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Criminal Theory Week 9 lecture notes

by: Keisha Notetaker

Criminal Theory Week 9 lecture notes Criminal Justice 304

Keisha Notetaker
Long Beach State
GPA 3.5
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Chapter 11
Criminal Theory
Dr. Meeks
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Keisha Notetaker on Monday April 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Criminal Justice 304 at California State University Long Beach taught by Dr. Meeks in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Criminal Theory in Criminal Justice at California State University Long Beach.

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Date Created: 04/04/16
Lecture March 22 nd Chapter 11 Child Sexual Abuse - Includes a variety of criminal and civil offenses in which an adult: o Engages in sexual activity with a minor o Exploits a minor for purposes of sexual gratification o Exploits a minor sexually for purposes of profit - CSA is commonly believed to be underreported Typology of Abusers - Nicholas Groth’s two-part typology identifies abusers as o Regressed offenders o Fixated offenders  Note: almost all pedophiles are male - Regressed offenders are attracted sexually primarily to their own age groups but are passively aroused by minors and whose behavior is often affected by drugs or alcohol - Fixated offenders are adult pedophiles who engage in planned sexual acts with children and whose behavior is not necessarily influenced by drugs or alcohol - Although most victims of childhood sexual abuse do not become child molesters, sexual victimization as a child may contribute to later development as a perpetrator of CSA, if it is accompanied by other intervening factors Crimes against Property and the Motivation of the Offender Stealing - Types of property crime, which involve the act of stealing, in the U.S. include: o Larceny/theft o Burglary o Receiving stolen property o Motor vehicle theft o Arson - Property crime in 2014 resulted in losses estimated at $14.3 billion and $16.6 billion in 2013 A Professional Career - Theft Career o The concept of a criminal career implies a rational and planned progression through defined stages, with some type of planning or logic to the progression - Neil Shover defines professional thieves as those: o Who commit crime with some skill o Who make a living from crime o Who spend relatively little time incarcerated - However, there are several basic differences between persistent thieves and a professional criminal: o Persistent thief: those who continue in property crimes despite having at best an ordinary level of success  Alternate among a variety of crimes such as burglary, robbery, car theft, con games o Professional thief: a criminal offender who makes a living from criminal theft, is recognized by other offenders as a professional, and engages in theft that is planned and calculated - Occasional thief: a criminal offender whose offending patterns are guided primarily by opportunity, are short term, sporadic in their offending, and commit crimes when there is: o Basically an opportunity o Situational inducement o Personal need - Alfred Blumstein suggests that a criminal career in property offending has three phases: o The break-in period: characterizes the offender’s early years and may last for the first 10-12years of the offenders’ career o The stable period: is the time of highest commitment and the period when the offender most closely identifies with a criminal lifestyle  They don’t get caught, can outsource the police o The burnout phase is characterized by increasing dropout rates and a reduced commitment to a criminal lifestyle Decision Making - Rational choice on property crimes often focuses on rational choice theory - Rational Choice Theory holds that criminals make a conscious, rational and at least partially informed choice to commit crime - There are two main varieties of choice theory: routine activities theory and situational choice theory - Routine theory poses that crime is likely to occur when a motivated offender and a suitable target come together in the absence of a capable guardian (something that effectively discourages crime.) o Note: this theory suggests that changes in the social structure in the 70s contributed to increased rates of household theft and personal victimization outside the home  Noticeably, in the 70’s women began to work –credit –new technology - Situational Theory sees crime as a matter of both motivation an opportunity - ST focuses on the choice-structuring properties of a potentially criminal situation; o The opportunities o Costs o Benefits attached to particular types of crime - Research suggests that the use of such rationality is becoming more common - Rational Choice - Rational choice theorists believe crime prevention efforts should focus on specific strategies that would dissuade a