gt Conduct that violates criminal law for which there is no legally accepted justification or excuse gt General legal de nition crime is a legal wrong prohibited by the criminal law prosecuted by the state in a formal court proceeding in which a criminal sanction or sentence may be imposed There are 3 sources of information about crime 1 Uniform Crime Report UCR Reports crimes known to the police Uses the summary system which only reports counts of crimes no detailed info except for homicides Collected voluntarily by law enforcement agencies The UCR crime index is made up of violent and property crimes Violent crimes include murder forcible rape robbery and aggravated assault property crimes include burglary arson larceny theft and motor vehicle theft You can express UCR crime data through raw figures rates and change over time Strengths Oldest and most stable form of measuring crime Covers many metro areas Can track changes in jurisdictions over time Good measure of serious crime Covers 97 of population Weaknesses Underreporting Hierarchy rule Reporting is voluntary De nitions may vary across jurisdictions Arbitrary selection of offenses Federal offenses are excluded 2 National Crime Victimization NCVS Asks individuals about criminal victimizations lncludes data on robbery assault household burglary personal and household larceny motor vehicle theft rape with questions that probe into the details of offense Weaknesses Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide Streng 3 SelfRepo Av Inaccurate reporting Time in sample bias Response bias Interviewer effect Movers and stayers Series victimizations Missing populations cost ths victim demographics national probability sample dark figure of crime vehicle for collecting additional information rt Surveys SRS Asks individuals to report their own offending behavior A mechanism to capture the dark gure of crime iable way to capture amount of substance abuse which is typically underreported by official measures Weaknesses Streng No standardized measure Trivial and status offenses Biased samples Inaccurate reporting Cost Sampling problems ths Provides demographic info on the offender Examines etiology of crime Examines amount of crime committed by normal or noncriminal populations Not subject to politicization 7 elements of a crime For a behavior to be defined as criminal and subject to legal penalties a prosecutor must prove that all seven elements have been ful lled 1 Legality before act law must de ne a specific action as a crime law must be de ned ion occurs 2 Actus reus thoughts alone are not sufficient to make a crime in some instances physical a speech can constitute a crime even though there is no specific ction Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide 3 Causation a causal relationship must be evident between the forbidden or guilty act and the harm suffered 4 Harm to be a crime an act must cause harm to a person property or object that a legislature has deemed valuable 5 Concurrence the actus reus and mens reas must be present at the same time if a crime is to occur 6 Mens rea commission ofan act is not a crime unless it is accompanied by the intent to in ict harm the intent to commit a crime based on the assumption that people have the ability to make reasonable decisions about right and wrong 7 Punishment a statutory provision for punishment must exist without a proscribed punishment the law is unenforceable Crime Patterns Most crimes occur during the warm and summer months July and August crimes also tend to occur at the beginning ofthe month Age is inversely related to criminality rates of crime are highest among young people the peek age for violent crime is 18 and the peek age for property crime is 16 Male crime rates are much higherthan those for females males make up 94 of the prison population Males are more likely to be both victims and offender of crime than females Women engage in minor and major property crime and violent crimes Nonwhites are consistently over represented in the criminal justice system African Americans are more likely to be the offenders and victims of crime and they are over represented in arrest statistics for crimes Reasons for the overrepresentation of blacks in arrest statistics gt Bias of UCR crime index index crimes focus on street crimes not white collar crimes gt Police bias via discretionary and discriminatory practices police arrest blacks more than whites gt Public racial bias gt Coupling of race with social class Criminology gt The scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon gt The scientific approach to studying criminal behavior gt It is an academic discipline Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide gt Process of making laws breaking laws and reacting towards the breaking of laws gt Explains the origins extent and nature of crime gt Examines why crime occurs Criminological theory Through the years many theories have been advanced to explain crime and deviance Once created theories must be tested to determine validity Theory testing involves developing hypotheses based on the theory s predictions Classical and Neoclassical Theories Basic assumptions 0 Crime is caused by the individual exercise of free will Pain and pleasure are the two central determinants of human behavior Punishment is sometimes required to deter law violators Crime prevention is possible through swift and certain punishment which offsets any gains to be had through criminal behavior Classical theories form the basis of many criminal justice programs and the