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The Nature of Crime PowerPoint Presentation
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The Nature of Crime

The Nature of Crime

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The Nature of Crime

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Presentation Transcript

  1. Understanding Crime and Victimization The Nature of Crime

  2. Question: What Causes Crime? Five Theories

  3. Why does crime occur? Because they want to: Choice Theory

  4. Choice Theory • People choose to commit a crime after weighing the potential costs and benefits • Example: Drug dealing • Benefit: large profit, prestige, power, drugs • Potential cost: apprehension, punishment, loss of power

  5. Choice Theory • According to “Choice Theory,” punishment must be strict, sure and swift to outweigh any benefits of the crime • People will not choose crime if they fear punishment (costs) • Assumes that all criminals exhibit rationality and make choices

  6. Why does crime occur? Because they want to: Choice Theory Because they’re different: Biological Theory

  7. Biological Theory:(Biochemical, Neurological, and Genetic) • Linking physical traits (at birth or soon after) with tendencies toward violence, aggression, and anti-social behavior • Example: Low birth weight babies • Low birth weight  Poor educational achievement  Delinquency

  8. Biochemical Factors • Antisocial behavior could be linked to: • Improper diet • High levels of sugar and caffeine • Environmental contaminants • Hormonal imbalance • Hypoglycemia ABNORMAL levels of organic/inorganic substances could influence behavior

  9. Neurological Factors • Abnormal Electroencephalograms (EEGs) • Hostile, nonconforming, impulsive behavior • Minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) • Explosive rage

  10. Genetic Factors • Twin studies • Monozygotic (identical) vs. Dizygotic (fraternal) of the same sex • Adopted children: If behavior runs parallel with biological parents (especially father)

  11. Why does crime occur? Because they want to: Choice Theory Because they’re different: Biological Theory It’s in their heads: Psychological Theory

  12. Psychological Theory • Linking psychological abnormality to criminal behavior • Psychological views of crime are divided into four major areas

  13. Psychoanalytic Theory • Freudian • Damage that occurs in childhood causes an imbalance in later life • Neurotic: extremely anxious and fear that impulse may break through their personality • Psychotic: primitive impulses have broken through and control personality • Little evidence exists that mentally ill people are any more criminal than mentally sound people

  14. Behavioral Theory • Behavior is learned through interactions with others • Social Learning Theory • Modeling behavior after violent adults and reinforced by peers

  15. Cognitive Theory • How people perceive and mentally represent the world • Moral development theory • Distinguishing between right and wrong • Criminals lack ability to make moral judgments

  16. The Psychopath • Criminal behavior as a function of a disturbed personality • Fail to learn from mistakes • Not deterred by punishments • Incapable of caring for others • Abnormally low level of anxiety • Thrill seekers; repeat offenders (serial murderers/rapists)

  17. Why does crime occur? • Because they want to: Choice Theory • Because they’re different: Biological Theory • It’s in their heads: Psychological Theory • Society is the real culprit: Sociological Theories

  18. Social Structure Theory • United States is stratified • Disorganized neighborhoods • Deviant Values and Cultures • Strain

  19. Social Process Theory • People commit crimes as a result of socialization • Family • Severe discipline, lacking warmth • School • Tracking, labeling • Deviant peers • High school dropouts

  20. Why does crime occur? • Because they want to: Choice Theory • Because they’re different: Biological Theory • It’s in their heads: Psychological Theory • Society is the real culprit:Sociological Theories • It’s Political: Conflict Theory

  21. Conflict Theory • Economic and political forces cause criminality • Criminal law and justice system control the poor • Powerful and rich impose their morality on the entire society • Theft of $500 property by a poor person is punished more severely than the misappropriation of millions by a large corporation

  22. Other Theories • It’s a matter of development: Integrated Theories • It’s how you live: Victimization Theories