motivated property offender: o Reduce unemployment o Reduce drug addiction o Reduce poverty - Current rational choice theory puts more emphasis on rationality and cognition than on pleasure and emotionally Ecology of Burglary Social Ecology of Burglary - Victimization data suggests that 72% of U.S. households will be burglarized at least once over the average lifetime - In 2014, there were 1,729,806 million reported burglaries in the U.S. (UCR) - Burglary rates are highest in large urban metropolitan areas (Economic Deprivation) - The most prevalent rationale behind the crime of residential burglary is economic: o Need for fast cash o Buy drugs o Provide basic necessities - Commercial burglaries are even more associated with the instrumental end of economic gain - In 2014, victims of burglary suffered an estimated loss of over $3.9 billion - In 2014, residential burglary accounted for 73.2% of all burglaries in the U.S. - In 2014, the clearance rate for burglary was 13.6% (UCR) Stolen Property - The basic elements in this crime involves buying and receiving stolen property while knowing it to be stolen - Receiving stolen property involves various levels of profit for people participating, including those who knowingly buy stolen property - Some professional thieves commit crimes specifically to obtain something they know someone wants and then sell the item directly to the customer - Professional thieves also sell stolen goods to people known to them or take the stolen goods to flea markets, auctions, and sell them on the internet - Professional thieves also sell stolen merchandise to merchants while representing it as legal goods - The use of a professional fence to dispose of stolen goods is the most common method for professional thieves but the least common method for the majority of thieves - A fence is someone who purchases stolen goods on a regular basis and then re-sales the goods - The internet has become another mode for disposing of stolen goods Larceny/Theft - Defined as the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession, or constructive possession of another - According to the FBI and the NCVS, larceny is the most frequently occurring property crime - The largest categories of theft are from motor vehicles, shoplifting and theft from buildings - In 2014, there were an estimated 5,858,496 larceny/thefts in the U.S. - Over 22.9 percent of larceny/thefts were from motor vehicles - The average value of property taken during larceny/thefts shows that the loss to victims was over $5.5 billion - The clearance rate for theft was 23% (UCR) Shoplifting - In 2014, there were approximately 1.097,444 reported (UCR) incidents of shoplifting - The estimated loss in 2014 was $223 million - Because shoplifting has been found to be part of the early offense history of a certain segment of property offenders, it may be a getaway offense to more serious and chronic types of offending - Employee theft accounted for 47% of loss to U.S. retailers (UCR), compared to shoplifting which only accounted for 17.2% of retailer loss in 2010 - According to a 2015 Released Study by the University of Cincinnati CJ Dept., employee theft accounts for 43% of loss revenue for businesses Vehicle Theft Motor Vehicle Theft - In 2014, approximately 689,527 vehicles were reported stolen (UCR), with an estimated total value exceeding $4.5 billion - The average dollar loss per stolen vehicle was $6,537 - Well over half (74.5%) of stolen vehicles were automobiles - The clearance rate was 12.8% Arson - The FBI defines arson: o “As any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property of another.” - Arson for profit is a significant component of the monetary loss due to arson - The businessperson committing arson to collect insurance money (profit) is atypical of arsonists in general - However, the majority of those involved in committing arson are juveniles - Approximately 50% of all cleared arson cases involve juvenile offenders - Juveniles are more likely to be involved in arsons in cities than in suburbs or rural areas and they are known to commit both residential and commercial arson - Arson is the third leading cause of residential fires and the second leading cause of residential fire deaths - In 2013, 15,324 law enforcement agencies reported 42,934 arsons (UCR) - Arsons involving structures (e.g., residential, storage, public, etc.) accounted for 45.3 percent of the total number of arson offenders - Mobile property destroyed accounted for 23.2 percent of arsons - Other types of property (such as crops, timber, fences, etc.) accounted for 31.5 percent of reported arsons - The cost of arson in the U.S. is approximately $689 million o The average dollar loss due to arson was $16,055 o Arsons if industrial/manufacturing structures resulted in the highest average dollar loss of $167,545 per arson


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