Biology and Crime • There is a long tradition in criminology that there are biological roots to criminal behavior. The major issue revolves around how much of an influence biology has on crime compared to other known social factors. This issue has been revisited recently with advances in our understanding of the brain and brain chemistry. This is a politically charged issues, often related to questions of racism and gender bias.
Early Ideas:1860-1970 The book presents excellent reviews of the work of the early leaders of this field: • Lombroso • Dugdale • Goring • Lange • Hooton • Sheldon
Crime Control and Drug Therapy • The use of lobotomies as a means of making the criminally violent docile has been in decline for decades. • Since crime is so often related to psychological or emotional injuries, for example, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or mental illness, control of these conditions with drugs has some crime reduction effects.
Crime and Social Structure • Recall that social structure refers to all the norms, roles, statuses, institutions and values of a society. • All these factors influence crime in one way or another. • Generally speaking, research on crime and social structure centers on the criminogenic effect of economy and other social institutions, such as the neighborhood or family.
Delinquency and Juvenile Justice Delinquency • Delinquency is a status imposed by a state juvenile court in cases where a person below a specified age, generally 16, is responsible for a criminal act. • The legal tradition of holding youth to a lower standard of criminal culpability dates back to Roman law, and has been a part of American law since 1900.
The Juvenile Court Juvenile Court • The first juvenile courts in the US were created around 1900. The book presents a very good history of this movement and its proponents. • The contemporary juvenile court is widely viewed as dysfunctional for a wide variety of reasons.
Juvenile Justice in Crisis Several factors account for the crisis in juvenile justice: • Growing intolerance of youthful crime • Outdates procedures and poor technology • Insufficient resources • Gangs and criminal subculture influences
Youthful Crime Dispositions Disposition of cases: most youthful offenders are released http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t4252010.pdf Notice in the first horizontal row that of the 495,453 juveniles in police custody less that 50,000 of about 9.4% are referred to police or the courts. This is a common trend in juvenile justice.
Arrests of Juveniles • http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t472010.pdf • This table shows the number and percentages of juveniles among all arrests for 2010. Notice the age distribution from under age 15 (the far left side) to age 20. Also notice the kinds of crimes young people commit, Particularly in the second tier of crimes, just below the summary statistics for Violent and Property crimes.