Exploring Crime
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Exploring Crime. Government Intervention. In a market-oriented society, the question becomes: Is the market performing satisfactorily in this area, and if not, why not? . Defining Intervention or Policy.

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Exploring Crime

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Government Intervention

  • In a market-oriented society, the question becomes: Is the market performing satisfactorily in this area, and if not, why not?

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Defining Intervention or Policy

  • Clarke E. Cochran, et al.: "The term public policy always refers to the actions of government and the intentions that determine those actions."

  • Clarke E. Cochran, et al.: "Public policy is the outcome of the struggle in government over who gets what."

  • Thomas Dye: Public policy is "Whatever governments choose to do or not do."

  • Charles L. Cochran and Eloise F. Malone: "Public policy consists of political decisions for implementing programs to achieve societal goals."

  • B. Guy Peters: "Stated most simply, public policy is the sum of government activities, whether acting directly or through agents, as it has an influence on the life of citizens."

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  • Most policy-making in criminal justice is based on criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

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Simply Put criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • To understand criminal justice policy, it is necessary to understand crime; or, perhaps the theories of crime

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Every criminological theory contains: criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • Assumptions

  • Description of the phenomena to be explained

  • Explanation, or prediction, of that phenomenon. . . 

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Assumptions criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • (about human nature, social structure, and the principles of causation, to name a few), The assumptions are also called meta-theoretical issues and deal with debates like those over free will v. determinism or consensus v. conflict

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Description of the phenomena to be explained criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • The description is a statistical profile, figure, diagram, or table of numbers representing the patterns, trends, and correlates of the type of crime taken as an exemplar (most appropriate example) of all crime

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Explanation or Prediction criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • The explanation is a set of variables (things that can be tweaked or changed) arranged in some kind of causal order so that they have statistical and meaningful significance

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In the Beginning criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Classical theory

A product of the Enlightenment, based on the assumption that people exercise free will and are thus completely responsible for their actions. In classical theory, human behavior, including criminal behavior, is motivated by a hedonistic rationality, in which actors weigh the potential pleasure of an action against the possible pain associated with it.

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Classical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

In 1764, criminologist Cesare Beccaria wrote An Essay on Crimes and Punishments, which set forth classical criminological theory.

He argued that the only justified rationale for laws and punishments was the principle of utility.

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Utility criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The principle that a policy should provide “the greatest happiness shared by the greatest number.”

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Classical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Beccaria believed the basis of society, as well as the origin of punishments and the right to punish, is the social contract.

The only legitimate purpose of punishment is special deterrenceand general deterrence.

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Social Contract: criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory.  An imaginary agreement to sacrifice the minimum amount of liberty to prevent anarchy and chaos.

Special Deterrence: The prevention of individuals from committing crime again by punishing them.

General Deterrence: The prevention of people in general or society at large from engaging in crime by punishing specific individuals and making examples of them.

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Neoclassical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Classical theory was difficult to apply in practice. It was modified in the early 1800s and became known as neoclassical theory.

A modification of classical theory in which it was conceded that certain factors, such as insanity, might inhibit the exercise of free will.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Neoclassical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Neoclassical theory introduced the idea of:

Premeditation as a measure of the degree of free will.

Mitigating circumstances as legitimate grounds for diminished responsibility.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Neoclassical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Classical and neoclassical theory are the basis of the criminal justice system in the United States.

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Legalistic or Normative criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • Almost all criminologists today use a legalistic rather than normative definition of crime. A legalistic definition of crime takes as its starting point the statutory definitions

  • A normative definition sees crime as a violation of norms (social standards of how humans ought to think and behave),

  • However, there are times when criminology can shed light on norms and norm violators.

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Positivist criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. Approaches to Explaining Crime

The theory of the positivist school of criminology grew out of positive philosophy and the logic and methodology of experimental science.

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The Positivist School of Thought criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The key assumptions of the positivist school of thought were:

Human behavior is determined and not a matter of free will.

Criminals are fundamentally different from noncriminals.

Social scientists can be objective in their work.

Crime is frequently caused by multiple factors.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Positivist Approaches criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Today, most criminologists believe that criminal behavior is the product of a complex interaction between biology and environmental or social conditions.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Positivist Approaches criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Biology or genetics gives an individual a predisposition to behave in a certain way.

Whether a person actually behaves in that way and whether that behavior is defined as a crime depend on environmental or social conditions.

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Criminological Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • There are basically thirteen (13) identifiable types of criminological theory, only three (3) of which are considered "mainstream" or conventional criminology (strain, learning, control). 

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Biological Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Biological theories of crime causation (biological positivism) are based on the belief that criminals are physiologically different from noncriminals. The cause of crime is biological inferiority.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Modern Biocriminology criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Ongoing research has revealed numerous biological factors associated either directly or indirectly with criminal or delinquent behavior:

  • chemical, mineral, and vitamin deficiencies in the diet

  • diets high in sugar and carbohydrates

  • hypoglycemia

continued…

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Psychological Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

There are many theories regarding psychological causes of crime, including:

Intelligence and crime

Psychoanalytic theories

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Intelligence and Crime criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The idea that crime is the product primarily of people of low intelligence has been popular occasionally in the United States.

