Unit 1: Chapter 2
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Unit 1: Chapter 2. Causes of Crime. Bell Work. How is it possible to have a consensus about what should or should not be illegal in country with several hundred million adults from all races, religions, and walks of life?

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Causes of crime

Unit 1: Chapter 2

Causes of Crime


Bell work

Bell Work

  • How is it possible to have a consensus about what should or should not be illegal in country with several hundred million adults from all races, religions, and walks of life?

  • Although DNA profiling has been a boon for law enforcement, why are some observers concerned about its widespread use?


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

Criminology and Correlation vs. Causation

  • Criminology:

    • “The scientific study of crime and the causes of criminal behavior”

  • Correlation:

    • Correlation between two variables means that they tend to vary together

    • Ice Cream Sales and Crime in the Summer?

  • Causation:

    • Causation means that one variable is responsible for the change in the other


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Crime and Free Will: Choice Theories of Crime

    • Classical Criminology

      • People have free will to choose their behavior

      • Crime as a choice, is more attractive to some than abiding by the law

      • People may refrain from crime if the punishment or pain for it may be greater than the gain from it

      • Threat of punishment is the primary deterrent to crime


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

Positivism

  • “A school of social science that sees criminal and delinquent behavior as the result of biological, psychological, and social forces.”

  • Because wrongdoers are driven to deviancy by external factors, they should not be punished but treated to lessen the influence of those factors.


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Biological and Psychological Theories of Crime

    • Biological Theories

      • Biochemical Conditions and Crime

      • Genetics and Crime

        • Behavioral Genes

        • Twin Studies

      • Brain Activity and Crime

    • Psychological Theories

      • Psychoanalytic Theory – id, ego, superego

      • Psychopaths


Psychological theories

Psychological Theories

  • Psychological Theories

    • Psychoanalytic Theory

      • Id- controls sexual urges

      • Ego- controls behavior that leads to the fulfillment of id

      • Superego- directly related to the conscience and determines which actions are right and wrong, with person’s environment

      • Psychopath/Sociopath, Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)


Psychopath sociopath antisocial personality disorder aspd

Psychopath/Sociopath, Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)

  • Repeat unlawful behavior

  • Deceitfulness, persistent lying for profit or pleasure

  • Impulsiveness or failure to plan for future

  • Reckless disregard for safety

  • Irresponsibility, unemployment or indebtedness

  • Lack remorse

  • Aggressiveness in form of repeated fights or assaults


Substance abuse disorders

Substance Abuse Disorders

  • Drug Abuse- the use of any drug- licit or illicit- that causes either psychological or physiological harm to the abuser or to third parties

    • Dopamine

    • Medical Model of Addiction- addicts are not criminals, ill individuals, rehabilitate

    • Criminal Model of Addiction- endanger society and should be treated the same as other criminals


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Sociological Theories of Crime

    • Social and Physical Environmental Factors

      • The Chicago School- human behavior reflects their environment

      • Social Disorganization Theory- crime is largely a product of unfavorable conditions in certain communities

      • Strain Theory- crime is a result of frustration felt by individuals who cannot reach their financial and personal goals through legitimate means

      • Cultural Deviance Theory- people adapt o the values of the subculture to which they belong


Causes of crime

Figure 2.1 The Stages of Disorganization Theory


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Family, Friends, and the Media: Social Processes of Crime

    • Social Process Theories

      • “A school of criminology that considers criminal behavior to be the predictable result of a person’s interaction with his or her environment.”

      • Learning Theory

        • Criminal behavior is learned

      • Control Theory

        • Social bonds promote conformity to social norms

      • Labeling Theory

        • Society creates crime by labeling certain behavior and individuals as deviant


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Social Conflict Theories

    • Criminal behavior is the result of class conflict

    • Certain behavior is labeled illegal because the ruling class has an economic or social interest in restricting such behavior in order to protect the status quo.

    • Marxism vs. Capitalism

    • The Social Reality of Crime


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Life Course Theories

    • “The study of crime based on the belief that behavioral patterns developed in childhood can predict delinquent and criminal behavior later in life”

    • Self-Control Theory

    • Continuity Theory of Crime

    • The Possibility of Change

      • Moffitt believed there were two groups of youthful offenders: Those that age out of crime (their life of crime pertains to childhood), and those that continue to commit crime as adults


Causes of crime

Exploring the Causes of Crime

  • Emerging Theories in Criminology

    • Biosocial Theory

      • Combines aspects of biological and sociological theories

      • Racial Threat Theory

        • Focuses on the relationship between modern racism and the amount of control the criminal justice system exerts on African Americans

    • Differential Coercion Theory

      • Focuses on the types of force that compel a person to commit crime

    • Convict Criminology

      • Involves the unique input of ex-inmates who offer experiential views of corrections


Causes of crime

Victimology and Victims of Crime

  • Victimology

    • “A school of criminology that studies why certain people are the victims of crime and the optimal role for victims in the criminal justice system”

    • The growing emphasis on the victim has had a profound impact on criminal justice administrators


Causes of crime

Victimology and Victims of Crime

  • Repeat Victimization- certain people and places are more likely to be subject to criminal activity and that past victimization is a strong indicator of future victimization

  • Domestic Violence- willful neglect or physical violence within familial or intimate relationships


Causes of crime

Victimology and Victims of Crime

  • Factors of Victimization

    • Aspects of an individual’s life, including gender, lifestyle, and environment affect the possibility of being a crime victim

    • Examples of the factors associated with victimization are:

      • Alcohol

        • At greatest risk are frequent and heavy drinkers

      • Gender

        • More consistent clues as to actual threat of violence toward women


Causes of crime

Criminology from Theory to Practice

  • Chronic Offenders- career criminals

    • Earlier research suggested that a small group of juvenile offenders was responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime


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