underlying assumptions of the criminal justice system High crime rates call for punishment to get even and to prevent future crime Biological Theories Basic assumptions 0 Human behavior is constitutionally or genetically determined 0 Basic determinants of human behavior may be passed from generation to generation 0 Some behavior is the result of propensities inherited from more primitive developmental stages in the evolutionary process Social policies based on biological theories are usually considered extreme OOO Psychobiological Theories Basic assumptions 0 Focus is on the relationship of the following to criminal behavior 1 DNA 2 Environmental contaminants 3 Nutrition 4 Hormones 5 Physical trauma 6 Body chemistry in human cognition and behavior Social policies look to modify body chemistry to change behavior Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide Psychological Theories Basic assumptions o The individual is the main unit of analysis 0 Personality is the major motivational element 0 Crimes result from inappropriately conditioned behavior 0 Abnormal mental processes may have a number of causes Social policies are primarily individualistic and oriented toward individualized treatment and therapy plans designed to reduce a person s dangerousness Sociological Theories Basic assumptions 0 Social groups social institutions the arrangement of society and social roles are all appropriate for study 0 Group dynamics group organization and subgroup relationships form the casual basis of criminality o The structure of society and the relative degree of social organization or social disorganization are important factors contributing to criminal behavior Social programs are instituted to change cultural conditions and societal arrangements that lead people into crime Social Process Theories Basic assumptions 0 They highlight the role played by weakened selfesteem and the lack of meaningful social roles in crime causation 0 Relationship of individual to social group is stressed as underlying cause of behavior Conflict Theories Basic assumptions 0 Society is composed ofdiverse social groups 0 Conflict among groups is unavoidable because of differing interests and differing values 0 Group con ict centers on exercise of political power 0 Laws furtherthe interests ofthe lawmakers Criminal Justice Criminal justice is an institution of social control gt As an institution of social control criminal justice differs from other institution of social control in two important ways Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide 2 It is concerned only with behavior that is de ned as criminal 2 It is society s last line of defense against people who refuse to abide by dominant social values and commit crimes Civil Law vs Criminal Law Civil law o Legislated rules that govern private wrongs ex breaches of contract contested wills trusts 0 Individual is plaintiff 0 Objective is to compensate forthe harm done 0 Proof 9 preponderance of the evidence Criminal law o Offenses against society as a whole State initiates Objective is to protect the public against harm by preventing crimes Proof 9 beyond a reasonable doubt OOO Substantive Law vs Procedural Law Substantive law o Acts are subject to punishments o Regulates conduct in society 0 Varies by jurisdiction 0 A living document Procedural law 0 Rules that regulate the implementation of substantive laws rules that police the police FelonyMisdemeanor Comparison A felony has the ability to affect various parts ofthe justice system Conditions under which police can make an arrest charges prosecutor can ultimately press Sentence that can be imposed Size ofjury Whether jury verdict must be unanimous lllll Criminal Defenses Criminal Responsibility Used to negate the intent requirement for the commission ofa crime gt Insanity McNaghten Rule Irresistible Impulse Durham Rule Substantial Capacity Test Intro to Criminal Justice Exam 1 Study Guide gt Intoxication not considered a viable defense unless the person becomes involuntarily intoxicated while under duress by mistake may lessen the degree of seriousness for voluntary intoxication gt Age typically children under age 7 are deemed not to form reason of intent and therefore cannot be charged with an offense between the ages of 7 and 18 the individual is typically charged as a juvenile Criminal Defenses gt Consent the type of crime dictates if this is a valid defense Elements of consent 2 Victim is capable of giving consent 2 Offense must be a consentable crime 2 Consent cannot be obtained through fraud 2 Person giving consent must have authority to do so gt Selfdefense Elements of selfdefense 2 The defendant did not provoke attack 2 The attack was imminent 2 Use of force was a last resort 2 Used only amount of force required to repel the attack gt Entrapment gt Double jeopardy gt Mistake duress necessity 2 Mistake of fact taking something of someone s that looked like yours an honest mistake 2 Mistake of law ignorance of law is not a valid defense 2 Duress compulsion forced into committing a crime 2 Necessity harm avoided must be greater than the offenses charged Perspectives on Criminal Justice Crime Control Perspective o Attempts to deter crime by inflicting harsh punishments Goal is to protect the innocent by repressing crime The focus of the criminal justice system should be on crime victims Believe in swift and sure justice by repressing all crime Favor a gettough on crime attitude mandatory sentences OOOO Rehabilitation Perspective
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