A study in 1931 showed no correlation between intelligence and criminality.

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Psychoanalytic Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Psychoanalytic theories of crime causation are associated with the work of Sigmund Freud who believed that people who had unresolved deep-seated problems were psychopaths.

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Sociological Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Sociologists emphasize that human beings live in social groups and that those groups and the social structure they create influence behavior.

Most sociological theories of crime causation assume that a criminal’s behavior is determined by his or her social environment and reject the notion of the born criminal.

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The Theory of the criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. Chicago School

In the 1920s, a group of sociologists known as the Chicago Schoolattempted to uncover the relationship between a neighborhood’s crime rate and the characteristics of the neighborhood.

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The Theory of the criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. Chicago School

Studies found that neighborhoods that experienced high delinquency rates also experienced social disorganization.

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Anomie or Strain Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Robert Merton in 1938 wrote about a major contradiction in the U.S. between cultural goals and social structure. He called the contradiction anomie.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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anomie criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

For Merton, the contradiction between the cultural goal of achieving wealth and the social structure’s inability to provide legitimate institutional means for achieving the goal.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Anomie or Strain Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Merton argued that the limited availability of legitimate institutionalized means to wealth puts a strain on people. People adapt through:

Conformity—playing the game.

Innovation—pursuing wealth by illegitimate means.

continued…

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Anomie or Strain Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Ritualism—not actively pursuing wealth.

Retreatism—dropping out.

Rebellion—rejecting the goal of wealth and the institutional means of getting it.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Learning Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Edwin H. Sutherland—in his theory of differential association—was the first 20th-century criminologist to argue that criminal behavior was learned.

This theory, modified, remains one of the most influential theories of crime causation.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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differential association criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Sutherland’s theory that persons who become criminal do so because of contacts with criminal patterns and isolation from anticriminal patterns.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Learning Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Among the policy implications of learning theory is to punish criminal behavior effectively, according to learning theory principles. This is not done effectively in the U.S.

  • Probation does not function as an aversive stimulus.

  • Most offenders are not incarcerated.

continued…

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Learning Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • Punishment is not consistent and immediate.

  • Offenders are generally returned to the environments in which their crimes were committed.

  • There is no positive reinforcement of alternative, prosocial behaviors.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Social Control Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The key question in the social control theoryis not why people commit crime and delinquency, but rather why don’t they? Why do people conform?

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Social Control Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The most detailed elaboration of modern social control theory is attributed to Travis Hirschi who wrote the 1969 book, Causes of Delinquency.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Social Control Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Hirschi argued that delinquency should be expected if a juvenile is not properly socialized by establishing a strong bond to society, consisting of:

Attachment to others

Commitment to conventional lines of action

Involvement in conventional activities

Belief in the moral order and law

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Social Control Theories criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

More recently, Hirschi wrote with Michael Gottfredson that the principal cause of deviant behaviors is ineffective child rearing, which produces people with low self-control.

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Critical Approaches to criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Explaining Crime

Critical theories grew out of the changing social landscape of the American 1960s.

Critical theories assume that human beings are the creators of institutions and structures that ultimately dominate and constrain them.

Critical theories assume that society is characterized primarily by conflict over moral values.

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Labeling Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The focus oflabeling theoryis the criminalization processrather than the positivist concern with the peculiarities of the criminal.

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Labeling Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

The labeling theory argues that once a person commits a first criminal act and gets processed in the system, they are labeled negatively as a criminal.

The label becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Conflict Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Conflict theoryfocuses on the conflict in society between rich and poor, management and labor, whites and minorities.

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Radical Theory criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

Radical theoriesargue that capitalism requires people to compete against each other in the pursuit of material wealth.

The more unevenly wealth is distributed, the more likely people are to find persons weaker than themselves that they can take advantage of in their pursuit of wealth.

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Legal positivism criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • is a school of thought in modern and contemporary jurisprudence and the philosophy of law. The principal claims of legal positivism are:

    • that laws are rules made by human beings; and

    • That there is no inherent or necessary connection between law and morality

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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Relativism criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • The view that the meaning and value of human beliefs and behaviors have no absolute reference. Relativists claim that humans understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of, for example, their historical and cultural context. Philosophers identify many different kinds of relativism depending upon which classes of beliefs allegedly depend upon what.

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Hermeneutics criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • is a particular approach used in the study and interpretation of texts.  It seeks to understand what an author of a particular text is attempting to convey to others.  The term refers to the act of interpreting

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Is there interpretation in… criminological theory, whether the people making those policies know it or not.  In fact, most of the failed policies (what doesn't work) in criminal justice are due to misinterpretation, partial implementation, or ignorance of criminological theory. 

  • Assumptions

  • Description of the phenomena to be explained

  • Explanation, or prediction, of that phenomenon. . .

Copy Right 2005 Hi Tech Criminal Justice, Raymond E. Foster


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